Banana peels are the thick ropey-textured and green- to yellow-colored skin of bananas. In Western society, they are discarded while the flesh is eaten. However, many animals in the primate family consume them whole, peel and all.Many indigenous tribes in Africa are also known to consume them whole, just as primates do. Although in Asian society, only the flesh is eaten as fruit, many know the unique and abundant benefits provided by the peels. As such, they have been used to cook delicious recipes since ancient times.In this article, we shall explore their benefits that can be enjoyed, whether for skin and beauty, home remedy, or health.
1. Rich Source of Soluble and Insoluble Fiber
Fiber is best known for promoting healthy bowel movements and relieving constipation. However, did you know that dietary fiber has other benefits as well?
Banana peels are rich in soluble fiber (just like apple peels), which can help you maintain a healthy weight by making you feel full. Studies have also shown soluble fiber to reduce the risk of heart attacks and avert early onset of diabetes.
2. Fights Cholesterol
The soluble fiber in both the peel and the flesh of bananas is important for lowering cholesterol levels. Soluble fiber has been extensively studied and proven to reduce the levels of low density lipoprotein, LDL or ‘bad’ cholesterol.
3. Boosts Your Mood
Clinical studies conducted on the properties of banana peel discovered that it contains a particular substance called tryptophan.
Tryptophan is an essential amino acid that is needed for the production of hormones like serotonin, a brain hormone, which acts as a mood booster. This property is found in banana flesh as well.
4. Contains Antioxidants
Antioxidants are the much-pursued miracle substances which offer sublime anti-aging benefits. Banana peels have been found to be rich in polyphenols and carotenoids, which are phytochemicals with antioxidant properties.
Studies have found that unripe banana peels contains more of these antioxidants than ripe ones. No wonder Asian recipes fry unripe banana peels as a crispy and antioxidant rich salted snack!
5. Protects Eyesight
Another antioxidant found in banana peel is ‘lutein,’ known to reduce oxidative stress and neutralize free radical damage in various organs, including the skin.
But lutein is also known to provide nutritional sustenance to the eyes by not only reducing the risks of macular degeneration and cataracts, but also by filtering out harmful UV rays and protecting cells from free radical damage.
6. Meat Tenderizer
Many Asian cuisines use banana leaves to cook tender meat, but the thing is that it contains potent enzymes that can help tenderize it too!
To tenderize meat with banana peel, simply place a ripe one on your meat roasts to lock in the moisture and keep them unbelievably moist and juicy.
7. Teeth Whitening
Got yellow teeth? That’s not surprising since today’s highly refined food and caffeine products are leaving everyone’s teeth stained. A very cheap and accessible way to whiten stained brown or yellow teeth is through rubbing the inner part of the banana peel of a ripe banana on your teeth!
After you eat one, simply get the inner portion of the peel and rub it back and forth on your frontal teeth with your index finger. Most of the inner portion will have transferred onto your teeth. Keep it on for least five minutes and then rinse off with water.