Published: 04/25/2015 - Updated: 04/08/2016
Although it may seems strange, banana peels are highly beneficial to the body. In spite of the fact that most people are used to tossing them out, banana peels can be eaten, and also used beneficially in several different ways.
Bananas and Banana Peels
Bananas are a common and accessible fruit. They’ve been cultivated around the world for thousands of years. Generally it’s just the pulp that’s eaten, especially in Western culture. And yet, some cultures in Africa and Asia are known to take advantage of, and use, banana peels as a food, which truthfully, is a good idea.
Banana peels usually contain more fiber and extra nutrients than the pulp, which is also the case for oranges, apples, etc. It’s interesting to see how in most cases, we don’t eat that part of the fruit and therefore, lose quite a bit of its nutrition.
Nutritional Characteristics of Banana Peels
Banana peels are a rich source of dietary fiber which surpasses that of the banana pulp itself. Dietary fiber promotes good digestions and can even help reduce cholesterol levels in the blood. They also provide potassium, a recommended mineral especially for hypertensive individuals, because it helps stabilize blood pressure.
Banana peels also contain tryptophan, an amino acid that promotes good moods by increasing serotonin production.
Banana peels are far from foul tasting. They can be useful ingredients in the kitchen. They should be eaten naturally, preferably ripe. If you’re not used to eating them, they are softer and thinner, and also taste sweeter, when they are ripe. We should also mention, however, that it is not as sweet as the pulp.
Other people prefer to include it in smoothies when including other fruit. In some cultures, banana peels are used in recipes, combined with meat or fried dishes.
It is very important that you wash your banana peel very well before eating it, although the best option is to eat organic varieties. If not, they could contain residue from the pesticides it was exposed to.
Applications in Health
Banana peels are undoubtedly very nutritious and can easily be added to the diet. Their benefits don’t stop there, however, because there are a lot of other ways they can be used for health.
Alleviating skin: although no scientific studies back this up, some people claim that the nutrition in a banana peel could help improve certain skin conditions. If your skin is itchy or irritated, rub a bit of the inside of a banana peel on the area to alleviate the symptoms. It has also traditionally been used to treat small warts and for controlling acne outbreaks.
Whitening teeth: thanks to a banana peel’s composition, it can also help naturally whiten teeth. All you need to do is rub your teeth with a banana peel at night. It’s a slow process, but if you are consistent you will notice improvement. Applying for one month is recommendable.
Calming insect bites: banana peels can help alleviate the itching or pain from a non-venomous insect bite. All you need to do is rub the insect bite and the surrounding area with a piece of the inside of a banana peel. It contains natural antihistamines which help reduce the reaction that these bites create in the body.
For acne outbreaks: if you have acne problems, this remedy might be useful and inexpensive for you. Scrape off the inside of a banana peel and using your fingers, apply it to a clean face as if it were a cream. Do not rub harshly. Allow to set for 15 minutes, then rinse. Repeat daily. You will notice a reduction in your outbreaks, and your skin will look better.
Although banana peels are great to take advantage of, you should keep a few things in mind in order to use it properly.
- Banana peels should be consumed immediately after removing the banana from it.
- Do not store the peel for later. It is also not a good idea to store it in the fridge, as it will lose its properties.
- Do not consume banana peels from a banana that is no longer fit for consumption, or which is overly ripe.
- Try to choose organic bananas and wash the peel before consuming it.
- Banana peels can be consumed even if they have small dark spots, but if the peel has turned completely brown, or most of it has, do not use it.