A banana peel is the outer layer of protective skin that covers the edible banana fruit inside. Though many people eat just the inside fruit and discard the peel, the peel actually has plenty of nutritional and health benefits. Bananas are an elongated, yellow colored fruit that grow on banana trees. Bananas are one species part of the Musaceae family. Banana trees are native to Southeast Asia. Today they are grown in many warm, humid parts of the world, including India, Africa, Mexico and South America.1
Banana peels are green when the fruit is unripened and turn a bright yellow once the fruit has ripened. As the fruit becomes overripe, the peel starts to develop brown spots until eventually the entire peel becomes brown.
Banana peel health benefits are not often considered. For example, banana peel for skin health is an inexpensive and safe natural remedy to help treat skin inflammation and irritation. Banana peels are most well known for being rich in potassium, an important mineral for building muscle strength, providing hydration and reducing stress and anxiety.2 Banana peel health benefits also include being a rich source of carbohydrates. The carbohydrate content in banana peels is especially high once the flesh has turned brown or black.2
Banana peel health benefits also include being a source of vitamins B6 and B12, magnesium, protein and dietary fiber. Banana flesh contains tryptophan, a compound that elevates mood by increasing serotonin levels.  Banana peel health benefits also include being a source of antioxidants (lutein), which help prevent disease by killing freed radicals. Important banana peel uses for health include:
There are no known banana peel side effects. If using as a topical treatment, it’s best to use a ripe banana peel as it will work better than an unripe banana peel.