The banana may be your go-to comfort fruit, but have you ever considered the peel? We often just toss it without a second thought, but it’s time to change that habit! The humble banana peel is a nutritional superstar in its own right with antifungal, antibacterial, and anti-inflammatory properties
Banana Peel As A Nutritional Supplement
If you thought the banana was a superfood, wait until you hear about its peel. Banana peels are rich in starch and protein and have optimal levels of almost every essential amino acid (except for lysine). They’re also about 30% fiber, meaning they are an excellent way to prevent constipation.1
Banana peels contain complex carbohydrates and minerals such as iron, magnesium, and potassium.2 They’re also rich in the neurotransmitter serotonin, which is not only a mood-booster but helps to keep the bowels functioning properly.3
Are you convinced enough to try eating the peel? You may want to start with a riper banana since their peels are thinner and sweeter than the harder, more fibrous ones from rawer bananas. If that doesn’t sound palatable, there’s plenty of other ways to take advantage of the peel.
Banana Peel To Heal Bites
Banana peels contain polyphenols, which make them great anti-inflammatory agents. Is a mosquito bite bothering you? Place a banana peel on it for a few minutes and watch the inflammation subside. Some preliminary research shows this may even work for wounds and ulcers as well.4
Banana Peel To Prevent Infections
Applying banana peels on minor cuts and burns can prevent them from becoming infected. Distilled banana peel extract of both raw and ripe bananas has been shown to have antifungal and antibacterial properties.5 This is also why using a banana peel on your face can help heal acne. Just take a fresh peel and rub the inner side on your face. After it dries, wash face thoroughly.
Banana Peel To Whiten Teeth
Due to their citric acid content, banana peels can be used to whiten your teeth. Just rub a peel on your teeth after brushing. Doing this for a week can visibly whiten your teeth in a natural (and very cheap!) way.6
Banana Peel To Purify Water
And that’s not all… Studies are showing that because of its metal-binding properties, the banana peel can help purify drinking water by removing toxic heavy metals. One study used minced banana peels on raw river water and found success in filtering out heavy metals like lead and copper. Banana peel performed as well or better than other purifying materials.7
Another study used powdered banana peels to remove metal pollutants such as lead and cadmium from water. Because the process proved to be so effective, researchers believe it may have the potential for large-scale purification.8 Do keep in mind that banana peels cannot kill bacteria and other pathogens found in contaminated water. Still, this is all pretty exciting research, especially considering how easily accessible and inexpensive banana peels are.
This is all a great example of finding treasure in our trash, isn’t it? We bet you’ll never be able to look at a banana peel the same way again – in fact, you may just want to eat it!
|↑1||Emaga, Thomas Happi, Rado Herinavalona Andrianaivo, Bernard Wathelet, Jean Tchango Tchango, and Michel Paquot. “Effects of the stage of maturation and varieties on the chemical composition of banana and plantain peels.” Food chemistry 103, no. 2 (2007): 590-600.|
|↑2||Sulaiman, Shaida Fariza, Nor Adlin Md Yusoff, Ibrahim M. Eldeen, Eng Meng Seow, Azliana Abu Bakar Sajak, and Kheng Leong Ooi. “Correlation between total phenolic and mineral contents with antioxidant activity of eight Malaysian bananas (Musa sp.).” Journal of Food Composition and Analysis 24, no. 1 (2011): 1-10.|
|↑3||Kumar, KP Sampath, and Debjit Bhowmik. “Traditional and medicinal uses of banana.” Journal of Pharmacognosy and Phytochemistry 1, no. 3 (2012).|
|↑4||Agarwal, P. K., A. Singh, K. Gaurav, Shalini Goel, H. D. Khanna, and R. K. Goel. “Evaluation of wound healing activity of extracts of plantain banana (Musa sapientum var. paradisiaca) in rats.” Indian journal of experimental biology 47, no. 1 (2009): 32.|
|↑5||Scott, William E., Hazel H. McKay, P. S. Schaffer, and Thomas D. Fontaine. “The partial purification and properties of antibiotic substances from the banana (Musa sapientum).” Journal of Clinical Investigation 28, no. 5 Pt 1 (1949): 899.|
|↑6||M Osterhoudt, M.Why Didn’t I Think of That? – Multiple Uses of Common Household Products. Lulu Press. 2013.|
|↑7||Castro, Renata SD, Laercio Caetano, Guilherme Ferreira, Pedro M. Padilha, Margarida J. Saeki, Luiz F. Zara, Marco Antonio U. Martines, and Gustavo R. Castro. “Banana peel applied to the solid phase extraction of copper and lead from river water: preconcentration of metal ions with a fruit waste.” Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research 50, no. 6 (2011): 3446-3451.|
|↑8||Anwar, Jamil, Umer Shafique, Muhammad Salman, Amara Dar, and Shafique Anwar. “Removal of Pb (II) and Cd (II) from water by adsorption on peels of banana.” Bioresource Technology 101, no. 6 (2010): 1752-1755.|