You’ll never look at the humble banana the same way again after discovering the many health benefits and reasons to add them to your diet.
They can help to combat depression, make you smarter, cure hangovers, relieve morning sickness, protect against kidney cancer, diabetes, osteoporosis, and blindness. Plus they can even cure the itch of a mosquito bite and put a great shine on your shoes.
Bananas are extremely healthy and delicious.
They contain several essential nutrients and provide benefits for digestion, heart health and weight loss.
Aside from being very nutritious, they are also a highly convenient snack food.
Bananas are known to reduce swelling, protect against developing Type 2 diabetes, aid in weight loss, strengthen the nervous system and help with production of white blood cells, all due to the high level of vitamin B6 that bananas contain.
Bananas are high in antioxidants, which can provide protection from free radicals, which we come into contact with every day, from the sunlight to the lotion you put on your skin.
Bananas Contain Many Important Nutrients
Bananas are among the world’s most popular fruits.
Native to Southeast Asia, they are now grown in many warm parts of the world.
Bananas vary in color, size and shape.
The most common type is the Cavendish, which is a type of dessert banana. Green when unripe, it yellows as it matures.
- Potassium: 9% of the RDI
- Vitamin B6: 33% of the RDI
- Vitamin C: 11% of the RDI
- Magnesium: 8% of the RDI
- Copper: 10% of the RDI
- Manganese: 14% of the RDI
- Net carbs: 24 grams
- Fiber: 3.1 grams
- Protein: 1.3 grams
- Fat: 0.4 grams
Each banana has only about 105 calories and consists almost exclusively of water and carbs. Bananas hold very little protein and almost no fat.
The carbs in green, unripe bananas consist mostly of starch and resistant starch, but as the banana ripens, the starch turns into sugar (glucose, fructose and sucrose).
Bananas Contain Nutrients That Moderate Blood Sugar Levels
Bananas are rich in pectin, a type of fiber that gives the flesh its spongy structural form.
Unripe bananas contain resistant starch, which acts like soluble fiber and escapes digestion.
Furthermore, bananas also rank low to medium on the glycemic index (GI), which is a measure from 0–100 of how quickly foods increase blood sugar levels.
The GI value of unripe bananas is about 30, while ripe bananas rank at about 60. The average value of all bananas is 51.
This means that bananas should not cause major spikes in blood sugar levels in healthy individuals.
However, this may not apply to people with type 2 diabetes, who should probably avoid eating a lot of well-ripened bananas and monitor their blood sugar carefully if they do.
Bananas May Improve Digestive Health
Dietary fiber has been linked to many health benefits, including improved digestion.
A medium-sized banana has about 3 grams of fiber, making bananas a fairly good fiber source.
Bananas contain two main types of fiber:
- Pectin: Decreases as the banana ripens.
- Resistant starch: Found in unripe bananas.
Resistant starch escapes digestion and ends up in your large intestine, where it becomes food for the beneficial bacteria in your gut.
Additionally, some test-tube studies propose that pectin may help protect against colon cancer.
Bananas May Aid Weight Loss
- No study has directly tested the effects of bananas on weight loss. However, bananas do have several attributes that should make them a weight-loss-friendly-food.
- For starters, bananas have relatively few calories. An average banana has just over 100 calories yet it is also very nutritious and filling.
- Eating more fiber from vegetables and fruits like bananas has repeatedly been linked to lower body weight and weight loss.
- Furthermore, unripe bananas are packed with resistant starch, so they tend to be very filling and may reduce your appetite.
Bananas May Support Heart Health
- Protect against muscle cramps during workouts and night time leg cramps by eating a banana.
- Counteract calcium loss during urination and build strong bones by supplementing with a banana.
- Improve your mood and reduce PMS symptoms by eating a banana, which regulates blood sugar and produces stress-relieving relaxation.
- Bananas reduce swelling, protect against type II diabetes, aid weight loss, strengthen the nervous system, and help with the production of white blood cells, all due to high levels of vitamin B-6.
- Strengthen your blood and relieve anemia with the added iron from bananas.
- High in potassium and low in salt, bananas are officially recognized by the FDA as being able to lower blood pressure and protect against heart attack and stroke.
Eating Bananas For Digestion
- Rich in pectin, bananas aid digestion and gently chelate toxins and heavy metals from the body.
- Bananas act as a prebiotic, stimulating the growth of friendly bacteria in the bowel. They also produce digestive enzymes to assist in absorbing nutrients.
- Constipated? High fiber in bananas can help normalize bowel motility.
- Got the runs? Bananas are soothing to the digestive tract and help restore lost electrolytes after diarrhea.
- Bananas are a natural antacid, providing relief from acid reflux, heartburn, and GERD.
- Bananas are the only raw fruit that can be consumed without distress to relieve stomach ulcers by coating the lining of the stomach against corrosive acids.
For Natural Healing From A Simple Banana
- Eating bananas will help prevent kidney cancer, protects the eyes against macular degeneration and builds strong bones by increasing calcium absorption.
- Bananas make you smarter and help with learning by making you more alert. Eat a banana before an exam to benefit from the high levels of potassium.
- Bananas are high in antioxidants, providing protection from free radicals and chronic disease.
- Eating a banana between meals helps stabilize blood sugar and reduce nausea from morning sickness.
- Rub a bug bite or hives with the inside of the banana peel to relieve itching and irritation.
- Control blood sugar and avoid binging between meals by eating a banana.
- Eating a banana can lower the body temperature and cool you during a fever or on a hot day.
- The natural mood-enhancer tryptophan helps to relieve Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).
- Quitting smoking? Bananas contain high levels of B-vitamins as well as potassium and magnesium to speed recovery from the effects of withdrawal.
- Remove a wart by placing the inside of a piece of banana peel against the wart and taping it in place.
- Rub the inside of a banana peel on your leather shoes or handbag and polish with a dry cloth for a quick shine.