Bananas are one of the healthiest fruits you can eat, being loaded with protein, fiber, vitamins A, B6, and C, potassium, manganese, magnesium, folate, riboflavin, niacin, and iron. They are also more or less perfectly portioned and easy to grab-and-go. Bananas are delicious on their own, but nicely augment cereal, fruit salad, and even ice cream.
But we’re not here today to talk about the banana fruit, but rather its peel. Generally discarded as trash, banana peels are actually edible and provide a whole assortment of added health benefits. Surprised? As it turns out, people use banana peels to improve digestion, lower cholesterol, and heal common skin problems.
Starting off with a topical benefit, banana peels are great for relieving the painfully distracting itch of bug bites. Massaging the raised bumps with the inside of a banana peel can provide instant results. This remedy is also reported to work on rashes caused by poison ivy or poison oak.
2. Stay Regular
We don’t like to talk about it much, but skipping a daily bowel movement can be quite uncomfortable. One of the best ways to stay regular is to make sure you get enough fiber in your diet. While the banana fruit contains a fair amount of fiber, the peel itself is positively jam packed.
3. Whiten Your Teeth
There are lots of expensive ways to whiten teeth, and a lot of them use harsh bleaching agents that can actually wear away your enamel. This weakens teeth and can cause sensitivity. But guess what? Banana peel can whiten teeth naturally and gently due to its potassium content.
4. Improve the Quality of Your Skin
Banana peels contain a lot of antioxidants that are great for your skin. To minimize the look of lines and wrinkles, simply rub a banana peel directly on the affected areas and leave the sticky residue for about 30 minutes before washing your face.
5. Get Better Sleep
Tryptophan is a natural chemical that supports the quality of sleep. Serotonin is a feel-good chemical that helps you relax. Banana peel has a good amount of both. So downing a banana peel before bed can go a long way towards ensuring an uninterrupted and productive night’s sleep. The serotonin in banana peel can also keep your mood even all day.
6. Improve Eye Health
The element of banana skin that especially helps the eyes is called lutein. This is a powerful antioxidant that can neutralize damaging free radicals as well as shield eyes from harmful UV radiation delivered by the sun.
7. Lower Cholesterol
It is fiber once again that can lower your cholesterol levels, which is critical to maintaining a healthy heart. Banana peel contains more soluble fiber than the fruit itself, so throwing away the peel wastes a valuable opportunity to bump your intake.
8. Destroy Warts
Warts can be a bit painful, but more than that, they are unsightly and embarrassing. The conventional approach to removing warts involves harsh acidic chemicals followed up by an agonizing freezing treatment at the doctor’s office.
9. Polish Your Valuables
And finally, here is a use for banana peel that doesn’t involve eating it or putting it on your body. You can actually rub a banana peel on shoes, leather, and silver articles to clean them up and make them shine.
It is well worth using the banana peel after the banana itself is gone, but there are a few things to remember. The first is that while we usually don’t wash bananas before eating them, if you are going to eat the peel, it’s important to give it a good rinse first. Unless organic, bananas are sprayed with pesticides during their growth cycle.