A dietitian said adding the banana skin to your diet could help boost your nutritional intake, leading to better sleep, lower cancer risk and better skin, among other health benefits.
“Specifically, you will increase your overall fibre content by at least 10 per cent as a lot of dietary fibre can be found in the skin of the banana,” dietitian Susie Burrell said as quoted by The Sun. “You will get almost 20 per cent more vitamin B6 and almost 20 per cent more vitamin C and you will boost both your potassium and magnesium intake.”
She recommended cooking the skin will help break down some cell walls, making its nutrients easy to absorb. As the peel becomes soft, blend it into smoothies or add the cooked skin to baked goods or curry.
While eating the skin increases your nutritional intake, it also boosts the fruit’s health benefits.
Health benefits of banana
Prevents stroke. The increased levels of potassium provided by eating both the insides and the skin of the banana may help reduce the activity of blood platelets, which cause blood to clot. Many cases of strokes occur due to unwanted clots.
Better sleep quality. The magnesium in bananas has been linked to better sleep and muscle relaxation. Burrell said eating banana skin provides more of this mineral.
Weight loss. As the skin increases your fiber intake, you may feel fuller for longer. This helps cut cravings and manage food consumption during the day, leading to weight loss.
Better immune system. Eating a single medium-sized banana provides up to 25 per cent of the recommended daily vitamin C intake, which is known for supporting the body’s immune system.
Lowers cancer risk. The antioxidants alpha-carotene and beta carotene found in bananas could help reduce the risk of having lung cancer.
Helps avoid heart problems. Studies showed that eating bananas regularly could help reduce the risk of a heart attack. The fruit cuts levels of “bad” cholesterol in the blood and maintains proper flow through arteries.
Burrell said it is also important to pick the right colour of banana depending on the health benefits you would need.
Bananas with bright yellow skins provide more antioxidants associated with anti-cancer effects, while green skins or less ripe bananas contain higher levels of the amino acid tryptophan, which promotes better sleep quality.
“Green banana skins are also rich in resistance starch, the special type of fibre known to benefit gut health,” Burrell added. “As these skins are much tougher, they are definitely best consumed after boiling to soften the skin.”
Source: Medical Daily