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Are Banana Peels Good for You?

By Joe King, M.S.

Banana peels were once just food waste, but banana peels may be more useful than previously thought. Banana peels contain essential fatty acids, vitamins, minerals and other compounds that have a variety of benefits both when you eat the peels and when you apply them topically to your skin.

Essential Fatty Acids

According to Louise Tenney's book "Today's Herbal Health: An Essential Reference Guide," banana peels contain essential fatty acids that benefit your skin and can be an effective treatment for skin abnormalities, such as eczema, psoriasis and warts. Banana skin pulp can help kill warts in one to 12 weeks when applied directly onto the surface of the wart, according to the National Skin Care Institute.

Vitamins

Banana peels contain high amounts of certain vitamins that are important to human health, including vitamins A and B-6. Vitamin A helps your body maintain skin, teeth, bone, muscle, mucous membranes and skin. Vitamin A can also support your eyesight, especially when you are in low light. Vitamin B-6, also called pyridoxine, helps your brain produce hormones that maintain your central nervous system.

Minerals

The banana itself is best known for its abundance of potassium, but the banana peel also contains very high amounts of this essential mineral. The banana peel contains about 40 percent of the total potassium content found in the entire banana, meaning the peel has almost as much potassium as the banana itself, according to "Today's Herbal Health." Potassium is important for your heart, kidneys, muscles, nerves and digestive system to work properly. It is also important for the water balance in cells throughout your body.

Other Compounds

According to the book "Babushka's Beauty Secrets," written by esthetician Raisa Ruder, banana peels contain lutein. Lutein may be effective in the treatment of age-related eye disorders such as macular degeneration and may have cardiovascular benefits as well, although more research is necessary to confirm the effects of lutein on your heart.

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