Admit it, when eating a banana, we don’t even bother with the peel. We throw them away into the trash can, or if someone is sneaky enough, on the street hoping someone would step and slip on them (a common gag in television and other media).
If you love eating banana, don’t do that. You’ll be surprised on how useful the banana peel actually is. (See also : Health Benefits Eating 2 Bananas A Day)
Unbeknownst to most people, banana peel sometimes used to feed animals. It also used to purify water, produce chemical compounds such as ethanol and cellulase/laccase, fertilize soil, and as compost material. It even has benefits for our health. If you are eager to find out what are the health benefits of banana peel, scroll down and continue reading.
Nutritional Value of Banana Skin
The nutritional value of banana peel vary depending on the phase of maturity and variety of cultivated banana. For example, lignin content increases as plantain peels reach certain ripeness (from 7% to 15%). There is more fibre in dessert banana peels than in plantain peels.
An unripe, green banana peels contain 25% starch compared to green plantain peels, which contain 40% starch. After both variety reach the age of ripening, the starch transformed into free sugars. On average, banana peels (plantain and dessert) contain 6-9% protein and 20-30% fibre. It also contain minerals, including potassium (with the amount of 78.10 mg/g) and manganese (76.20 mg/g). This makes potassium its primary composition. It also contains nutrients.
For complete list of other chemical compounds, see below. (Recommended : Health Benefits of Niger Seeds Oil )
- 24.30 mg/g Sodium
- 19.20 mg/g Calcium
- 0.61 mg/g Iron
- 31.70% Fiber mass
- 59% Carbohydrates
- 0.9% Protein
- 1.7% Lipid
- 0.28 mg/g Phytates
- 24% Saponins
- 0.51 mg/g Oxalates
- 1.33 mg/g Hydrogen cyanides
- Fruit acid
Please be aware that some chemicals are anti-nutritive and even dangerous. As you can see in the list above, hydrogen cyanide is the most dangerous, while saponins and oxalates can have the same effect if over-consumed.
Those are the nutritional value. So, what are the health benefits of banana peel? Check them below.
1. A whitening product for yellow teeth
Let’s start with the most popular (or controversial?) use of banana peel, though its validity is still debatable. Apparently, people have tried whiten their teeth with the inner side of banana peel. You can see it being a controversy online.
While some say it works like a charm, some say they barely notice any difference between pre and post use of banana peel. Well, why not giving it a try? Though still debatable, there is no report saying banana peel do harm to your teeth. So, to debunk the myth, you can try it at home and see it for yourself. (You may want to read : Health Benefits of Banana Bread)
2. It can be consumed to boost eye health
What are the health benefits of banana peel? The products to satisfy your eye’s treatment are available in many forms out there. But, do you know that banana peel has its own perks for eye’s health?
According to eye health sites, banana peel contains lutein, a type of carotenoid. This chemical absorbed from blood into macula lutea, an area near retina of human eye. Although specific mechanism of how it affects your eyes is still unknown, studies have shown that people who take dietary supplement imbued with lutein are less likely to develop age-related macular degeneration than those who don’t. The best method to get this benefit from banana peel is to drink it as juice.
3. Promote a healthy and younger skin
Tired of your cosmetics and want to try something new? Or you don’t have the budget for expensive skin care? Don’t worry. You can use banana peel as an alternative. Simply gather some fresh ripe banana straight from the tree (or markets), pull the peel away (you can save the fruit to consume it later), and rub the peel gently over your skin and face. Make sure you do it right (rubbing the inner part) and regularly for maximum result.
Study says fruit acid and nutrients in banana peel help nourish the skin. (Also read : Health Benefits of Green Banana)
4. It helps prevent strokes by lowering its risk
The list of “what are the health benefits of banana peel” still goes on! This one may convince you stop abandoning banana peel. Rich amount of potassium is the biggest factor here. A study published online in September 2014 shown that test subjects (woman between age 50 to 70) who got most potassium in their diet were 16% less prone to ischemic strokes than those who got least.
Of course, to get this benefit, the banana peel must be consumed, not applied. You can make it into a sweet juice, in case you don’t like the taste.
5. Get rid of annoying warts
Haven’t found the solution for your warts problem yet? Don’t panic. There are still many ways you can solve it. One of traditional method is applying banana peel onto area where the wart occurred.
Based on laboratory test, banana peel contain salicylic acid, a chemical that commonly used to treat warts and other external skin problem. If you ever read the composition of your bug bite lotion or powder, you’ll likely find salicylic acid written on the description.
6. An excellent source of fiber
If you read nutritional value listed above carefully, you’ll find that banana peel contain decent percentage of fiber mass. What is this mean? Based on some researches published in media, frequent consumption of high fiber food has been linked to a healthy digestive system.
A person with low fiber diet is more likely to suffer constipation and other gastrointestinal diseases than a person with high fiber diet, study says. Fiber compound makes the task of absorbing food faster. As a result, the passing of the stool in anus will become easier. (See also : Health Benefits of Cavendish Banana)
7. Heal external wound and bruises
What are the health benefits of banana peel? Due to its fruit acid, banana peel can be used either to heal external wound or damage caused by internal bleeding (bruises). There are two methods of applying banana peel for this problem. First method is the same as when you apply it to remove warts : rub it on your skin. The second method is to put the banana peel over your skin, and leave it overnight.
Consumer must use the banana peel carefully as it contains at least three anti-nutritive and potentially dangerous chemicals. Do not consume banana peel in very high dose. The recommended intake is 3 to 5 sheets of banana peel or less than 1 g.