There are volumes that can and have been written on why bananas are a fantastic fruit. They contain multiple essential nutrients and can aid in heart health, digestion, and weight loss. Aside from being nutritious, they make a tasty snack and usually they are cheap by the bundle.
In this guide, we will dig into why every vegan, vegetarian, carnivore, and omnivore should eat at least one a day.
1. Health Benefits of Bananas: Nutritional Facts
Did you know that bananas contain the following nutrients?
|Nutrient Type||Grams/RDI Percentage|
|Vitamin B6||36% of total RDI|
|Manganese||14% (of total RDI)|
|Vitamin C||11% (of total RDI)|
|Copper||10% (of total RDI)|
|Potassium||9% (of total RDI)|
|Magnesium||8% (of total RDI)|
Each banana holds approximately 105 carbs and consists of only carbs and water. Bananas have a small amount of fat and protein stored inside. The carbs in unripe bananas are made of both starch and resistant starch. Once it becomes ripe, the banana’s starch converts to sugar (fructose, glucose, and sucrose).
2. Can I Eat Bananas Before Exercising?
Bananas are a great source of carbohydrates, which is an important fuel for exercise. Because bananas are low on calories, you likely won’t ever feel a banana weighing down on your stomach after a workout. Alternatively, you can pair bananas with a protein-rich source like peanut butter because it refuels the glycogen stores in the post-workout phase for an added kick.
3. Digestive Health
As stated in the previous nutrition chart, each banana contains 3g of fiber. The fiber produced in bananas can be used to prevent bloating, constipation, and other digestive symptoms. Bananas aid the maintenance of the body’s bowel functions because it binds to the toxins and waste found in the digestive tract, which helps with excretion from the user’s body.
Based on a health study, fiber can be used to treat intestinal ulcers, hemorrhoids, gastroesophageal reflux disease, constipation, and diverticulitis.
4. Affordable, Healthy, and Convenient
Most medium-sized bananas contain 105 calories. Compared to high calorie or processed snack choices, bananas make a great snack on-the-go because they are full of fiber and nutrients. This makes bananas useful for anyone watching their calorie intake and is a great addition to a weight loss diet.
Also, while bananas are difficult to prepare, portion, and clean than other fruits like berries to enjoy as a snack, bananas don’t have to be refrigerated and are very portable. Bananas are also affordable, as they are one of the most inexpensive fruits you can buy, and even organic banana nutrition is affordable.
Try keeping a pair of bananas at your office desk, your gym bag, or even in your car as an emergency snack to prevent hunger once cravings strike. You can pair bananas with a healthy source of fat or protein such as oatmeal, Greek yogurt, and almond butter to help regulate blood sugar levels and maximize health benefits.
5. Health Benefits of Bananas: Weight Loss
Bananas are rich in dietary fiber, which is an important nutrient that keeps you feeling fuller. In fact, some studies have shown that a diet consisting of fiber-heavy fruits might be associated with increased weight reduction over time naturally. Because of this, bananas are recommended as a main ingredient in a weight loss diet for people seeking to shed off the extra pounds.
Since bananas are high in fiber and water content, your body will feel more full from eating less, especially when compared to eating processed food. Thus, bananas are a guilt-free option to please your sweet tooth without tampering with your weight loss diet.
6. Heart Health
Bananas are filled with nutrients to keep your heart strong and healthy. It includes healthy nutrients such as magnesium and potassium. Magnesium is an important nutrient as it helps regulate blood pressure, which reduces strain on your heart.
Having a diet rich in potassium can aid in reducing stroke while decreasing the risk of heart attack and coronary heart attack as well. Also, bananas are rich in magnesium, which is used for over 300 enzymatic reactions and is an essential component to heart health. Because of this, having low magnesium often correlates to diabetes, high blood pressure, as well as high levels of triglycerides and cholesterol.
7. Mood Enhancement
Bananas consist of tryptophan, which is used to produce “the happy chemical” known as serotonin. Having a healthy level of serotonin lifts your mood and is used to prevent mental disorders such as depression and anxiety.
Also, bananas have antioxidants that aid in releasing dopamine. Dopamine is another mood-enhancing hormone as it is released from the brain. Regularly eating bananas will help prevent fatigue, increase your energy, and release a healthy level of neurotransmitters (serotonin and dopamine) to help boost your mood.
8. Bananas Can Be Added to Any Diet
Bananas are one of the most convenient snack foods available. They make a great addition to smoothies, yogurt, and cereal. Also, you can use them as an alternative to sugar when cooking or baking.
Due to the bananas’ protective peel, they rarely contain pollutants and pesticides. Plus, they are easy to transport and eat.
9. Health Benefits of Bananas: Exercise Benefits
Bananas are great for athletes because of their easily digested carbs and mineral content. Eating bananas can help with reducing exercise-related muscle sores and cramps, which affects around 95% of the population.
While the reason for cramps is unknown, a popular theory states that it comes from an imbalance of electrolytes and hydration. However, studies found mixed results on muscle cramps and bananas. While some studies see them as helpful, others noticed no effects.
That being said, bananas provide an excellent source of nutrition before or after endurance exercises.
10. Insulin Sensitivity
Insulin resistance is a serious risk factor for the most serious diseases, such as type-2 diabetes. Studies show that having 15-30 grams of starch resistant foods per day will increase your insulin sensitivity to around 33–50% within a few weeks.
Unripe bananas are an excellent choice in resistant starch. Therefore, they can be used to boost insulin sensitivity.
Conclusion: Health Benefits of Bananas
To conclude, bananas are a healthy addition to anyone’s diet. Not only do they have the nutrition to help regulate your mood, improve your heart, and digestive system. But also, bananas are affordable, giving many the health benefits they need at a fraction of the cost.
So, don’t hesitate to try out incorporating bananas in your next diet plan as they can potentially enhance your life!