Do you love bananas? Many people do and it’s not hard to understand why. Bananas are naturally sweet and can help give you a little boost of energy. They’re also rich in fiber and can help you feel full without consuming many calories.
But did you know that you could virtually triple the health benefits of eating bananas simply by eating the peel too? What—eating banana peels? That’s right! Banana peel nutrients can help stave off more than eight major health complications. Let’s have a look at the usefulness and the health benefits of eating banana peels.
Here are 8 Healthy Uses for Banana Peels
1. Boost Your Mood
Depression affects everyone. It can come and go throughout the course of your lifetime. Sometimes depression is a little more serious and sometimes it’s just a feeling that shows up for an hour or two and then goes away. These minor dips in mood are common and are often the result of inadequate nutrients. When you’re feeling a little down, why not try eating banana peels?
Banana peels are high in mood-boosting serotonin—a neurotransmitter derived from tryptophan. Banana peels are a feel-good food, so eating banana peels is not so bad after all.
2. Get a Good Night’s Sleep
Speaking of tryptophan, banana peels are high in this compound too. Tryptophan is an essential amino acid that’s often prescribed in supplement form to treat sleep problems. Eating banana peels could help you get a good night’s sleep.
3. Protect Your Heart
Banana peel is actually richer in both soluble and insoluble fiber than the banana itself—another reason why eating banana peel is a good idea. Fiber has been shown in countless studies to aid in lowering cholesterol. When you keep your cholesterol levels low, you help to ward off complications from heart disease such as heart attacks and stroke. These banana peel nutrients are extremely beneficial.
4. Keep Slim
Banana peels are full of fiber and nutrients and not much else! They aren’t high in calories and can be an important food in helping to keep extra pounds from gathering at your waistline—while still allowing you to reap banana peel nutrients.
5. Boost Your Potassium Levels
Another one of the many banana peel nutrients is potassium. Potassium is needed to build muscle, break down carbohydrates, control the electrical activity of your heart, and to regulate the acid-base balance in your body.
6. Stave Off Cancer
Banana peels are exceptionally high in antioxidants. They also contain compounds that protect cells from the sort of mutations that lead to cancerous tumors—talk about a great reason to start eating banana peels.
7. Protect Your Vision
Banana peels are high in lutein. Lutein is a compound that helps to protect your night vision. It also plays a role in preventing cataracts and macular degeneration, important reasons to start eating banana peels.
8. Protect Your Red Blood Cells
Red blood cells deliver oxygen to your body tissues all day and all night. Banana peel nutrients include those that can help prevent your red blood cells from breaking down.
So if eating banana peels is a good thing, how do you do it? Raw, if you can, although many find them a little stringy and not nearly as tasty as the fleshy banana part. You can also boil banana peels to soften them first. In Asia, chefs cook banana peels and fruits together and serve them as a dessert. You can also add banana peels to the blender when making a smoothie or a juice.
One thing to remember: buy organic. Banana peels are directly exposed to pesticides when trees are sprayed. To avoid ingesting harmful toxins, get banana peels grown without the use of pesticides and insecticides.
While you may not love the taste of eating banana peels, you can find ways to incorpate the peel into your meals, to avoid the bitter taste. Some people steam banana peel and make it into a tea as well, to reap banana peel nutrients. It looks like this is definitely one healthy food to add to your diet.
Source(s) for Today’s Article:
Ramli, S., et al., “Effect of banana pulp and peel flour on physicochemical properties and in vitro starch digestibility of yellow alkaline noodles,” Int J Food Sci Nutr 2009; 60 Suppl 4:326-40.
Bond, O., “What are the Benefits of Eating Banana Peels,” Livestrong web site, May 28, 2011; http://www.livestrong.com/article/457082-what-are-the-benefits-of-eating-banana-peels/, last accessed Oct. 28, 2013.
Akamine, K., et al., “Banana peel extract suppressed prostate gland enlargement in testosterone-treated mice,” Biosci Biotechnol Biochem. September 2009; 73(9): 1,911-4.