If you’re a smoothie lover who always keeps a steady supply of bananas in the fruit bowl, here’s a fun fact: the peel on a banana is even more nutritious than the pulp. If you have a high-powered blender, you can get even more out of the fruit by incorporating the peel into your smoothie – just remove the stem and throw the whole thing in there.
Here’s 7 reasons why you should be eating the banana peel:
1. They protect your eyes
Banana peels are packed with Vitamin A and lutein, which contribute to eye health and are thought to protect against cataracts and macular degeneration.
2. They improve your mood
The banana peel contained tryptophan and mood-elevating serotonin, and the levels increase as the banana gets riper.
3. They help your heart
Banana peels are extremely high in potassium, which works with sodium to balance the fluids and electrolyte levels in your body, regulating your heartbeat and protecting against heart disease.
4. They can make your teeth whiter
Yep, all that potassium can help keep those pearly whites, well, white.
5. They’re high in antioxidants
Banana peels boast a high concentration of phytochemicals such as polyphenols and carotenoids – antioxidants that help fight cancer.
6. They can help you lose weight
Banana peels are very high in soluble and insoluble fibre, which can slow digestion, boost feelings of fullness – good if you are trying to lose weight. All the fibre can also help lower cholesterol.
7. You’ll help the environment
Did you know it actually takes two years for your banana skin to biodegrade? Blending up your banana skin not only helps your body, it keeps it out of the rubbish bin.
A version of this article appeared on runnersworld.com