Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Add zest to life

Fresh-squeezed OJ contains all the health benefits of oranges except one: the cancer protection in the peel. People who regularly consume citrus zest reduce their risk of squamous-cell skin cancer by 30 percent, according to a recent University of Arizona study. Even lab rats live longer on the stuff; animal studies suggest that citrus zest can actually shrink existing tumors.
Turns out the oils in the peels of oranges, lemons, and grapefruit contain powerful compounds that stimulate the body's production of a detoxifying enzyme, explains study author Iman Hakim, M.D., Ph.D., who says the results had an impact on her research group. "Several people around here started chewing on citrus peels," she says.
Another option: Grate the colored portion of the peel and add the pile of zest (at least a tablespoonful) to soups, salads, and salsa, or sprinkle it on chicken and fish.


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