Can You Eat Banana Peel?
Can you eat banana peel is definitely an unusual question. Often, when faced with an unusual question like this, the answer generally seems to be pretty obvious. Usually, overlooked as a food waste, banana peel is consumed by people across many cultures and communities. It is believed that the nutritional value of peels is too much to just throw them away. The benefit of eating a banana is well known and people across all age groups and professions eat this power fruit all the time. However, the benefits of eating the peel is almost unknown and people miss out on a readily available and cheap source of nutrition.
Can You Eat Banana Peel?
The simple answer to this question is – Yes, we can eat banana peel. Some people eat the peel simply because they like the taste and texture it adds to their food, others eat it probably because they know the nutrition present in it. Banana peel is a nutritional goldmine that is usually overlooked. One of the major reasons why people discard the peel is simply because there are not enough scientific studies related to this. However, regular consumers of banana peel swear by the many benefits it gives them. Among the many benefits of eating banana peel, dieticians recommend it due to the presence of dietary fiber that helps in reducing blood cholesterol levels.
The yellow skin can be a put-off for many people, but the fact remains that the benefits cannot be ignored. Many food or fruits are not really pleasing to the eyes, but people consume them for their many health benefits. There are several ways in which a person can include the peels to their diet without really having to see the yellow color. Banana peel can be used in making banana tea, added to smoothie, baked or used to make banana vinegar. A little creativity goes a long way in including banana peels to the diet.
What are the Benefits of Eating Banana Peel?
Banana peel has several nutritional and health benefits. The skin contains high amount of vitamin B6 and B12, potassium, magnesium, fiber and protein. All these nutrients are excellent for the body. Some dieticians have touted banana skin to be the 'new slimming super food'. The peel also contains nutrients like vitamin A, B and other antioxidant which gives a good metabolism, leading to loss of weight.
Some of the other benefits associated with eating banana peel are –
- Benefits of Eating Banana Peel in Helping You Sleep Well: Banana skin contains tryptophan, which helps a person in sleeping better.
- Banana Peel is Beneficial in Lowering Cholesterol: Banana skin contains soluble and insoluble fiber. These fibers help in reducing the levels of blood cholesterol.
- Wonderful for Depression: Banana peel contains serotonin that aids in mood boosting, thus making a person feel happy while reducing depression.
- Eating Banana Peel is Beneficial in Regulating Bowel Movement: High fiber is great in helping and regulating bowel movements.
- Anti-cancer Agent: Powerful anti-carcinogenic compounds present in banana peels can reduce the chances of someone getting cancer.
- Benefits of Eating Banana Peel in Inducing Weight Loss and Decreasing Obesity: As banana peel contains high amounts of fiber, it keeps the person full for a longer period of time, thus reducing binge eating and depending on junk foods. This helps a person reduce weight.
- Protects Red Blood cell: Studies have shown that eating banana skin protects the red blood cells from breaking down.
- Eating Banana Peel Aids in Healthy Digestion: Green banana peels contain a good amount of probiotics, which is perfect for digesting foods, to maintain a good digestive system health and functionality.
Side Effects of Eating Banana Peel
There is a view among some nutritionists that while banana peel undoubtedly contains nutrients, but it may not be good for the health. Like with other fruits and vegetables, eating banana peel also has certain side effects. It is good to be aware of both the benefits and side effects of eating something, so that one can make an informed choice.
Banana peels can contain the residue of harmful pesticides. Farmers use pesticides to kill harmful pests that cause damage to their crops. Consuming a banana skin that has pesticides is definitely harmful and brings in a lot of health complications caused due to consumption of these insecticides and pesticides. Banana peels also contains alcohol, which can cause undesired effect on some people. It would be good to stop eating banana peels if a person encounters any discomfort after eating it.
Cautions to be taken before Eating Banana Peel
Consulting with the dietician or nutritionist is a great idea for anyone trying to include something different like banana peel in their diet. It is natural that a person would be cautious before eating a new thing like banana peel. A specialist professional can guide about what to eat and avoid.
It goes without saying that it is best to avoid eating the peel of over ripe banana. The skin of the over ripe banana becomes black and can cause harm to those who take it. Also, the pesticide residue present in the skin of bananas is harmful for anyone who consumes it. Buying organic bananas and eating them while they are still strong and firm can help in preventing the above conditions. Moreover, the peels must be washed very properly before it is cooked, baked or grinded in smoothies to get rid of the pesticides completely.
Other Uses of Banana Peel
Apart from eating banana peel, there are many other benefits of banana skin.
- Instant Soft and Smooth Skin with Banana Peel: One of the simplest uses of banana peel is on the skin. After eating, one can just rub the inner skin along the face, neck, arm and other parts. Wash it off after 5 minutes and see the benefits instantly. The skin will not only feel smooth, soft and silky but cleanses the dead skin as well.
Insect Bites? Get the comfort using Banana Peel: Banana peel surprisingly works very well on insect bites and rashes. Simply rubbing the skin on the affected area reduces pain, itchiness and includes healing.
- Banana Peel can be used to Whiten the Teeth: Although controversial, some experts claim that banana peel is the easiest tip for whitening of teeth at home without using costly products. The peel helps in breaking down plaques, dissolves accumulated food and also breaks down glucose that is responsible for decaying of teeth. Just rub the white inner side of the peel on the teeth for 5 minutes and brush off for at least a week. You will get white shinning teeth without spending much.
- Use of Banana Peel as a Plant Nutrition: Banana peel is organic waste, so there is no shortage of ways in which it can be used. One way of using the skin is to immerse it in a bucketful of water and using that in the garden for fruit, vegetable and flower plants. Banana skin can also be wrapped around plants so that it absorbs the nutrient throughout the season. The peel of banana when tied to the plants also attracts different butterflies in the garden making the garden a beautiful place to spend time in.
- Banana Peel as a great Plant Compost: Banana peel is great to be used as compost – it breaks down easily and adds a lot of healthy nutrients to the soil.
- Use of Banana Peel as a food for Animals: Banana peel is a popular feed for animals like pigs, rabbits and livestock.
- Miscellaneous Benefits of the Banana Peel: It can be used for polishing leather and silver. It gives great shine to leather goods and also helps in rectifying small wear and tear in the leather bags or shoes. It also helps in removing powerful stains in clothes when the peel is rubbed on the stained area, kept for some time and then washed with detergent.
Eating banana peel is not really conventional at the moment. People having questions and doubts about this new thing is natural. Those who are thinking of including banana peel in their food or diet can research about the benefits and advantages. It is important not only for them, but also to answer questions that people will have when they see this in their food. There is absolutely no reason for anyone to adopt a new thing, like eating banana peel without knowing all about it.
The benefit of banana peel is not limited to just consuming it. There are several ways in which the peel can be used, so that maximum nutrient is derived from it. With the increase in the number of people adopting a vegan and vegetarian diet, the humble banana peel has become a food, whose parts cannot be wasted. It takes time for people to accept anything new, but once they are convinced that it is good for their health the trend becomes popular very soon. Moreover, the peel is consumed in many parts of the world. So after knowing the benefits, one can give it a try.
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