Why You Should be Eating Banana Peels
People have been cultivating bananas for thousands of years. Many primates eat the whole banana, including the peel. Although people in the West generally throw the peel away, people in some Asian countries consume the peels, which are usually cooked. Banana peels are not nearly as sweet as the fruit’s flesh, but they are rich in nutrients such as potassium.
Bananas themselves are high in carbohydrates and nutritional value. They are high in vitamins B-6 and B-12, magnesium and potassium, and they also offer some protein and fiber. Banana peels contain much more soluble and insoluble fiber than the flesh. Fiber is helpful to digestion and healthy bowel movements, and it can reduce blood cholesterol levels.
The peels also contain tryptophan, which increases levels of serotonin, a neurotransmitter in the brain that balances mood and emotion. Researchers in Taiwan found banana peels extract acts as a natural antidepressant. Another study demonstrated eating two banana skins daily for three days raised blood serotonin levels by 16 percent.
In addition, banana skins contain lutein, the powerful antioxidant known to protect eyes from free radicals and UV radiation from the sun. Lutein reduces the risk of cataracts ad macular degeneration.
It is possible to eat banana peels raw, but most people find they taste and ropey texture unpleasant. The skin is thinner and sweeter after the fruit is well-ripened. However, most people choose to boil the peel for about ten minutes, putting it through a juicer, or blending it with other fruits. In Asian countries, people cook banana peels with the flesh, or serve them fried. Unless the bananas are organically grown, be sure to wash the skin well.
In addition to using banana peels as food, you can also rub the on your skin to stop itching, reduce inflammation, remove warts, soften wrinkles, treat acne and psoriasis, and improve the texture and tone of skin.