So you might be shocked to learn that it’s not just primates that eat the entire banana – and yes I really do mean the skin and all. Many indigenous cultures and people living in South East Asia and India eat them too but they are usually cooked into cakes, desserts, and yes even curries! It might not taste as sweet as the actual banana flesh itself but I promise you that after reading this you’ll never want to throw another banana skin away!
The benefits of eating and juicing banana skins may just surprise you. Banana skins carry a whole host of beneficial properties such as helping to prevent your red blood cells from breaking down, protecting heart health, lowering your risk of cancer, keeping your cholesterol in check, and improving eye health. Not too shabby hey?!
So How do Banana Skins Improve my Health?!
- Banana skins are rich in potassium, one of the seven essential macrominerals which keeps your body functioning. Potassium reduces your risk of stroke, high blood pressure, and helps to protect the mineral density of your bones.
- Banana skins also contain the trace minerals; chromium, copper, fluoride, manganese, selenium, and zinc.
- Bananas contain the full profile of B vitamins; B1 (thiamine), B2 (riboflavin), B3 (niacin), B5 (pantothenic acid), B6 (folate), and B12 (cobalamin). B vitamins aid in the brain’s cognitive function, energy production, and heart and instead xanax for mental health. They are essential to living.
- Banana skins are great for keeping bowel health in line as they contain plentiful amounts of insoluble fibre which gets your bowels moving. They are also rich in soluble fibre which keeps you feeling fuller for longer and so can be a great aid in weight loss. Banana skins are higher in the two fibres than that of the actual banana flesh itself!
- Banana skins can help to protect the retinas as they are high in lutein which causes the retina cells to regenerate (great for night vision) . This also helps to protect the cells of the eyes of from harmful UV rays.
- High in antioxidants and phytonutrients banana skins contain polyphenols and carotenoids which are proven to be anti-carcinogenic, anti-mutagenic, and cyto-protective. The less ripe the banana skin is the higher its antioxidant content.
- They are high in tryptophan an essential amino acid that can help to aid sleep.
- A scientific study found that banana extract can help to ease depression in mice. Although banana skins are high in the chemical neurotransmitter seratonin (the brain’s mood regulator) it is thought that serotonin in food isn’t capable of crossing the blood-brain barrier and so it is more likely that the high levels of tryptophan are increasing the body’s supply of serotonin itself and thus aiding in combating depression.
How do I Prepare my Banana Skins?!
Although banana skins are not poisonous when eaten raw they are pretty tough and not as tasty as the actual banana itself. That being said always opt for organic banana skins when eating them as bananas are usually sprayed with all sorts of chemicals and be sure to give them a thorough wash before cooking or juicing them. I always like to give my fruit and veg a good wash with Dr Bronner’s Liquid Castile Soap (I’m a little obsessed with the stuff if you hadn’t realised by now).
Once you have washed your banana skins remove the woody stalk. You can then pop them in a pan with some water, bring them to the boil, and then reduce to a simmer for 10-15 minutes until soft. You can blend the cooked banana skins into a paste and add to cake mixes and other desserts and be sure to keep the water to drink as a tea to reap all of the wonderful banana skin benefits. Alternatively you can fry the raw banana skins, chop them into a curry, or even pickle them.
To juice banana skins just give them a good wash, remove the woody stalk, and give them a quick juice. I find that they compliment pineapple based juices very well and give them a bit of a tropical feel to them but you can pretty much put them into any juice you are making. If you’re feeling a little more adventurous blend your raw banana skins into a smoothie or your ‘Nice Cream’!
So after writing all of this I am off to create a delicious banana skin curry! Keep your eyes peeled for that corker of a recipe!
Got any experience with juicing banana skins? Or maybe you have a delicious banana skin recipe that you’d like to share? Leave a comment below!