9 Reasons to Eat a Banana Every Day...And 9 Awesome Uses for the Peel!  

I'm about to change the way you think about bananas.  Sure, you know they're yummy and they were probably one of the first solid foods you ever tasted as a baby, but did you know they can combat depression and relieve morning sickness?  Bananas pack an incredible punch of health benefits.  And stop trashing that peel!  Today I'm going to teach you how to use a banana peel to save money on everything from teeth whitening to polishing shoes.  

Why eat bananas?

1. To combat depression.  Bananas contain high levels of tryptophan, which is converted into serotonin inside the body.   Serotonin is a calming neurotransmitter that helps keep your mood elevated.

2. To prevent muscle cramps.  A medium sized banana contains around 450 mg of potassium, which aids in muscle and nerve function.  Potassium also balances your body's pH level and electrolyte levels.  So if you frequently experience muscle cramps, try having a banana before your workout or before bed.  

3.  To Lower blood pressure and prevent heart attacks/strokes.  Because bananas are high in potassium and low in salt, the FDA has officially labeled bananas as a food proven to help lower your blood pressure and protect your body from heart attacks and strokes.

4. To stay regular.  Bananas contain 2.5 grams of fiber, which picks up waste as it moves through your digestive tract then helps to push it out.  Aim for at least 25 grams of fiber a day to stay regular.  You will meet nearly 10% of your daily fiber needs by eating one banana a day.  

5. To lose weight.  Whether you are trying to lose weight or simply manage your weight, bananas will help you reach your goal.  The fiber helps you stay fuller longer and the natural sugar found in bananas will help curb your sweet tooth.  

6. To relieve heart burn.  Bananas are a natural antacid that will sooth heartburn and acid reflux.  

7. To reduce a fever.  Eating a banana naturally lowers your body temperature and keep you cool.  

8. To boost energy.  Bananas are loaded with vitamins and minerals, making them a natural energy booster.  Try eating a banana in the morning, before a workout or during your afternoon energy slump.  Bananas offer long-lasting energy without the crash that's associated with caffeine.  

9. To reduce PMS symptoms.  Eating a banana will replenish the nutrients lost during menstruation and stop cramps in their tracks.  

**Here's my best tip for incorporating more bananas into your diet:  Slice a banana, place in a plastic baggie, and store in the freezer.  Now you have frozen fruit ready to sweeten/thicken up a smoothie!  I also love to eat frozen banana slices between meals to curb my sweet tooth.  They are naturally sweet and make a very convenient snack!  (Photo Below)

Save that banana peel!  Here are some creative ways to use it:

1. Shoe Polish.  Rub the inside of a banana peel on leather shoes, bags or couches then buff off with a dry, white cloth.  Boom!  Natural shine and conditioner! 

2. Acne Cure.  The potassium in banana peels will suffocate the bacteria in a pimple, helping it to heal more quickly. Massage the inside of a banana peel over your face or whatever skin suffers from acne.  Wait 5 minutes then rinse off.  Do this every day night before bed for best results.  

3. Bug Bite Soother.  Tear off a small piece of a banana peel, rub the inside of the peel on the bite.  Let air dry, but do not rinse.  Repeat as often as needed for itch relief.  

4. Remove splinters.  Removing a splinter can be a painful task!  Put a piece of well-ripened banana peel over the splinter and secure with a bandage.  As the peel continues to ripen, it will produce enzymes that will pull the splinter out of the skin!  Amazing, right?  Leave the banana bandage on for at least ten minutes to work it's magic.  Some people leave the bandage on overnight.  

5. Diminish the appearance of wrinkles.  Rub the inside of a banana peel over your wrinkles to help diminish the appearance of wrinkles and prevent new lines from forming.  Banana peels contain antioxidants and Vitamin C, which will boost collagen production.  The peel will also exfoliate the skin to give you a youthful glow.  

6. Treat Psoriasis and Eczema.  Rub the inside of a banana peel over the affected area to remove the loose, flaky skin and nourish the skin with antioxidants.  The peel can be used up to 3 times for this purpose.  Store the peel in an airtight container or baggie and place in the fridge between uses.  

7. Tenderize Meat.  Banana peels are commonly used to tenderize meat in Asian dishes.  Simply wrap the meat with banana peels prior to cooking or leave the peel on while cooking.  

8. Eat it for incredible health benefits!  Many countries eat the peel along with the banana.  If that absolutely grosses you out, try frying it, juicing it or boiling it for ten minutes before consuming.  You can't juice bananas, but the banana peel can be juiced to get that yummy banana flavor along with the benefits associated with consuming bananas.  

9. Whiten your teeth.  Banana peels can be used to whiten the enamel of your teeth more gently than with traditional whitening products.  Just rub the inside of a banana peel on your teeth.  Leave for 5 minutes then rinse.  Do this daily for naturally luminous teeth :) 

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