Bananas are one of the world’s most popular fruits, with over 100 billion eaten every year. While the soft, sweet flesh inside a banana peel is what most people enjoy, the peel itself has unique properties that can provide a variety of health and beauty benefits. Rather than throwing away banana peels after enjoying the fruit inside, you may want to consider putting the peel to use in one of many surprising ways.
Banana peels contain an array of nutrients and plant compounds that can have positive effects on health. They have been linked to weight loss, detoxification, mood improvement, and anti-aging skin effects. The peel of both ripe yellow bananas as well as green unripe bananas can provide benefits when used properly.
In this article, we’ll explore some of the top ways to use banana peels to promote health and beauty. From making a nourishing face mask to whitening your teeth, banana peels are a versatile fruit waste product that can enhance your self-care routine and wellbeing. Read on to learn 10+ practical uses for banana peels and how they can help you live your healthiest and most radiant life.
The Forgotten Banana Peel
While most of us know the banana as a delectable and nutritious fruit that is rich in potassium, vitamins, fiber and mineral content, we mostly tend to discard the banana peels (or use them for home composting). You would be surprised to know that banana peels are also replete with polyphenols , carotenoids , and other antioxidants that can help remove the toxic free radicals from your skin and body.
Rather than tossing banana peels in the trash after enjoying the sweet fruit inside, you may want to consider repurposing the peels. Banana peels contain a diverse array of nutrients and beneficial plant compounds that can have positive effects on health and beauty. From aiding weight loss to reducing wrinkles, banana peels are surprisingly versatile.
The soft, sweet yellow flesh inside the peel provides key nutrients like potassium, vitamin B6, and vitamin C. However, the peel should not be overlooked when it comes to nutritional value. Banana peels contain dietary fiber, polyphenols, carotenoids, and other antioxidants that provide detoxification, anti-inflammatory, and anti-aging properties.
Both ripe yellow peels and unripe green peels from organic bananas offer health benefits. By integrating banana peels into your self-care routine or diet rather than discarding them, you can enhance your overall wellbeing. Here are 10 ways you can surprisingly put banana peels to good use:
Rubbing banana peel on your teeth for 1-2 minutes daily can naturally whiten and brighten your smile over time without expensive dental treatments. The enzymes and slightly abrasive texture in the peel gently buff away stains on tooth enamel to reveal whiter teeth. Be sure to rinse your mouth afterwards. Doing this consistently for several weeks can gradually remove discoloration from coffee, wine, smoking, and other sources without harsh chemicals.
Applying a piece of ripe banana peel directly on warts, taping it on, and leaving it overnight has been shown to gradually make warts disappear. The enzymes like protease and peroxidase in banana peels are thought to soften, separate, and dissolve the protein clusters that make up a wart. The potassium content also may help by increasing intercellular pressure and rupturing cell walls. Simply use some duct tape to stick a banana peel slice on each wart before bed.
Improve Skin Health
A face mask made by mashing up a ripe banana peel with egg yolk and applying it to your skin for 5-10 minutes can reduce wrinkles, fine lines, acne, and other conditions. The carotenoids and antioxidants like lutein in the peel combat oxidative stress from free radicals that damage skin cells. They also promote collagen production for smoother, more youthful looking skin by increasing blood flow. Doing this mask a few times per week rejuvenates and moisturizes facial skin.
Placing a banana peel on sore or inflamed areas on the body provides natural pain relief. Compounds like serotonin and tryptophan reduce swelling and inflammation, while the magnesium relaxes muscles and joints. Try rubbing the peel on tender spots directly or simply taping part of the peel on blisters, corns, bug bites, or minor burns to lessen the pain. You can also rub the peel on your forehead or temples to ease headaches.
Gently rubbing the moist, fleshy inside of a banana peel on dry, irritated patches of psoriasis on the elbows, knees, legs, scalp, or other areas can provide relief by calming inflammation and softening skin. Psoriasis causes itchy, scaly rashes due to a buildup of skin cells. Applying banana peel provides moisture and can loosen scales when done daily. For best results, tape peel overnight on psoriasis patches to hydrate the area.
Heal Bug Bites
Mosquito bites, bee stings, and poison ivy rashes can quickly be soothed by massaging the damp inner surface of a fresh banana peel on the affected area. The antioxidants reduce swelling and itchiness, while compounds like vitamin C promote healing. Simply rub the peel gently on the bite or sting right after it occurs for the fastest relief.
Polish Shoes and Silver
Gently buffing leather shoes, handbags, belts, or other accessories with the inner fiber of a ripe banana peel makes them shine. The moisturizing oils and detergent-like compounds in the peel lift dirt from the leather to reveal a polished look without harsh chemicals. You can also rub silver jewelry with a peel to remove tarnish easily. Just be sure to rinse any items well after polishing with a banana peel.
Applying mashed ripe banana peel around the eyes before going outside aids in protecting eyes from UV rays that can damage them over time. The lutein and other antioxidants in the peel act like sunglasses by filtering out harmful UV radiation that causes cataracts and macular degeneration. The peel also reduces puffiness and inflammation.
Aid Weight Loss
Eating pieces of banana peel by adding them to smoothies, soups, curries, stir fries, or other dishes may support weight loss. The high fiber content provides satiety to reduce appetite, while nutrients like manganese boost metabolism. Unripe banana peels in particular contain resistant starch that is not broken down by the body’s enzymes. This starch may promote fat burning while curbing hunger.
Detoxify the Body
Consuming boiled, baked, or blended banana peel provides detoxification benefits since the peel contains significant amounts of fiber, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. These components bind to heavy metals and toxins in the digestive tract to remove them from the body. Banana peels support the liver’s efforts to process toxins as well. Try adding some peeled banana skin to your morning juice or smoothie.
Keep in mind that banana peels work best when fresh. Unpeeled ripe bananas should not be stored for prolonged periods, as the polyphenols oxidize and turn the peel brown quickly after peeling. For safety, thoroughly wash all banana peels before consumption or use to remove any pesticide residue.
By incorporating the nutritious peel, you can utilize the entire banana rather than just the interior fruit flesh. Next time you peel and eat a banana, consider taking advantage of the health and beauty benefits of the peel. Your body will thank you!
Banana peels deserve a second look when it comes to their uses beyond composting. Rather than viewing banana peels as waste, using the peels can provide you with an easy, frugal way to improve your health, beauty, and home. Banana peels contain a powerhouse of nutrients and plant compounds that can benefit your body inside and out.
From whitening teeth to healing bug bites, the options are plentiful when it comes to banana peel uses. Keep an open mind and get creative with this fruit waste product. Try incorporating banana peels into your self-care practices, using them around the house, or even consuming them to boost your overall wellbeing.
With their versatility and nourishing properties, banana peels can become a staple item rather than just trash. So next time you peel a banana, take a moment to appreciate the valuable peel rather than binning it. Your mind and body will thank you.