Bananas are some of the healthiest fruits in the world, but not many people know about the health benefits of banana peel (aka skins in the UK). Usually, when people eat bananas, they discard the peels. But just like the fruit, the peels also come with health benefits.
And, if you choose to eat the peels instead of throwing them away, you are helping minimize the waste that goes to landfills, which is good for the environment.
If you’re wondering what the health benefits of banana peel are, then read on. I’ve also added below a banana peel smoothie recipe which is the easiest and most delicious way of adding banana peels to your diet. You will also find a video demo of how to make a banana skin detox tea.
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What Are the Health Benefits of Banana Peel?
Like the fruit, the nutritional value of banana peel depends on how ripe they are. For instance, the peels of unripe bananas are more effective at treating digestive problems. On the other hand, ripe banana peels may help in fighting diseases and infections.
It’s best to buy organic bananas because the conventionally grown ones get sprayed with systemic fungicides and a variety of insecticides, and herbicides. Although you may be able to wash a certain amount of pesticide residue off the skin the fungicide gets into the flesh of the banana.
Even though EWG does not list bananas on their Dirty Dozen list the toxic chemicals that the plants get sprayed with leach into the soil and are taken up by the plants. Best to avoid them if you want to avoid the possible adverse health effects from the chemicals.
Related reading: Organic Foods vs Non-Organic Foods for Detox
Below are some of the health benefits of banana peel.
Promotes Digestive Health
Banana peels are high in both soluble and insoluble fiber, which helps regulate the digestive system, preventing constipation and diarrhea. The fiber helps to sweep the intestines clean which is important for detoxing.
Related reading: Easy 4 Week Digestive System Cleanse
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Bananas themselves contain a particular type of carbohydrate known as fructooligosaccharide (FOS), a pre-biotic which feeds the good gut bacteria in your gut. It can help to increase bifidobacteria, an important inhabitant of the gut microbiome, and improve the absorption of nutrients.
People with Crohn’s disease or those suffering from irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) can benefit from eating banana peels. It is wise to start with a small amount if you want to introduce banana peel as the sudden introduction fiber or too much can upset your bowel if you have any digestive issues.
Banana peels contain high levels of the amino acid tryptophan and vitamin B6. Both can help relieve symptoms of depression and other mood disorders. Tryptophan is converted into serotonin once it breaks down, improving one’s mood. Meanwhile, vitamin B6 can help improve sleep. Getting enough sleep is one way to improve mood and reduce symptoms of depression.
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Pro-vitamin A (beta-carotene) is abundant in banana peels, which can help to improve eyesight. In addition beta-carotene and vitamin A are also good for the immune system, growth, reproduction, and development
Lower Cancer Risk
Banana peels are rich in carotenoids, polyphenols, and other antioxidants that can help fight-off cancer-causing free radicals in the body. Consuming more banana peels, especially green and unripe ones, can help improve your antioxidant levels, reducing your risk of developing cancer.
Related reading: The Best Antioxidant Foods for your Detox Diet
Antioxidants are needed for the detox system because free radicals are produced as a result of detoxification. Your body has it’s own antioxidant system provided you are not deficient in the nutrients such as Vitamin C, selenium and manganese that are needed for the system.
How to Eat the Banana Peel
Now that you know the health benefits of banana peel, you’re probably wondering how to eat it. There are many recipes for banana peel online, including banana peel smoothie recipes.
You will also find recipes for charred banana peels, called banana peel bacon, which has gone viral on TikTok and Instagram. Many call it the vegan version of bacon.
The peels are marinated in maple syrup and other ingredients. When cooked, the sugar will start to burn, giving the peels a texture similar to crispy bacon strips.
Unfortunately, the burnt taste makes the peels taste awful. Apart from the fact that burnt banana peels will not have equivalent nutritional value as unburnt ones blackened food is thought to be cancer causing.
If you want a more delicious and nutritious way to eat banana peels, make them into a delicious smoothie. You can also make a detox tea with them.
Banana Peel Smoothie Recipe
Choose very ripe organic bananas for this smoothie recipe. The peels of these bananas are thinner and sweeter, giving your smoothie a more appealing taste. This smoothie also includes apples, although you can also use any other fruits, depending on what you feel tastes good with bananas.
Related reading: Detox Smoothies: How to Make Them for Amazing Results
- 2 unpeeled ripe organic bananas
- 2 unpeeled organic apples
- 0.5 to 1 cup organic dairy-free milk
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- A handful of organic almonds (optional)
- Wash the bananas and apples thoroughly.
- Cut off the ends of the bananas and roughly slice
- Core the apples and chop into pieces
- Put all ingredients in a blender and blend until nice and smooth, adding as much milk as you want, depending on your desired thickness.
Banana Peel Detox Tea
Another health benefit of banana peel is to make a detox tea with them. This detox tea is made with banana skins, fresh lemons, ginger and stevia liquid for sweetening. You can find out how to make it in the video below.
Other Ways to Eat Banana Peel
Aside from the smoothie, there are other ways to eat banana peels and enjoy their health benefits. You can also use it as an ingredient in banana bread. Toss the peels into a blender. Blend until smooth and add it as an ingredient to your favorite banana bread recipe.
You can also boil, bake, or fry the banana peels to soften their texture, break down the fiber and make them more digestible. As already mentioned, don’t be tempted by recipes that call for burning them because charred peels are not delicious and will no longer be as nutritious.
Banana peels can also be added to curries, stir-fried dishes, and sandwiches to help boost the nutritional value of these foods.
Bananas are healthy. If you want to take full advantage of their health benefits, eat the organic peels instead of throwing them away. As you can see above, the health benefits of banana peel are immense. They supply a range of essential nutrients, including b vitamins, magnesium, potassium and fiber. In addition, banana peels can be prepared in various ways, the easiest being the tasty banana peel smoothie.