We’ve all heard about the benefits of eating bananas. Filled with potassium, they’re an ideal pre or post-workout food, since they help reduce muscle cramping.(1)
Furthermore, they’re a great food when it comes to diminishing high blood pressure while also protecting against atherosclerosis.(1)
Not bad, right?
And of course, we’ve likely heard of using the fruit as an effective home remedy that helps do everything from relieving mosquito bite itchiness (rub the peel on bothersome area) to mixing with an avocado and using as a hair mask to treat try hair.(2)
That’s all fine and dandy. But what about eating more than just the fruit or doing more with the peel than rubbing it on the occasional mosquito bite, or scraping the insides into a smoothie?
How about…eating that peel? But, is eating banana peels good for you?
Now before giving the thought an automatic “no way,” consider that you’re likely eating peels on other fruits anyway. Apples. Maybe you even eat kiwi skin. So why not give banana peels a whirl?
Enjoying them is common in several Asian countries; it just hasn’t really become a “thing” in many other areas.(3) This isn’t to say we should embrace the “they’re doing it, so I should too” mentality and jump on the bandwagon just to do it, but…
Why not give it a try?
How to eat banana peels and what to expect
About the only thing that differs when comparing the peel to the flesh is the taste and texture, depending on how it’s eaten. It’s not as sweet and although it can be eaten raw, it has a very chewy texture (as you might imagine) and doesn’t go over well in the taste bud department.(2)
However, boiling it changes this texture and taste into something much more palatable. Otherwise, the peel, like the flesh, is also filled with levels of potassium and other amazing nutrients.(3)
Some people enjoy them by boiling the peels for about 10 minutes, then adding to a blender along with other fruits to make a smoothie.
Health benefits of eating banana peels
Banana peels contain dietary fiber which is beneficial when it comes to reducing bad cholesterol levels and regulating digestion.(3)
Looking for a mood booster? The peels contain tryptophan, which increases serotonin levels and in turn, elevates mood.(3) Some researchers have found that banana peel extract reduced depression for this reason, helping the brain to better balance emotions and mood.(3)
They’re even good for eye health because they contain an antioxidant called lutein, found to be effective in protecting the eye from free radicals and sun damage.(3)
For more about how they help eye health, as well as the other benefits mentioned above in this section, read here.
So what do you say? Just another silly thing to try? Something you’ve tried and…loved? Hated? A part of the banana you’ve enjoyed for ages? Or…leave well enough alone and stick to the flesh?