Both bananas and banana peels may offer different health benefits depending on their level of ripeness. Underripe, green bananas may be more effective in treating digestive issues, while riper, blackened bananas have been shown to help white blood cells fight off disease and infection.
The high levels of tryptophan in bananas, combined with the B6 in banana peels, can help relieve some symptoms of depression and other mood disorders. Tryptophan turns into serotonin as it breaks down, which can improve your mood. Vitamin B6 can help improve sleep, which has a positive impact on mood over time.
Vitamin A can help keep your eyes strong and healthy. This vitamin is abundant in both bananas and banana peels.
Banana peels for hair health
Proponents of natural products for health and cosmetics suggest using banana peel as an ingredient in a hair mask. They say it will make your hair softer and shinier.
One way they support that claim is by drawing attention to the antioxidants in banana peel. They suggest these antioxidants neutralize free radicals to keep hair strong and healthy.
Banana peels for whitening teeth
According to a 2015 studyTrusted Source, banana peels have demonstrated antibacterial activity against A. actinomycetemcomitans and P. gingivalis. These bacteria contribute to periodontal diseases, such as gingivitis and periodontitis.
Although this and other studies haven’t focused on the direct application of banana peel to teeth, practitioners of natural healing claim rubbing a banana peel on your teeth is good for your teeth and gums.
They also suggest that if you do this every day for a week, it may whiten your teeth.
Banana peels for household cleaning
Instead of putting them directly into your trash or compost, many people have found household uses for banana peels, including using them to polish and brighten:
- houseplant leaves
- leather shoes
May Lower Cancer Risk
Banana peels are packed with polyphenols, carotenoids, and other antioxidants that fight cancer-causing free radicals in your body. Eating more banana peels, especially green, unripe peels, can increase your antioxidant levels and help reduce your risk of cancer.
Studies on the anti-cancer properties of banana peels were done in test tubes, not on humans. Further research is needed to understand whether banana peels can lower cancer risk in people.
Banana peels for gardening
Many organic gardeners recommend putting banana peels to use in the garden, rather than wasting them. They suggest:
- adding them to soil as worm food
- mixing them with water to make plant fertilizer
- putting them under rose bushes as a deterrent to aphids
- using them to attract butterflies
- composting them
Research indicates that banana peels may have beneficial properties for use in both the pharmaceutical and food industries. However, many methods are based on anecdotal information or folk remedies.
If you’re thinking about using banana peels for health or cosmetic purposes, consider discussing it with your healthcare provider. They might have additional natural solutions you can try.