You've Been Throwing Away the Best Part of the Banana

Whatever you do, don't toss the peel.

Eating Banana Peels

Bananas are ideal for , , and even a healthy . But what most of us don't know is that we're totally overlooking one of its best qualities — and tossing it in the trash.

Banana peels are completely edible and actually very good for you. According to , people in countries like India have been eating banana peels — and taking advantage of their nutritional benefits — for decades. This sounds peculiar to Westerners because while the banana's flesh is soft and sweet, its skin is thick, fibrous, and bitter. It's off-putting and seems like just the kind of thing you should toss.

But we are wrong. Not only can you blend the peels into smoothies, you can also fry, bake, and boil them. "[The skin] contains high amounts of vitamin B6 and B12, as well as magnesium and potassium. It also contains some fiber and protein," San Diego-based nutritionist Laura Flores told .

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What's more, a 2011 study proved that . So maybe we should hop to it and start cooking up banana peels for an extra nutritional boost. Plus, with the , it might be best to take heed and waste even less of what we have left.

However, if you're not up for choking down peels, you can also use them elsewhere. suggests you turn them into banana vinegar, roast meat atop the peel to keep it moist and tender, and soak them in water used for plants to keep them healthy and strong.

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