Banana peels are often overlooked as nothing more than trash. However, they are actually a treasure trove of nutrients and beneficial plant compounds. Extracting and drinking the juice from banana peels provides a simple way to utilize these nutrients and take advantage of the many health benefits banana peel juice has to offer.
Nutrients in Banana Peels
Banana peels contain a wide array of important vitamins, minerals, and other beneficial plant compounds. Some of the top nutrients found in banana peels include:
- Potassium – Banana peels contain even more potassium than the banana fruit itself. Potassium supports heart health and muscle function.
- Magnesium – Necessary for bone health and energy production.
- Manganese – A mineral that acts as an antioxidant and is important for metabolism and nerve function.
- B vitamins – Including vitamin B6, vitamin B12, and folate. B vitamins support energy metabolism and red blood cell production.
- Polyphenols – Antioxidants that have anti-inflammatory and anticancer effects.
- Carotenoids – Antioxidants that can be converted into vitamin A in the body and promote eye health.
- Dietary fiber – Improves digestion and heart health.
Extraction of Banana Peel Juice
While simply blending or juicing the entire banana peel is an option, here is a step-by-step method for extracting the maximum amount of nutrients:
- Wash the peel thoroughly and cut into small pieces.
- Add the peel to a pot of water and bring to a boil, then simmer for 10 minutes.
- Strain the liquid from the peel into a cup.
- Return the strained peel to the pot and repeat steps 2-3 until you have extracted as much liquid as possible.
- Let the liquid cool. Add any natural sweeteners if desired. Drink immediately or store in the refrigerator up to 3 days.
Health Benefits of Banana Peel Juice
Research shows that banana peel juice offers an array of impressive health benefits. Some of the top ways it may boost your health include:
1. Improves Heart Health
The nutrients in banana peel juice are highly beneficial for heart health. It’s high in potassium, which can reduce blood pressure and counteract the negative effects of sodium. The magnesium relaxes blood vessels while the B vitamins help lower levels of the amino acid homocysteine, reducing heart disease risk. The antioxidants also protect against oxidative damage that can lead to atherosclerosis.
2. Boosts Immunity
Many nutrients in banana peels have powerful effects on the immune system. Vitamin A strengthens mucous membranes, acting as a barrier to pathogens. Vitamin B6 supports the production of white blood cells. Manganese activates antioxidants that fight damage from free radicals. The antioxidant carotenoids enhance immune function.
3. Detoxifies the Body
Banana peel juice contains pectin, a type of soluble fiber that has a gelling effect. It can bind to toxins in the digestive tract and carry them out of the body. Pectin may also limit the absorption of cholesterol and stabilize blood sugar levels after meals. The peel’s antioxidants neutralize free radicals and prevent oxidative damage to cells and tissues throughout the body.
4. May Aid Sleep
Banana peels contain tryptophan. This amino acid is converted into serotonin and melatonin in the brain, key hormones that regulate sleep cycles and help induce a state of relaxation.
5. Reduces Inflammation
The flavonoids and other polyphenols from banana peel juice display powerful anti-inflammatory activities. Inflammation is at the root of most chronic diseases. By reducing excessive inflammation, banana peel juice may help lower the risk of many conditions like heart disease, diabetes, cancer, arthritis and neurological decline.
6. Boosts Mood
In addition to tryptophan, banana peels provide nutrients that increase key neurotransmitters related to mood regulation. Folate and vitamin B6 support serotonin and dopamine production. The amino acid tyrosine is also a precursor for dopamine. By optimizing neurotransmitter levels, banana peel juice consumption may elevate mood and concentration.
7. May Support Kidney Health
Studies indicate the nutrients in banana peel juice may reduce kidney disease risk and accelerate recovery from kidney damage. It supports renal function through antioxidant effects, reducing inflammation, and enhancing detoxification. The juice also has natural diuretic effects yet balances electrolyte levels, making it helpful for fluid retention issues.
8. Promotes Skin Health
Applying banana peel juice directly to the skin or drinking it can improve many common skin conditions. Banana peels have polysaccharide and antioxidant effects that combat oxidative stress on skin cells. You can also rub the inner peel on areas of eczema, psoriasis, or acne for natural healing. The vitamins and minerals boost skin health when consumed as well.
There are no official guidelines for how much banana peel juice to drink to reap the health benefits. However, most research on banana peel extract has utilized dosage ranges from 50-200 mg per pound of body weight.
Based on a 150 pound (68 kg) adult, that equals a dosage between 3.4-13.6 grams. With approximately 20% extraction efficiency, this requires 17-68 grams of banana peel used to produce the juice.
Most sources recommend starting with a small amount such as 1/4-1/2 cup per day. If that dosage is well tolerated, gradually increase up to 1-2 cups per day to attain maximum benefits.
Possible Side Effects
For most people, drinking banana peel juice should not cause any negative side effects. However, some things to be aware of include:
- Pesticides – Peels may harbor higher levels of pesticides than the fruit. Be sure to thoroughly wash or soak peels before juicing.
- Toxin binding – The same compounds that allow banana peels to bind toxins could impair absorption of certain medications if consumed in excess.
- Allergies – Those with latex or banana allergies may experience adverse reactions.
- Potassium – While beneficial for most people, very high doses of potassium could be problematic for individuals with kidney dysfunction.
Start with small amounts of banana peel juice to assess your tolerance. Stop drinking it if you experience nausea, diarrhea, cramping or signs of an allergic reaction.
Who Should Not Consume Banana Peel Juice?
Banana peel juice may not be appropriate for certain people, including:
- Individuals with kidney disorders – Excess potassium can be harmful for those unable to excrete it properly.
- People taking blood thinners – The vitamin K content could interfere with the effects of these medications.
- Anyone with latex or banana allergies.
- Children under two years old – Their digestive and immune systems are still developing.
- Pregnant women – Not enough research exists on banana peel juice to confirm its safety during pregnancy.
For people taking any medications or with underlying health conditions, consult your healthcare practitioner before adding banana peel juice to your regimen.
How to Incorporate Banana Peel Juice Into Your Diet
Here are some simple ways to start drinking banana peel juice for better health:
- Drink it straight – Add some fresh lemon or lime juice to enhance the flavor.
- Smoothies – Blend it into your favorite fruit or green smoothies.
- Juice mixes – Mix with apple, carrot or celery juice.
- Tea – Steep the peeled banana skins in hot water for an antioxidant-rich tea.
- Bake it – Add some concentrated banana peel juice to your banana bread or muffins.
- Soup stock – Use it as a base for vegetable soups.
Start with small amounts to let your body adjust. But work up to 1-2 cups per day split into a few servings. Be consistent and drink banana peel juice daily to achieve the best results.
While most people discard banana peels as waste, these nutritional powerhouses can be transformed into a healthy beverage that offers multiple benefits. Extracting and drinking the juice provides essential vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and plant compounds that boost your physical and mental health in many ways.
Banana peel juice is simple and free to make at home. Adding it to your diet is an easy way to reduce inflammation, detoxify your body, improve sleep quality, strengthen immunity, and support your heart, brain and skin. Give this superfood drink a try to enhance your overall well-being.