Should you eat banana skin?

Medically reviewed Dr Louise Wiseman MBBS, BSc (Hons), DRCOG, MRCGP, words Rajan Bhambra
Photo credit: Surachet99 - Getty Images

From Netdoctor

Most of us are well aware of the health benefits of bananas as a food source of potassium, magnesium, healthy carbohydrates and fibre. But what about the banana peel? Should you eat the skin of banana?

In fact, eating banana peels is nothing new: its been a part of Asian and South American cuisine for hundreds of years with many different recipes out there.

Eating fruit peel is not only reduces waste but there are some surprising health benefits. Doctify Nutritionists Simona Novakovic and Jill Barber explain the potential health benefits of banana peel and how to eat it.

Banana peel health benefits

Banana skin makes up about a third (35 per cent) of the whole fruit and is more often discarded than eaten.

Banana peels boasts an impressive nutritional profile, including:

  • insoluble fibre
  • potassium
  • essential amino acids
  • polyunsaturated fats

Dietary fibre is proven to support healthy bowels, stabilise blood sugar levels and boost heart health.

Potassium is essential for regulating blood pressure, protecting against bone loss and reducing your risk of kidney stones.

This is probably one peel you don't want to eat raw though, so look for recipes that include cooking the skin in some capacity.

A study also found that banana peels are rich in antioxidants, which may reduce inflammation and protect against diseases, such as cancer and diabetes.

Banana peel potential downsides

Experts are divided on this and it is obvious that the skin may potentially be a source of contaminants and pesticides so it would be imperative to wash and scrub the skin thoroughly.

Photo credit: Burke/Triolo Productions - Getty Images

How to eat banana peel

Ripe banana skins may be more appealing as they are more likely to be thinner and sweeter.

It is essential to wash the banana peel thoroughly. Then, after cutting off the stem, you could add it to a smoothie.

This may be one peel you don't want to eat raw, so try boiling it or look for recipes that include cooking the skin in some capacity, such as banana bread.

Last medically reviewed: 05-06-2020

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