The average American throws away a lot of food each year. The NRDC reports that the average American family of four throws the equivalent of about $2,275 worth of food into the trash each year. That’s about 50 percent more waste than that same family would have had back in the 1970s. We’re more wasteful than ever, but that doesn’t mean we have to be like that.
There are lots of tips and tricks to be more frugal and do more with your food. From using egg shells for fertilizer in your garden or saving coffee grounds to spread on your lawn, we can be less wasteful with our foodstuff.
But you probably never thought the little strings on bananas had any use at all. Today we’re here to tell you that you should never throw away those strings again.
While those strings on the banana do not seem necessary, they’re actually packed with nutrition and among the best part of the fruit for you. You probably didn’t know that the banana strings have a more official name called phloem bundles. And these guys are packed with nutrition and healthy goodness.
When you chow down on phloem bundles, you’re giving your body a boost of Vitamin A, Vitamin B6, Fiber, and lots of potassium. Bananas are not the only thing with these phloem bundles – they’re found in all plants. And they transport vital nutrients to various parts of the plants to produce steady growth.
You can use phloem bundles to judge how ripe a fruit is. When the nutrients have not be distributed completely, phloem bundles remain tightly attached to the fruit, because they have a job to do. If it is hard to peel those strings off the banana, then the fruit was not yet ripe.
While you most certainly should be eating the phloem bundles (if you care about getting nutrients), there is another part of the banana that you should not ignore. Yes, it is the peel. And we don’t mean just not to throw these out, but you should eat them too. Yes, the banana peel is edible – and PACKED with nutrients that most often go unused.
You’ll enjoy lots of Vitamin B6 and B12 inside the peel. They’re also loaded with potassium and magnesium. You can’t go wrong by eating the entire banana, peel and all. The banana’s skin also has protein and fiber, essential nutrition for your digestive tract and musculature.
We understand that no matter how much we write about the banana peel’s benefits, you’ll probably not indulge. But that’s just an American thing. People in other countries eat the banana peel all the time – like those who live in India.
But it might be a stretch to convince Americans to try the banana peel – I’m not jumping at the opportunity either. But you most certainly should no longer throw away the phloem bundles or those banana strings. Remember, they’re loaded with the good-for-you nutrients you want. Stop wasting them and start treating your body right.