by Chris Bede: Can you juice lemon and orange peels?
Citrus peels from grapefruits, lemons, limes and oranges contain a chemical called D-Limonene. Commercially, the oil expressed from citrus peels are powerful enough for use as cleaning solvents.
Juiced peels are sometimes consumed in an effort to dissolve gallstones and for gastroesophageal reflux (GERD), or heartburn. However, citrus oils from the peel can cause digestive discomfort and sensitization in some people, which might be reason enough to leave the skins for the compost pile.
Not all people tolerate citrus peels the same way. Some find juiced citrus peels too bitter and overpowering. Personally, I dislike the taste of grapefruit skin and would always rather peel and discard the rind when juicing grapefruit, but I have no problem with lemon and lime peels. In fact, I buy organic lemons so I can easily juice the fruit whole. On average, I consume about one lemon per day in this way. I enjoy the taste of whole lemons and limes and have suffered no noticeable gastric side effect from them. If you plan on juicing the peels, I would try small amounts first.
Juicing Citrus Seeds
Citrus seeds are considered “soft” so you can juice seeds along with other parts of the citrus fruit. Similar to the peels, citrus seeds contain limonin and other limonoid compounds. Researchers are looking at these citrus compounds for their anti-cancer and cholesterol lowering effects. According to the USDA, citrus limonoids have been shown to help fight cancers of the mouth, skin, lung, breast, stomach, and colon in laboratory tests with animals and with human cells.
The downside to juicing peels is the possible allergy causing potential. The word is, too much limonene exposure could potentially make you allergic to citrus. So, if you plan on juicing the peels, do so responsibly.
Note: Persons affected by gallstones should seek the advice of a medical professional. Some conditions affecting the gallbladder could become life-threatening.