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15 Surprising Uses for Bananas

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By Katie Waldeck, Care2 Healthy Living

Sure, most of us love to enjoy bananas for breakfast or, perhaps, a snack. But bananas have so much more going for them than just a delicious and nutritious treat. In fact, so many of the reasons bananas are great for other things beside eating has to do with their nutrients! Click through for clever ways to use bananas to tackle everything from insect bites to aphids.

Health & Beauty

1. Treat Damaged Hair. Care2's own Diana Herrington detailed Dr. Oz’s quest for the best damaged hair treatment out there. The results? Bananas! Click here to read Diana’s step-by-step guide treating your hair with bananas.

2. Whiten Teeth. Dying for some pearly whites? Rub banana peel on your teeth for about two minutes every time you brush and you’ll be well on your way to that perfect smile.

3. Prevent Wrinkles. Check out this recipe for a 3-time-a-week banana anti-aging mask!

4. Treat Insect Bites. Rub some banana peels on the bites to alleviate the itch.

5. Treat Warts. Bananas are rich in potassium, which is said to help treat warts.

6. Treat Bruises, Cuts, and Scrapes. Potassium also helps with the healing process for cuts, scrapes, and bruises.

7. Get Rid of Splinters. Can’t get that pesky splinter out of your skin? I feel your pain. Luckily, if you press banana peels onto the splinter, the fruit’s natural enzymes will work to get that sucker out.

8. Exfoliate Your Skin. Check out a great banana body sugar rub recipe here.

Home & Garden

9. Attract Birds & Butterflies. Like humans, birds and butterflies just love the taste of bananas. If you’d like to watch birds, leave a banana out.

10. Fertilize Your Plants. Dried ground banana peels make a fantastic mulch for seedlings and new plants.

11. Polish Leather & Silver. No need to invest in pricey, and often toxic, leather and silver cleaners. Instead, rub banana peels on the surface and buff with a cloth.

12. Combat Aphids. Nobody likes a damaged plant. Bury some cut up banana peels 2-3 inches deep around the base of the plant.

More Fun Ideas & Facts

13. Dog Treat. Bananas are a perfectly safe, and perfectly healthy, treat for your beloved pooch!

14. Purify Water. OK, this is perhaps best left to the professionals, but research has suggested that banana peels can actually absorb toxins in polluted rivers. But, if you ever find yourself lost in the woods with only a banana peel, you’ll be prepared!

15. Make “Ice Cream.” Craving the sweet stuff but don’t have the time, calories, or budget to spare? Simply blend a frozen solid banana in a food processor or blender. You’ll be surprised how much it tastes like soft-serve ice cream! For more info on frozen banana ice cream, click here.

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