By now, we all know the benefits of bananas are plentiful. Not only are they a healthy mean of satisfying your sweet tooth, but they’re also high in nutrients like potassium and Vitamin C.
That said, most of us tend to discard the peel and focus on the fruit inside. Aside from the fact that it’s generally socially unacceptable to walk down the street eating a whole banana, peel and all, eating the outside of a banana seems incredibly unappetizing. However, the banana peel is even more nutritious than the actual banana, and by throwing it out we are depriving ourselves of a host of other health benefits.
A recent article points out the numerous advantages of banana peels —and turns out, they do everything from benefiting your health to the earth’s ecosystem.
In terms of the pros to your health, they protect your eyes against cataracts and macular degeneration (essentially retina deterioration) due to Vitamin A and lutein. Thanks to the fruit’s potassium levels, which are even higher in the peel than the banana, banana peels also protect against heart disease. A 1997 study found a direct correlation between higher potassium intakes and lower blood pressure, which in turn strengthens your heart. The peel also includes antioxidants like polyphenols and carotenoids that fight cancer, and it can even help you lose weight thanks to the high level of fiber that slows digestion and makes you feel more full.
Another benefit of eating banana peels is their mood-boosting ability. The fruit is high in serotonin, which elevates your mood, regulates anxiety, and reduces depression. There’s even an environmental benefit to ingesting the peel: it keeps them out of landfills and shrinks your carbon footprint.
This isn’t to suggest that we all start snacking on raw banana peels, but if you’ve got a high-powered blender that can handle a peel, you might want to consider tossing in the whole fruit. Just chop off the stem, throw in the rest of your ingredients, and you’ll be well on your way to having the most nutrient-rich smoothie bowl of your life.
Source: Rodale’s Organic Life