6 Surprising Uses of Banana Peels

Tess Patrick TESS PATRICK

Bananas are a beautifully versatile fruit; we love them in our smoothies (or decorating on top), as an afternoon pick-me-up snack, and in delicious loaves and cakes. Yet one of the most powerful and beneficial parts of the fruit is tossed aside and not taken full advantage of. Banana peels are wonderful for more than just slapstick comedy. Alongside being a wonderful example of natural packaging, they can be useful in a wide range of scenarios. Here you’ll discover 6 surprising uses of banana peels, so you can think twice about throwing away the next one.

1. Makes Delicious ‘Facon’

One of the most unassuming plant-based alternatives to bacon is the often-disregarded banana peel. If you’re someone who gets a little grossed out by the stringy parts of bananas, then maybe this isn’t the fake meat for you - but it’s worth considering for the nutritional value of the peels alone. Banana peel is eaten in many parts of the world, just less so in Western diets, but it contains high amounts of B6, B12, magnesium, and potassium. Plus when it’s cooked up with a delicious marinade, you really won’t know the difference between banana bacon and the real thing.

2. Accelerates Wart Healing Process

One of the handiest, easiest pieces of advice my GP ever gave me was using banana peels to help address warts. You simply slice a small square of the peel, place it on the wart with the fleshy side down, and hold it in place with a sticky plaster or tape. For warts that just won’t budge, or you’re looking for a natural solution - this one is a no-brainer. But why does it work? Banana peels are packed with beneficial virus-killing enzymes that penetrate the root of the growth, so you don’t have to get it frozen off. And because the nature of banana peels keeps the skin soft, it minimizes any scarring.

3. Good for Acne & Inflammation

The same nutrient-packed reasons why we love bananas for our internal health, may be the answer to our external health. Acne is a condition that impacts as many as 1 in 10 people, with many never getting on top of it from tricky teenage years well into adulthood. But before reaching for harsh cleansers or dermatologist-prescribed pills, perhaps a banana peel should be the go-to. Because of the starchy content, the peel is able to remove any excess oil on the skin. Then the iron, magnesium, and calcium content in the peel work wonders as an anti-inflammatory powerhouse as well as reducing existing scars. The added zinc is a known treatment for chronic acne. For those fighting extra inflammation, banana peels are also loaded with esterified fatty acids that help treat issues such as psoriasis and eczema.

4. Addresses Wrinkles

If your skin is on the other side of puberty, a banana peel treatment may still be the answer. Wrinkles begin to occur when the skin loses elasticity and firmness, which happens to us all with age. However, with the Vitamin C and antioxidant contents of banana peels, as well as their collagen-promoting properties, they’re being looked to as the next-big-thing in anti-aging skincare. Simply rub the fleshy part of the peel over your face and leave for at least 30 minutes, however overnight is best if you feel comfortable doing so.

5. Helps to Remove Splinters

Splinters can be tricky to remove, not to mention painful, especially when they’re embedded quite far into the layers of the skin. But the same enzymatic reaction that is used for treating warts can be useful in helping to remove those hard-to-reach pieces of wood. Simply tape a slice of banana peel fleshy side down over the splinter and leave for 15 minutes. This will pull it closer to the surface of the skin, making it easier for you to remove it in one go.

6. Adds Concentrated Nutrients to Soil

Because banana peels are packed with all sorts of incredible nutrients that can address viruses and reduce inflammation, they can also do wonders for your soil. Composting doesn’t have to be difficult, but it’s an environmentally friendly way to get rid of any of your food wastes. By adding banana peels to your compost, instead of throwing them in the trash, you’re making sure these nutrients are getting delivered straight back into the soil.

Sometimes the most wonderful foods come in the most surprising natural packaging. So next time you’re considering tossing your banana peel, ask how you might be able to extend it’s shelf life one step further? It’s guaranteed to be a game-changer in your household.

Foods truly can be some of the most powerful medicines, when you know what to do with them. That’s why James created this free nutrition masterclass, to break down everything you need to know about foods in order to take your health to the next level. You can listen to it here.