Banana peels are good for vintage comedy routines and Mario Kart, but you’ll be shocked to know that the oft-discarded banana byproduct will give your next morning smoothie a big nutritional boost. While people in India and other countries around the world have been utilizing banana peels for years, the United States is a little behind on this healthy eating trend. The peel can be consumed baked or fried, but it is most palatable tossed whole into a high powered blender.
Banana peels have an incredibly long list of nutritional benefits. The peels are rich in vitamin A and lutein; two nutrients that help delay the degeneration of the macula, a small area of the retina that controls the sharpness of your vision. Having a rough morning? Fear not, banana peels (especially when ripe) contain tryptophan, an amino acid which is the precursor to the mood-boosting neurotransmitter, serotonin. The flesh of the banana always gets all the attention when it comes to potassium content, but the peel is loaded with it too. Potassium helps maintain the proper balance of electrolytes in the body, aids in regulating heartbeat, and even whitens your teeth. If whiter teeth and better eyesight arem’t motivation enough, banana peels may also assist in controlling appetite and help with weight loss. The peel is rich in soluble and insoluble fiber, which delays digestions and makes you feel full.
But the best part about throwing your banana peel into your blender rather than the trash can is that it keeps it out of the landfill. Organic waste, like peels, coffee grinds, and other food byproducts is heavier than most other forms of trash. So do your body and the planet a favor and make some banana (peel) smoothies.