After reading the following surprising benefits of banana peels, trust me, you will think twice before tossing them into the bin! From directly eating them (yes, you heard that right!) to using them as water purifiers, the benefits you will read here are sure to open your eyes just a little bit wider.
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.
Banana peels can be eaten raw, but many cultures around the world cook them to make them more palatable. Check out their health benefits when consumed.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
Researchers suggest a minimum of 6mg – 10mg daily to derive the benefits of lutein. So as you increase your daily lutein intake with dark green leafy vegetables, spinach, and fruit, why not also throw in some banana peel to hit the mark?
Other Uses and Benefits
Besides the valuable health benefits of banana peels derived when eaten, there are also many more versatile benefits in daily life, from outdoor to indoor uses.
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.
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.
You may notice your teeth looking instantly brighter, but the results will be even more drastic with a couple more tries. Of course, it helps to wean off soft drinks and coffee, too.
The ancient Chinese had a remedy for mosquito bites – it was rubbing on some good ol’ banana peel. Rubbing banana peel onto mosquito bites and general bug bites is an instant relief for itching and inflammation. In fact, most itchiness can get some form of relief with banana peels, including itchiness caused by poison ivy.
The Science Behind the Remedy
Bananas contain compounds called anti-histamines, which provide relief from severe itching, and also help tone down inflammation. Anti-histamines work by subduing and blocking histamines (chemical compounds released in body cells which cause allergic reactions, e.g. due to bug bites) such that the effect of the histamine is undone.
When applied to bug bites, the anti-histamines in the banana peel sink into the skin and prevent further swelling and quell itching.
Polish your leather furniture and silver items with banana peel for a natural alternative to chemical polishing liquids.
To clean leather furniture, simply rub the inside of a ripe banana directly onto the leather. Then clean up any ropey stuff and buff off with a cotton cloth.
For silverware and other silver items, blend banana peel with a little warm water. Rub this paste onto the items and wipe down with a cotton cloth. Dry items thoroughly with tissues and behold your new shiny silver!
Once you know something is rich in various nutrients and antioxidants, you can guess just how helpful it will be for your skin! Applying the inner portion of banana peels to your face alone can help you brighten and tone your skin.
Got dry skin? The vitamins and minerals in it can help you get rid of dry and dull skin by locking in moisture.
Got acne? The enzymes in banana peel can help get rid of not only acne, but dark blemishes as well.
Got wrinkles? No problem! The antioxidants in banana peel will help hydrate and promote supple youthful skin.
Take advantage of the high nutritional content of banana peels to boost your garden soil, in a cheap, natural and effective way. It not only decomposes fast but also contains important minerals like potassium and phosphates which will help in the growth of healthy plants and flowers.
The best part is that you are putting banana peels to use instead of trashing them. The more you recycle, the more you help save the environment. They are particularly useful for rose bushes. Plant them nearby to protect them from aphids.
Ok, so now you’re ready to use banana peels around the house before you toss them out – but can’t bring yourself to eat banana peel just yet?
When using a recipe that calls for unripe bananas, you could use the banana with skin. Furthermore, you can boil up chopped banana peels for 10 minutes and ingest it in the form of soup with other veggies. You’ll hardly notice their taste!
The best thing about this yellow miracle? It’s readily available everywhere! Unlike other hyped-up natural foods around the world, the humble banana is cheap and ubiquitous, so why not put it to use today!
Please ensure you purchase pesticide-free, organically grown bananas if you’re planning to consume the peel. Many banana plantations are aero-sprayed with pesticides and are fertilized using artificial fertilizers.
Washing with soap may help remove some of the pesticides, but it is still recommended that you go for organically grown bananas.
Jan Kuske on December 19, 2018:
We put our too ripe bananas in the freezer and, since its hard to peel a frozen banana, just add the whole thing to smoothies, peel and all, or run through the food processor and mix to make banana bread.
Deborah Minter from U.S, California on April 14, 2018:
Wow! What a beneficial ingredient.
maria on September 25, 2017:
this is a new one for me...and decided to try the banana peel
in my smoothie, can't even tell its there!
email@example.com on August 24, 2017:
Fazel Shamsa on August 19, 2017:
I occasionally ate banana peels since my childhood. 2 weeks ago I ate a banana with peels before I know its tremendous benefits.
Mary Waller on January 30, 2017:
do you have to eat the whole banana peel or can you rub the inside of the peel on face for acne and or brighter skin
Ted Fairman on November 12, 2016:
It really is unbelievable I've eaten some of the peal after it had been washed and all of the inside peel every day even after three days I've lost three lbs the fat bulge was two inches now about one and a quarter I'm 88 and enjoying it.
ECOz Life Sciences on August 24, 2016:
banana peel was cooked by mom. i liked that a lot. but now afraid due to over use of pesticides and what not! but if ensured organic bananas available, peels must be consumed for it's unusual benefits....Founder and CEO...ECOz Life Sciences
mithul pranav on July 08, 2016:
how we know the the banana is organic or inorganic every banana seller tellls that it is an organic one
kAY kabwali on August 20, 2015:
ITS so great about the uses of banana peels .yellow remedies .this is so powerful
Hendrika from Pretoria, South Africa on June 15, 2015:
Interesting! I think it will take some guts to try to eat the peels, Maybe I should try.
Jacobb9205 on April 01, 2015:
Awesome list! I will now be eating whole bananas including the skin for better eye health and teeth health. Thank you!
aaaaa on March 09, 2015:
Ronald E Franklin from Mechanicsburg, PA on February 05, 2015:
Interestingly, I came upon this article just after having eaten a banana. The peel is still here waiting to be put in the trash. I'm not ready to start munching on the peel just yet, but I may try that teeth whitening thing. Thanks for alerting us to the benefits of banana peels.
erickson on December 09, 2014:
question,how many grams of fiber is in the peel
maserole on September 09, 2014:
well.considering to make use of banana peels as far as it important to do so
Patricia quarrie on August 14, 2014:
There is a lot of banana trees around my back yard,I used the flesh of the banana to make tier leaf or blue drags with flour and spice,I didn't no that the skin and leaf so valuable thank u so much for the information pat from Jamaica
mifsud emily on June 03, 2014:
thefedorows from the Midwest on May 20, 2014:
I often eat a banana in my morning smoothie....but never have I ever thought to reuse the peel! I am going to try your teeth-whitening idea first! Great useful hub!
Tessa Dunn from California City, California on May 14, 2014:
Well, I get my calories from fruit and sometimes that is bananas. https://vidd.me/XkL
healthmunsta (author) on December 29, 2013:
Thank you, Sasha. Using banana peels for teeth whitening gives almost immediate results! Try it!
Sasha on November 18, 2013:
Wow hey, this is just what I was looking for! Banana peels for teeth whitening. Thanks much. I'm going to try this out. XD
ps; your writing is really captivating :)
healthmunsta (author) on November 18, 2013:
You are most welcome! And thank you too for your kind comment!
Chitrangada Sharan from New Delhi, India on November 18, 2013:
Very useful and interesting information shared by you regarding Banana peels. I am aware of orange peels and lemon peels usage for skin and beauty care, but this is good information provided by you.
Thank you for sharing your knowledge!
healthmunsta (author) on November 17, 2013:
Wow! Woke up this morning to find all these beautiful comments from beautiful people! Thank you very much, everyone! Your input is valuable to me and I appreciate every bit of it!
I personally have used banana peel for teeth whitening and saw the results almost immediately. Now I have the habit of rubbing banana peel after eating the banana (when in the privacy of my own home of course - in public, it would just look gross! Lol!)
Thank you all for dropping by!
Mary from From the land of Chocolate Chips,and all other things sweet. on November 17, 2013:
Very interesting hub, voted up, shared and more. I didn't realize you could use bananas peelings for health benefits, guess next time I will think twice before heading straight to the trash with the peeling. I love mothers natures little gifts she provides for our health.
shabushaj from india on November 17, 2013:
worth informative...useful as fertilizer was the only benefit heard before. Now this much of benefits ..will try to follow this benefits...thanks for sharing.
JR Krishna from India on November 17, 2013:
Excellent. Never heard about these uses before, I use them in the plant pots because I heard that they are rich in potassium and good for plants.
Thanks for sharing this knowledge
JP Carlos from Quezon CIty, Phlippines on November 17, 2013:
I'm one of those who throw the banana peel. Sometimes I cut them into little bits and put in my garden soil. It's great addition as fertilizer. Splendid job on the topic.
Dil Vil from India on November 17, 2013:
Benefits of banana, i know few. Now benefits of Banana Peel, cool. Good information. Thank you for sharing. VOTED UP and useful and awesome.