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6 Reasons You Should Never Throw Out Banana Peels

If you’ve been throwing a banana peel straight in the trash, you haven’t been taking advantage of its home and health uses.

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Peeling a bananaAlliance/Shutterstock

They’re edible

You’d probably never think to take a bite out of a thick, bitter peel, but people in other parts of the world actually do use them in cooking. “It 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 tells Live Science. Wash the skins and boil them for at least ten minutes to soften up the texture. You can also blend raw peels into these fruit smoothie recipes.

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Roasted lime chickenTaste of Home

They’ll keep your meat tender

Not into eating the banana peel itself? Next time you roast skinless chicken breasts, throw a banana peel into the pan before putting the meat on top. The peel will keep your meat from drying out so your poultry is tender when you dig in. Don’t miss this other household staple that has many unexpected uses.

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Leather shoesShutterstock / Vladislav Gurfinkel

They’ll polish your shoes

Bananas might be famous for their potassium, which also happens to be a key ingredient in shoe polish. Some say this is why the peels make for a cheap cleaning hack. Get rid of any extra strings from the inside of the peel, then use the inside to rub your shoes. Once the leather is up to snuff, buff your shoes with a paper towel. Viola! Good-as-new shoes without the smelly chemicals. Here’s how to get gum out of almost anything, including shoes.

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Potting plantShutterstock / santypan

They’ll help your garden

Gardeners like to keep banana peels around for a few different reasons. Burying some cut-up peels with your plants will feed nutrients to the plants. Plus, when you dig them an inch underground, the peel pieces will encourage pesky aphids to leave your garden alone.

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Growing mint leavesShutterstock / Pefkos

They’ll clean up your plants

Just like any home accessory, indoor plants can get an unattractive layer of dust on them. Sliding the inside of a banana peel over the leaves will lift the dust so your plants look healthier. Unlike a spritz of water, the peel will actually remove the dirt instead of just pushing it around. You’ve probably been removing the peel wrong, though—find out the best way to peel bananas.

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Itching armsShutterstock / Kaspars Grinvalds

They’ll ease your pain

study in the Journal of the Medical Association of Thailand found that banana peel extracts had anti-inflammatory properties. That could be why some say pressing the peel against a bug bite, poison ivy rash, or sunburn can provide some relief. When the itch or pain is killing you, the cheap health hack is worth a try. Here are more home remedies for poison ivy you’ll want to try ASAP.

Reader's Digest
Originally Published on Reader's Digest