The Healthy Food You’re Throwing Away

| Expert Advice, Food Facts by

healthy food_061113Eating bananas is a very good idea from a nutritional perspective. In my opinion, bananas are an excellent source of nutrients, fiber, and carbohydrates. But what about the peel? Can you eat banana peel? We usually just throw this part of the fruit away, but eating banana peels might be a good idea after all.

Eating banana peels, according to Dr. P. Haider, a herbalist and spiritual teacher, can actually be very healthy! According to Dr. Haider, banana peel is high in the amino acid tryptophan which is known to increase brain levels of serotonin. Previous research has indicated that eating banana peels (two per day for three days) can increase brain levels of serotonin by 15%. Serotonin is a chemical which stimulates areas of the brain associated with pleasure and mood enhancement. The added benefit here is that because banana peel contains a great deal of tryptophan, this also allows you to sleep better as tryptophan helps to induce sleep by influencing the brain.

Dr. Haider also suggests that soluble fiber, one of the banana peel nutrients, is excellent for lowering blood pressure and the “bad” LDL cholesterol. This banana peel nutrient can lower your risk of heart disease and may also help with weight management strategies. The added fiber in the banana peel can also help with the function of your intestine, improving digestion and elimination. Sounds like great reasons to start eating banana peels!

Antioxidants are another one of the many banana peel nutrients. Several polyphenol compounds in banana peel like caroteniods have previously been shown to be important for immune stimulation and protective against cancer-cell growth. Some other banana peel nutrients are potassium, B-vitamins, and magnesium. These banana peel nutrients are very important in the control and maintenance of blood pressure.

So can you eat banana peel? Why not, considering you’ll be reaping all these banana peel nutrients. Dr. Haider also notes that banana peel is a great source of the compound lutein which can help protect the eyes from the damaging free radicals associated with the excessive exposure to UV light sources.

Banana peel is also recommended to treat and manage various skin conditions like rashes, psoriasis, skin inflammation, itching and insect bites. Dr. Haider also recommends the use of banana peel to treat plantar warts.

Can you eat banana peel? Yes, you most definitely can! Eating banana peel can give you many essential nutrients. Banana peel can be eaten lightly fried or as part of Indian cuisine which is typically the case. Banana peel can also be consumed in tea by seeping the banana peels in boiling water, letting the water cool, and pouring the tea through a strainer. You can also eat banana peel by adding it to your fruit smoothie using milk, honey and ice cubes.

For something different in your diet, try to incorporate ripe banana peel. Eating banana peel will definitely reap essential banana nutrients. There is a great deal of benefits afforded to you from trying this interesting food item. I will also try it and discover the banana peel benefits myself.

Sources:
Haider, P., “Eating banana peels will make you extremely healthy,” OM Times web site, July 10, 2013; http://omtimes.com/2013/07/eating-banana-peels-will-make-you-extremely-healthy/, last accessed October 29, 2013.
Sundaram, S., etal.,“Antioxidant activity and protective effect of banana peel against oxidative hemolysis of human erythrocyte at different stages of ripening,”Appl Biochem Biotechnol. August 2011;164(7):1192-206.

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