health

7 Surprising Reasons You Should Never, Ever Throw Out Old Banana Peels

by Ileana Paules-Bronet
Ileana is a writer on the Original Content team. She lives in Brooklyn, NY.

People all over the world love eating bananas — they’re rich in potassium, delicious as a snack, and perfect for dessert.

Now, most people don’t go quite as far as this college student, who eats 150 bananas every single week, but a lot of people eat bananas pretty regularly.

Not only are bananas tasty in a fruit salad or in bananas Foster, they’re also really good for you: they can help lower blood pressure, provide a lot of potassium, reduce asthma, help strengthen the heart, help with digestive health, and preserve memory.

Most of us only eat the inside of the fruit when we eat bananas, but the peel also provides a lot of health benefits.

Instead of throwing away banana peels, it turns out we should actually be eating them. It might sound crazy, but they’re totally edible and can be very beneficial to your health!

Read on to find out more about why you should eat banana peels.

Thumbnail Photo: Wikimedia

Are Banana Peels Edible?

banana peels edible
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Yes, banana peels are absolutely edible.

Today reports that the only negative of eating banana peels is possible pesticides — but if you wash them well enough, you shouldn’t have to worry about it.

Although bananas themselves are sweet and soft, the peel is bitter and tough — it may not be tasty, but it’s definitely edible.

Why Should You Eat Banana Peels?

why eat banana peel
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According to Business Insider, people all over the world have been consuming banana peels for decades.

Why? Because of all their nutritional benefits.

Keep reading to find out all the reasons you should add banana peels to your diet.

Reason #1: They're Heart-Healthy

banana peels heart health
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Bananas are full of heart-healthy potassium, and the peels are no exception.

Potassium can help protect against heart disease, help regulate your heartbeat, and aid in balancing electrolyte and fluid levels.

Reason #2: They Whiten Your Teeth

banana peels teeth
Laura Caseley for LittleThings

Since banana peels are rich in potassium, magnesium, and manganese, they’re great for whitening teeth and removing stains.

Southeast Family Dental explains that you can either chew the banana peel and then eat it, or just rub it against your teeth for a few minutes, allowing the minerals to be absorbed into the teeth.

Reason #3: They Protect Your Eyes

banana peels eye health
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When most people think about fruits and vegetables that help with eyesight, they think about carrots.

Well, carrots and banana peels have something in common: they’re packed with vitamin A.

Banana peels also have a good amount of lutein, which, along with vitamin A, helps protect against macular degeneration and cataracts.

Reason #4: They Boost Your Mood

bananas tryptophan
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Bananas — and their peels — are high in tryptophan, which is a mood-boosting amino acid.

Banana peels also have high amounts of serotonin, which is known to make you happier as well.

Reason #5: They Have Lots Of Antioxidants

banana antioxidants
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Antioxidants, which can help fight cancer-causing free radicals, are essential to a healthy diet.

If you’re looking for ways to add more antioxidants to your diet, don’t look any further than banana peels — they’re very rich in antioxidants.

Reason #6: They Can Help You Lose Weight

banana peels weight loss
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According to Business Insider, banana peels contain 20 percent of the daily recommended vitamin B-6. Vitamin B-6 helps the body convert food into energy, which means it won’t just sit around in your body.

Plus, the peels have tons of fiber — soluble and insoluble — which slows down digestion and keeps you feeling full for longer.

Reason #7: They Improve Sleep

banana peels sleep
Laura Caseley for LittleThings

The tryptophan that helps boost your mood also helps you fall asleep — and stay asleep.

Most people know about tryptophan because it’s the amino acid that makes you sleepy after eating a Thanksgiving turkey — so it makes sense that the same acid would make you sleepy no matter where it comes from.

How To Eat Banana Peels

banana peels smoothie
Laura Caseley for LittleThings

So, that’s great and all, but how should you eat the bitter peel of a banana?

There are a few great ways to eat it: blend it into smoothies, make bedtime banana tea, or turn it into a spicy chutney.

If you’re excited to start eating more banana peels, please SHARE this article with your friends and family!