Banana Peels Help to Lose Weight
Banana peel is packed with nutrients that can prove beneficial to the body. While it may strike you as an alien concept to use banana skin in your daily diet, in many parts of the world, notably India and the Caribbean, the peel is used to add flavour and substance to dishes. And, there is now a growing consensus, which suggests the nutrients, compounds and minerals hidden away within the skin could help aid weight loss, and boost your mood.
Nutritionist Ella Allred told newsmen: "while at first the peel may seem like an odd choice of food, we investigated further and we realise there are nutritional benefits.” She said: “The extra fibre in banana skins will certainly help with bowel regularity. The nutrition profile of magnesium, potassium, vitamin C and B6 is not something to be sniffed at.” Laura Flores, a San Diego-based nutritionist agrees. She told newsmen: “It contains high amounts of vitamin B6 and B12, as well as magnesium and potassium, and some fibre and protein.”
Furthermore, according to a 2011 article in the Journal of Applied Biochemistry and Biotechnology, banana peels also contain ‘various bioactive compounds like polyphenols, carotenoids and others’. The skins are packed with vitamin A, which aids in healthy teeth, bones and soft tissue. While B6 aids the body’s immune system, promoting brain and heart health. It also regulates blood sugar levels, and so can help boost your mood.
B12, also helps the brain and nervous system. Furthermore, B vitamins and the antioxidants lurking in the skin help stoke the metabolism and can therefore prove useful for those trying to lose weight. And when it comes to being diet friendly, the peel adds no calories to your daily diet, only extra sustenance. Vitamin C aids the body in healing, growing new tissue and ligaments, while fibre can help you feel fuller for longer, making the skin diet-friendly.
The peel is also high in the mood-boosting hormone serotonin – a neurotransmitter derived from tryptophan. As well as helping to give you a life, tryptophan, an essential amino acid, is often prescribed to help treat sleep problems.
Allred said while banana peel is ‘perfectly edible’, they are often heavily sprayed with pesticides. “So if banana skin is going to be your new food, ensure that you buy only organic, and scrub them well,” she said. She added: “I can’t imagine that eating a raw banana peel is particularly pleasant, easy to digest or widely socially accepted. If we look at our primate ancestors, they too leave the banana skin, as though it is not normal or natural to consume them.”
So, how best can we benefit from the nutrients and minerals in banana skin? Allred advises: “It’s best to leave the skins for fermentation, dips and other beneficial uses such as whitening teeth, soothing insect bites and stings.” Typically, banana peels are served cooked, boiled or fried. They can be added to the blender to add extra fibre to a smoothie, but they are not as sweet as the fruit’s flesh, though the riper the banana, the sweeter its skin. Furthermore, she added, the banana is not alone in having hidden benefits lying within its peel.