7 reasons why you should be eating the banana peel, as well as the banana

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.

Related: The 8 commandments of good running nutrition 

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.

Related: 7 post-run eating mistakes you’re probably making 

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