The Real Reason You Should Start Eating Banana Peels

When most people eat bananas, they habitually throw away the peels. After all, what else can be done with them? They're biodegradable, so no harm in just throwing them in the trash, or your kitchen composter, right? Actually, this might be one food "scrap" to reconsider. As it turns out, when you chuck that banana peel, you're discarding a load of nutrients. According to Today, banana peels are not only edible, they contain 78 milligrams of potassium, and additional filling fiber. In addition to potassium and fiber, Healthline shares one study that shows banana peels, particularly unripe peels, are rich in antioxidants. A diet high in antioxidants has been linked to reducing inflammation, and protecting us against chronic conditions like cancer and diabetes.

On average, the peel of the banana makes up about 35 percent of the fruit, according to Healthline, so that's a lot of actual food that usually goes to unnecessary waste. But if, like most people, you've never considered banana peels edible, you may be wondering how to go about it, short of just biting into the fruit, peel on. (This is not recommended, unless your taste buds are weirdos.) Read on for some banana peel preparation methods.

Banana peels are a surprisingly versatile ingredient

For many, the thought of taking a bite out of a raw banana peel is far from appetizing. Luckily, there are many other inventive ways to enjoy the outside of the banana. First, though, keep in mind that bananas are often grown with pesticides and can harbor other contaminates, so be sure to scrub them in water before consuming. 

Eat This, Not That! suggests chopping the peel up and adding them to your smoothie, or brewing them with hot water to make a fat-burning tea. Another surprising trick is to use the peels to cover up meat on the grill. This is supposed to help lock in moisture and keep natural juices from escaping from the meat during the cooking process. Healthline also recommends using banana peels in stir fries and in sandwiches.

 After finding out how much of a banana's nutrients are actually in the peel, and how they can be a versatile addition to your everyday meals, you may think twice before tossing them in the trash. An added bonus might be knowing that you're reducing your food waste. Your body will thank you for the nutrients; The planet will thank you for your consideration.