What do you do with your banana peels? After reading this article, you’ll definitely want to try and make your own banana peel tea.
Up until now, you’ve most likely been tossing them into your trash or your compost pile, but doing that means you’re actually throwing away a ton of health benefits you could be taking advantage of.
In some other countries, like India, people have been taking advantage of the nutrients in banana peels for decades. Of course, the skin is slightly bitter, and thick, which makes eating them not so palatable. The good news is that you don’t have to do that. Heat actually helps to break down all of that fiber, loosening up the tough texture and making the peel easier to digest. You can bake or boil them for 10 minutes and enjoy as is, or, you can turn those peels into a tea, arguably the best way to get those important nutrients.
Read More: 16 Ingenious Ways To Re-Use Banana Peels
So what benefits will you miss out on if you don’t start taking advantage of those banana peels?
1. Lower Cholesterol and Support Heart Health
Banana peels have been shown to slash those high cholesterol levels thanks to their significant amount of insoluble and soluble fiber. In fact, the peel has more than the flesh of the banana itself. With lower cholesterol, you’ll have a lower risk of cardiovascular disease and a better chance of avoiding premature death. The peels, like the flesh only more so, are very high in potassium which helps to balance fluids and electrolytes in the body, regulate heartbeat and protect against heart disease.
2. Cancer Prevention
Banana Peels offer powerful anticarcinogenic compounds as well as cytoprotective and antimutagenic properties that can help lower your risk of developing cancer. They’re also very rich in phytochemicals like polyphenols and carotenoids, which are well-known antioxidants that help battle cancer.
3. Mood Lifter and Depression Fighter
Banana peels contain tryptophan, that well-known substance in turkey, which helps to increase levels of the common feel-good hormones serotonin and dopamine. Those hormones are famous for lifting one’s mood and they also help to regulate stress hormone levels. One study, out of Taiwan and reported in Taipei Times, demonstrated that a banana peel extract was able to ease depression symptoms in volunteers, while other research has uncovered that eating two banana peels a day for three days had the ability to reduce depression and increase blood serotonin by 16 percent.
4. Better Sleep
Drinking banana peel tea can help you enjoy better sleep for several reasons. First, as mentioned, the peels contain tryptophan, that famous compound in turkey that makes you feel even more sleepy after eating a big meal than you normally would. Because tryptophan raises serotonin levels, and serotonin in turn aids in regulating sleep patterns, it will help you to fall asleep and enjoy higher quality rest.
Bananas, and their peels, are also high in potassium and magnesium, both of which help to promote sleep. If you have trouble falling or staying asleep, your body may be lacking magnesium, so sipping banana peel tea can help you get the mineral you need in order for your brain to relax enough so that you can get a good night’s sleep. Researchers have conducted a number of studies, including 2009 research from the Medical University of Lublin in Poland, that have found magnesium helps one sleep as it triggers GABA receptors in the brain and the nervous system to relax. That, in turn, promotes a sense of calm while virtually slowing down the mind and body so that you can relax enough to fall asleep.
5. Weight Loss Support
Banana peels contain a high level of soluble and insoluble fiber, which is known to slow down the digestion process and increase feelings of fullness. Not only are you likely to eat less if you sip banana peel tea during a meal, but it can help to prevent in-between meal hunger pangs so that you’ll consume fewer calories overall.
In addition to all of that healthy fiber, the peel contains as much as 40% of the potassium your body needs each day which is important for a well-running metabolism. When your metabolism works like it should, your body burns more calories. It also helps to provide more energy to the muscles, so you’re more likely to be active, burning even more calories.
6. You’ll Be Helping The Environment Too
Eating the peel is not only good for your body but it’s better for our planet. Americans eat a lot of bananas, in fact, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) reports that Americans ate nearly 11.5 pounds of bananas on average in 2013. As a medium-size banana weighs about 3/10 of a pound, that equals out to around 38 bananas per person or roughly 12 billion bananas in the U.S. alone. As the majority of those peels are tossed into the trash, that also means a lot of waste that goes into landfills, though some of it is utilized for things like water purification and fertilizer.
How To Make Banana Peel Tea:
There are many other benefits of banana peels, that’s just the tip of the iceberg so to say, but you should be convinced by now that banana peel tea is something you should be consuming.
Here’s how to do it:
First, try to use bananas that are very ripe. The riper the better, as the peel will be thinner and sweeter due to a natural plant hormone is known as ethylene which is released by fruits like bananas when they ripen.
To make the tea, you can use the peel from a banana you just ate, or the entire thing. If you want to use the whole banana, just cut off both ends of it first. Place the peel or the entire banana into a pot with boiling water for about 10 minutes.
Use a colander to strain the water into a mug and allow it to cool just enough to make it pleasant to sip. Adding a dash of cinnamon adds a tasty flavor and even more benefits as the spice contains antibacterial, antifungal and anti-cancer properties in addition to the ability to decrease chronic inflammation.