14 Fruits and Vegetables You Shouldn’t Peel—And 9 You Should

Put down the peeler and embrace the fiber in many of these fruits and vegetables.

Here’s why you should eat the peel

Peeling some potatoes on white table Valeria Selezneva/Shutterstock

The skin or peel of fruits and vegetables are generally higher in antioxidants, fiber, vitamins, and minerals than the flesh, according to Malina Malkani, MS, RDN, CDN, creator of the Wholitarian Lifestyle. Unpeeled fruits and vegetables may have up to 33 percent more fiber than those without the peel. And antioxidant levels in the skins of fruits could be up to 328 times higher than those found in the flesh, Malkani says.

Still, Alyssa Pike, RD, the manager of nutrition communications for the International Food Information Council Foundation, says the amount of nutrients in each peel differs by the type of fruit or vegetable. And the only skins Hillary Cecere, MS, RDN, a registered dietitian for Eat Clean Bro, doesn’t recommend eating are the ones that are too tough or not tasty to eat. With that in mind, if your goal is also to increase the health-promoting nutrients in your diet, experts say it’s best to eat the following fruits and vegetables without peeling them. (And make sure you peel the rest!)

Don’t worry about peeling berries, cherries, or grapes

Close up of pile of ripe cherries with stalks and leaves. Large collection of fresh red cherries. Ripe cherries background. Melica/Shutterstock

Malkani says it’s better to eat berries, cherries, and grapes without peeling them. Aside from the fact that it’s challenging to peel cherries and grapes, and not really possible to peel most berries, the peels offer lots of antioxidants and nutrients. Grape skin is particularly beneficial since this part of the grape has the highest amount of antioxidants in the whole fruit. The boost in antioxidants is why these are some of the 10 of the healthiest fruits for your body.

Avoid peeling pears, peaches, and plums

A group of ripe peaches in a bowlPNPImages/Shutterstock

Peach, pear, and plum skin each have a lot of fiber, nutrients, and antioxidants. One study even found that removing peach skin results in 13 to 48 percent fewer antioxidants. For fruits and vegetable you don’t peel, and those you do, always clean them thoroughly before eating.

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