It is a well known fact that bananas are exceptionally nutritious and offer several health promoting benefits. A common practice while eating banana is to eat the flesh of the banana and throw its peel away. Poor banana skin, it has been known as gag material causing people to slip over it. Interestingly, its a myth that banana skin causes you to slip. On positive side, did you know that the banana skin can also provide various benefits to your health, skin and hair? Banana peel contains many vitamins, minerals and other nutrients, which makes it excellent for health and beauty purposes. Although it can be eaten raw, it is best when consumed after cooking. So the next time you have a banana, instead of discarding the peel, try to make use of its amazing benefits.
Nutritional value of banana peel
Just as bananas are packed with nutrients, their peels also pack a punch nutritionally. Banana peel actually contains more fiber (soluble and insoluble) and potassium than the flesh of banana. It also contains tryptophan, an essential amino acid that increases the levels of the hormone serotonin, which is a mood enhancer. Banana peel is a good source of vitamins like vitamin A, and vitamin B6. In addition to potassium, it also contains minerals like calcium, manganese, magnesium, sodium and sulfur. Banana peel also contains antioxidants including lutein and phytochemicals like polyphenols and carotenoids. Interestingly, antioxidant activity of the banana peel extract was found to be stronger than that of the banana pulp extract.
Health benefits of banana skin
The nutrients in banana peel are considered to provide several benefits, which makes it an excellent remedy for treating various health conditions.
Banana peel protects your heart
The high levels of soluble and insoluble fiber in banana peel are very useful in reducing the levels of bad cholesterol or LDL cholesterol. Also, banana peel is an excellent source of potassium that helps to lower high blood pressure. By keeping the cholesterol and blood pressure levels under check, banana peel offers protective effects to your heart.
Banana skin for whiter teeth
By rubbing the inside of banana peel daily on your teeth, you will get whiter and sparkling teeth. Take the inner white part of the peel and gently rub it all over your teeth for about 2 minutes. The minerals like potassium, magnesium and manganese in banana peel are absorbed in to your teeth, making them white and stain-free.
Beautiful skin with banana skin
The application of banana peel on your skin can improve its appearance and glow. It is a rich source of vitamin C and other antioxidants that promotes increased blood circulation in your skin and also stimulates the production of collagen. Scrubbing your skin with banana peel provides excellent exfoliation and removes the dirt and dead skin cells. This cleanses your skin and makes it looking soft, smooth and young.
Banana peel reduces skin aging
The antioxidants in banana peel fights off the free radicals and prevent the oxidation stress on the cells of your body. This helps in slowing the aging process and also in reducing the signs of aging. Moreover, rubbing banana peel on the skin is an excellent remedy to tone and tighten your skin, thus removing wrinkles and fine lines.
Banana peel removes acne
If you are suffering from acne breakouts, banana peel can be of great help. Simply rub the peel over the affected area and you will see considerable improvement in the condition. The high potassium content in banana peel destroys the bacteria and helps to heal blemishes at a faster rate. The anti-bacterial properties of banana peel are helpful in treating other kinds of skin infections too.
Banana peel for removing warts
Banana peel has been found to be effective in removing warts and also in preventing them from occurring again. Rub the peel or keep the peel over the wart affected area overnight and you will see that the warts have reduced in size or have disappeared completely.
Banana peel relieves eczema and psoriasis
Banana peel is also used as a natural remedy to get relief from skin conditions like psoriasis and eczema. The peel has excellent exfoliating properties, which helps in removing loose and flaky skin. The antioxidants and other nutrients in banana peel provide the necessary nourishment to your skin. Banana peel has anti-inflammatory properties that help in reducing the inflammation associated with eczema and psoriasis.
Banana skin helps soothe irritation
Banana peel is a wonderful remedy for soothing skin irritation caused by poison ivy, bug bites and other kinds of allergic skin reactions. The vitamins, antioxidants and other nutrients in the peel increases blood circulation, which promotes quicker healing. Banana peel has anti-inflammatory properties that soothes irritation and prevents inflammation, while its antibacterial properties help in preventing bacterial infection.
Banana peel promotes healthy bowel movements
Banana peel is a rich source of both soluble and insoluble dietary fiber. The intake of foods rich in fiber helps in making your bowel movements regular and in preventing constipation.
Banana skin and weight loss
The high amounts of fiber in banana peel give you the sensation of fullness, which prevents you from overeating and snacking in between meals. Banana peels are low in calories and at the same time rich in nutrients. This makes it a healthy and nutritious food for people trying to lose weight.
Banana peel and cancer cure
Banana peel is high in antioxidants that prevent oxidative stress caused to the cells by free radicals. It also contains compounds that can prevent cell mutations that may lead to the development of cancer.
Banana peel eases depression
Banana peels contains the amino acid tryptophan, which increases the levels of serotonin levels in your body. Serotonin helps in improving your mood and in making you feel happy. A low level of serotonin has been considered to be one of the reasons of depression in people. Researchers have found that increased levels of serotonin helps in easing depression. According to studies, boiling the banana peel and drinking the boiled water or blending the peel in a juicer and drinking the juice is a very effective way to combat depression.
Banana peel for a good night’s sleep
As mentioned above, banana peel is high in tryptophan, an essential amino acid that helps you sleep better. In fact it is often prescribed by doctors as a supplement to take care of sleep problems and treat insomnia. So if you are experiencing sleep problems, eating banana peel is a great way to enjoy a good night’s sleep.
Banana peel protects red blood cells
Red blood cells help in carrying oxygen to all parts of your body. Studies reveal that banana peel contains nutrients that protect your red blood cells from breaking down.
Banana peel improves eye health
Banana peel contains vitamin A, which is associated with good eyesight. It is also rich in lutein, which is often referred to as the eye vitamin. Lutein helps in improving your eye health and night vision. This compound has also been found to protect your eyes from conditions like macular degeneration and cataract. Lutein is a powerful antioxidant that protects the cells of your eyes from damage caused by free radicals. It is also effective in protecting your eyes from the harmful effects of ultraviolet rays of the sun.
Banana peel for pain relief
Banana peel has been touted to have pain relieving effects. Placing the peel on your forehead and back of the neck has been found to ease headaches. The analgesic effect of banana peel is attributed to the presence of oils inside the peel that penetrate your skin and offer pain relief.
Banana peel for removing splinters
Banana peel is considered to be effective in removing splinters from your body without causing infection. Place the peel over the splintered region and tape it. The enzymes in the peel work to dislodge the splinter, so that you can easily remove it with minimum pain and less risk of injury or infection.
Banana peel and waste water treatment
Extracts from banana peel have been found as good absorbants and can be used for removal of heavy metal from waste water. As research suggests, it offers good potential to absorb harmful contaminants from water. It can also be used in removal of trace metals from synthetic solution.
Other uses of banana peel
In addition to the various health benefits, banana peel is useful in many other ways too. It can be used to polish your shoes, leather goods and also silver items. Placing banana peel over insect bites or poison ivy rash can help ease the pain. It is a great fertilizer for plants. Banana peel is rich in important minerals and nutrients that help your plants grow well. Hence it can be added to the compost. Banana peel contains enzymes that help in making meat tender and hence it is used in several cuisines as a meat tenderizer.
Because of their nutritional value, banana peel is also used as feedstock for goats, cattle, pigs, rabbits, poultry, fish and many other species of animals. Adding the peels to the soil can improve the nutrient content of the soil. This way banana peel also provides nutrients and nourishment to your plants. As you can see, just like several other fruit peels, the banana peels are also nutritionally rich. This makes it a great food for not only us humans, but also for the other living things. The best part is that it is very cheap and readily available all the time.
How to eat Banana peel?
It can be eaten raw, however taste of raw banana peel is not that great. It can be best consumed by incorporating in various recipes. Try out some of these banana peel recipes –
Banana Peel Thoran – Green bananas are often used to make banana chips. The peels often discarded can be used to make thoran (kind of stew). This recipes comes from homes in South India and uses various spices to complement the taste of banana peel. Know this recipe from Dassana Amit’s blog.
Banana Peel Chutney – Chutney often used to complement rice, bread and other side dishes. Check out this simple way to make banana peel chutney. You can always innovate! Say thanks to Penny if you like this recipe.
Banana Peel Steamed Pork And Rice – It is not always the case you have to eat banana peel. When used in cooking, other food stuff absorbs its nutrients. Check out this recipe by Marc Matsumoto
Banana skin cake – Yes, you can make a cake out of the banana peel. This is what jillwoodward in his blog mentions his experiments with banana peel cake. His inspiration had been Edna Toledo (blogged here as well) who made cake out of these ‘waste’.
Banana peel Vinegar – Vinegar made from Banana peel can be used to flavor your cusines. Malic acid present in banana peel can be converted to vinegar. It is sour, bitter yet sweet in taste. Boil 4-5 freshly peeled banana skin in 2 liters of water. Bring to boil for couple of minutes and then allow to cool. Seive the mixture using a cheesecloth. While doing so sqeeze the peels to extract liquid from peels. Discard the remaining peels / or used them as compost for gardening. Add 2 tsp of sugar to liquid and heat again for 10-15 minutes. Stir till sugar is dissoved. Store this liquid in sterlized glass jar. Add baker’s yeast befor sealing the jar and leaving it undisturbed for a week. After this add vinegar starter to this liquid and again seal the jar. After 3 weeks, seive the liquid in another jar using cheesecloth to filter out any sediments. Leave this in cool place for a month. Pasteurize this liquid by heating it for 10 minutes, seive with cheesecloth and store again. This banana peel vinager stays good for 6-8 months. Check out this article for finer details.
Banana Peel tea – Cut a banana peel in pieces and boil 2 cups of water for 5 minutes. Allow water to cool, then sieve out this banana peel tea. Add some honey for taste. It can also be used in soups, stews, rice and other sauces.
Banana smoothie with peel – You would have made banana smoothies earlier. Try sometime with part of the peel in the smoothie. If you like the taste, you may add full peel. Milk, vanilla and honey makes banana smoothies taste great.
There is no limit to innovation. Start your cooking adventure with this nutritious banana peel.Image Credits: Wikimedia - Priwo, Wikimedia