While most people are familiar with the sweet and fruity flesh of a banana, few have ventured to try the peel.
While the thought of eating a banana peel may be hard for some to stomach, it’s a common ingredient in many cuisines around the world.
This article takes a closer look at whether you can eat banana peels and how they can impact your health.
The peel of a banana makes up about 35% of the ripe fruit and is often discarded rather than consumed (
However, using the peel is a great way to reduce food waste while squeezing some extra vitamins and minerals into your diet.
In fact, banana peels are not only edible but also rich in several key nutrients, including potassium, dietary fiber, polyunsaturated fats, and essential amino acids (
Fiber, in particular, has been shown to promote regularity, stabilize blood sugar levels, and boost heart health (
Meanwhile, potassium can help regulate blood pressure levels, protect against bone loss, and reduce your risk of kidney stones (
One test-tube study also found that banana peels are rich in antioxidants, with unripe banana peels boasting the highest numbers (
Some research suggests that antioxidants can reduce inflammation and protect against chronic conditions, such as heart disease, cancer, and diabetes (
Eating banana peels can help reduce food waste. The peels are also a great source of fiber, potassium, antioxidants, and several other important nutrients.
Pesticides are often used to produce conventional bananas (
While this is not much of a concern if you’re only eating the fruit, it may be something to consider when consuming the peel.
Pesticide exposure has been linked to several adverse effects on health and may increase the risk of conditions like autism, cancer, high blood pressure, diabetes, and dementia (
Still, regulatory agencies like the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and Food and Drug Administration (FDA) carefully monitor pesticide levels in the food supply to prevent these negative health effects (
That said, you may want to select organic bananas if possible and wash the peel thoroughly before consuming it to help minimize pesticide exposure.
Many people also find banana peels unpalatable due to their bitter taste and tough texture.
In this case, choosing ripe bananas and cooking them thoroughly can help improve the taste and texture, making them a bit more appetizing.
Conventional bananas are often produced using pesticides, which may negatively impact health. Also, some people may find their bitter taste and tough texture unpalatable.
When getting started, be sure to pick very ripe bananas, as the peels of these bananas are often sweeter and thinner, which may make them more appealing.
To prepare the banana, simply remove the stem and wash the peel thoroughly.
Then, toss it in the blender and add it to your favorite smoothie recipe or sneak it into your next loaf of banana bread.
You can also try baking, boiling, or frying the peels, which helps soften their texture, making them easier to eat.
Cooked banana peels make a great substitute for bacon or pulled pork in your favorite meatless recipes.
They can even be added to stir-fries, curries, and sandwiches to help boost the dish’s nutritional value.
Banana peels can be blended, baked, boiled, or fried and enjoyed in a variety of recipes.
Banana peels can be enjoyed in a multitude of unique ways as part of a balanced diet.
They can not only help prevent food waste but also supply a range of important nutrients, including fiber, potassium, and antioxidants.
Plus, banana peels can add an interesting twist to recipes like stir-fries, smoothies, and sandwiches while boosting their nutrient contents.