The humble banana has long been hailed a health superhero, thanks to its potassium-rich content.
But now, a top dietitian has claimed that we should be munching on the fruit’s skin as well to really reap the health benefits.
Susie Burrell says that eating the peel can improve your sleep, enhance your skin and even boost weight loss.
“Specifically, you will increase your overall fiber content by at least ten percent as a lot of dietary fiber can be found in the skin of the banana. You will get almost 20 percent more vitamin B6 and almost 20 percent more vitamin C and you will boost both your potassium and magnesium intake,” she said.
But don’t worry, when it comes to eating banana skin, Burrell does not recommend you just start munching on the peel once you’ve finished the inside.
Instead, she suggests putting it in a smoothie, baked goods or a curry to boost your nutritional intake.
Writing in her blog, she adds: “Rather, cooking the skin to soften it will help to break down some of the cell walls within the skin, helping to make the nutrients easy to absorb.
“Next blending the skin into recipes or smoothies is the most practical way to use them. Here you will increase the volume and nutritional content of recipes with minimal change to taste and texture of the cooking.”
Burrell also revealed that the particular banana skin you choose is important when thinking about the specific nutrients.
She says: “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 fiber known to benefit gut health.
“As these skins are much tougher, they are definitely best consumed after boiling to soften the skins.”
As well as their positive nutritional benefits, Burrell 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.
The potassium in the fruit combats the hardening and narrowing of arteries, scientists discovered.
The vital mineral — which spuds, broccoli and sprouts are also rich in — was found to aid blood flow to the heart and brain and reduce the risk of clots.
Its effect on the arteries emerged in US lab tests at the University of Alabama on mice.
This story originally appeared on The Sun. Read more content from The Sun here.