The simple banana has been named a health superfood – due to its potassium-rich content.
And now, a top dieticians has now claimed that eating the banana’s peel can improve your sleep, enhance your skin and even boost weight loss.
Specifically, you will increase your overall fibre content by at least ten per cent as a lot of dietary fibre can be found in the skin of the banana.
You will get almost 20% more Vitamin B6 and almost 20% more Vitamin C and you will boost both your potassium and magnesium intake.
The HHS recommends eating foods high in fibre when trying to lose weight, and Vitamin C is known to help with maintaining healthy skin.
Despite this, when it comes to eating banana skin, experts do not recommend you just munch on the peel once you’ve finished its insides.
Instead, try putting it in a smoothie, baked goods or a curry to boost your nutritional intake.
It will help to break down some of the cell walls within the skin, helping to make the nutrients easy to absorb.
Blending the skin into recipes or smoothies is the most practical way to use them.
You will increase the volume and nutritional content of recipes with minimal change to taste and texture of the cooking.
Dishes that work well with banana skin included in them as well as smoothies are muffins, banana bread and curries.
And experts also revealed that the particular banana skin you choose is important when thinking about the specific nutrients.
Specifically bananas with bright yellow skins have a higher proportion of antioxidants associated with anti-cancer effects while green skins (less ripe bananas) are particularly rich in the amino acid tryptophan which is associated with good sleep quality.
Green banana skins are also rich in resistance starch, the special type of fibre known to benefit gut health.
The health benefits of a banana
Here, nutritionist Amanda Ursell tells why bananas are so beneficial when it comes to our health.
Kill a hangover: Bananas contain potassium – a mineral lost when we drink alcohol. It’s important to replenish it quickly and potassium helps to maintain fluids in the body.
Beat stroke: Potassium helps to reduce the activity of blood platelets which cause blood to clot. Unwanted clots are responsible for a large proportion of all strokes.
Boost immune system: One medium-sized banana provides around 25 per cent of our recommended daily vitamin C intake.
Fight cancer: Good and regular intakes of antioxidants alpha carotene and beta carotene have been associated with reducing the risk of lung cancer.
Lose weight: Bananas are rich in fibre – which will help to keep you fuller for longer – so they may fight obesity.
Fall asleep: The magnesium in bananas promotes better sleep and muscle relaxation, so eating one before bed could help you to nod off more quickly.
Healthy pregnancy: They also contain an impressive mix of B vitamins, including some folate. That is vital for pregnant women because it can reduce the risk of spina bifida in babies.
Boost brain: Again, this is down to the potassium, which helps to keep plenty of oxygen running through the brain.
Cut heart attacks: Bananas have been proven to help reduce the risk of a heart attack. They do this by reducing levels of “bad” cholesterol in the blood. This means your arteries don’t get blocked.
Fight flu: This fab fruit also contains quercetin, a super-nutrient. The nutrient has been shown in lab studies to help kill off viruses such as the herpes simplex virus, which triggers colds and flu.
“As these skins are much tougher, they are definitely best consumed after boiling to soften the skins.”
As well as their positive nutritional benefits, Susie points out that banana skins have several other practical uses in day to day life.
For example, she says cooking meat on top of them will help to boost the moisture content of any meal and they can help make a great vinegar.
It comes after it emerged eating bananas regularly can help prevent heart attacks and strokes.
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