After scooping out ripe, creamy avocado, we usually just throw away the peel. However, there’s a ton of antioxidants in that typically discarded part of the fruit that you don’t want to miss out on! Given its bumpy, rough texture, eating or even just using an avocado peel might sound a bit strange at first, but keep reading for some simple ways to repurpose them instead of tossing them out.
Avocado flesh is chock full of fatty acids and potassium (especially the part closest to the skin!) which can deliver incredible benefits to your gut and boost your immunity. But like many other fruits that come in peels, such as oranges and kiwis, the skin of avocado is an oft-overlooked goldmine for even more helpful nutrients. Research published in the Journal of Agricultural Science found the avocado peel has a greater amount of key antioxidants like carotenoids, phenolic compounds, and flavonoids — all of which can help protect your body against inflammation.
But don’t worry about having to gnaw on the peels (don’t put your pearly whites through that!), the experts at the Food Guys have an easy way of adding them to your meals. Simply keep the skin on if you’re blending or puréeing the avocado in a recipe. So, for something like a green smoothie, you can chop the avocado into chunks with the peel still on and then blend it with leafy greens, like spinach and kale.
Although the skin isn’t super soft, a good blender with sharp blades will deliver a velvety smooth drink free of tiny bits of avocado skin. You can make sure yours is up to the task before making the smoothie by sharpening the blade few frozen eggshells. Just add those in with enough water to cover them and blitz until they’re all broken up, then discard the mixture and those blades should be back to being sharp! We also have a handy guide for the best affordable blenders for anyone looking to upgrade.
If you’re a fan of sipping a soothing brew, then try making avocado peel tea! A study published in the journal Acta Scientiarum Technology concluded that this is one of the best ways to ingest those anti-inflammatory essentials, such as the phenolic and flavonoid compounds. Plus, researchers found that it had the same level of antioxidants as regular tea.
“After an investigation on the properties of avocado peel, it was noted as a source of nutrients and subsequently, a tea formulation was suggested as a way of reusing these discarded peels,” the study’s authors wrote. “Phenolic and flavonoid compounds were present in the avocado peel and the notable antioxidant activity of this tea resembles the widely marketed mate tea.” Again, these nutrients can help with reducing inflammatory stress on your body, which in turn has benefits like lowering your risk of cardiovascular disease and enhancing blood flow.
I decided to try this out and make my own version of the tea by taking both halves of an avocado’s skin and placing them in a pot filled with two cups of water. Next, I brought it to a boil and let it bubble on medium-high heat for five minutes. Afterwards, I strained the mixture, which looked similar to regular green tea.
A tablespoon of honey was all my tastebuds needed to balance out the slightly bitter flavor from the skins, but feel free to include other add-ins for your own batch. It had an earthy taste similar to chamomile, but with a nice hint of sweetness from the honey.
Avocado peels aren’t just great your internal health, but also your skin thanks to the vitamin C and E within the fruit. The experts at Odd Box suggest adding any leftover avocado peels you have on hand to your next bath to moisturize your skin and improve its elasticity. Squeeze a few drops of your favorite essential oil into the bathwater and allow the calming soak to wick away signs of aging skin.
With all that in mind, you might want to rethink tossing those peels in the trash the next time you make guacamole or avocado toast. It can work wonders for both the inside and outside of your body!
This article originally appeared on our sister site, Woman’s World.