Growing up, I watched my Neapolitan great grandmother eat entire lemon peels when she ate lemons. I quickly followed in her footsteps and began eating lemons like an apple, with the peel included. Little did I know the benefits of consuming lemon peel as a food, or in a tea. Lemons are said to come from Asia.
In Italy we make a tea called Canarino, and it’s made of lemon peel in hot water. This is drank both in the morning to boost health, or when someone is feeling ill. Lemon peel contains 9% of the daily recommended value of vitamin C in one tablespoon alone. The lemon peel consists of the rind, zest and of course the outer shell of the lemon.
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Benefits of lemon peel:
The peel of the lemon helps improve the health and function of the muscles, digestive system, and eyes. It’s packed with calcium, vitamin C and vitamin A. It also helps with nausea, and to fight off infections by offering ascorbic acid.
Lemon peel boosts function of the nerves and the heart in the body. It contains calcium, potassium, fiber and magnesium.
The peels of lemon are also helpful to treat and prevent acne. They are anti-microbial and anti-bacterial.
How to use lemon peel:
Many people put lemon peel straight into their water cold, but the most effective way is to drink it with hot water. Lemon peel tea is called Canarino in Italy. You can add some honey or agave to sweeten it to your liking. Some people add in other herbs like bay leaves as well. The water doesn’t have to be boiling, and you can avoid the white part between the fruit and peel to make it less bitter.
I recommend getting organic lemons, locally if possible. They will have the least amount of pesticides on them. You want to be mindful of this because you will be consuming the peel that gets sprayed directly. I wash my lemons and fruit in a mixture with hot water, a little vinegar, and a tiny drop of Bronner’s castile soap.
To see a canarino recipe step by step from ITALY Magazine, click here.
Types of lemons:
There are a ton of varieties of lemons that exist. I’ve used all different kinds of lemons to make canarino. It’s also fun to bake lemon peels on low in the oven and make a snack or garnish out of them. Meyer lemons are delicious, but my all time favorite peels to use are from these pink lemons, which also have pink flesh. I find them at the farmers market in Hawai’i and if you find them, I highly recommend trying them!
All in all, lemons are a superfruit and can boost your health tremendously. The peels can boost function of your organs, improve heart and nerve health, combat acne, prevent cancer, and treat nausea. There are tons of vitamins and nutrients in just one tablespoon of lemon peel, so get some into your daily life!
As always, I hope this was helpful. Let me know if you try making canarino, and how you like to use lemon peels in the comments.
All my love,