This article presents the health benefits of eating bananas, backed up by scientific evidence and research by our weight loss doctor. All around the world, Bananas are readily available at a low cost, which makes them the ideal fruit to eat daily. The curvy yellow fruit has a wide variety of health benefits like reducing swelling, protection against developing Type 2 Diabetes, weight loss, and many more. We will discuss each of these incredible benefits of bananas in this article that will help you say fit and healthy. In addition to nutritional benefits, bananas are also a great snack food.
Bananas are Nutrient-rich
Bananas are mainly grown in Southeast Asia and some warm parts of the World. They are green when ripe and turn yellow as they mature. Bananas are fat-free, cholesterol-free, and virtually sodium-free. Banana contains many nutrients like Vitamin B6, Magnesium, Copper, Manganese, and protein. All of these excellent health benefits of bananas are linked to the presence of these nutrients.
Bananas are the best sources of Vitamin B6
Bananas are the best fruit sources of Vitamin B6. A medium-sized banana provides about a quarter of your daily vitamin B6 needs. Vitamin B6 helps in –
- to metabolize amino acids
- maintain a healthy nervous system
- removes unwanted chemicals from your liver and kidneys
- metabolize carbohydrates and fats to produce energy
- produce red blood cells
Vitamin B6 is also useful for pregnant women as it helps meet the baby’s development needs. So right from your birth, these surprising health benefits of bananas are ready to cater to your health needs.
Bananas help to moderate blood sugar levels
Bananas are rich in fibers like pectin and resistant starch. Pectin is responsible for the spongy structural form of a banana. Resistant starch is found in unripe bananas, which acts as a soluble fiber and escapes digestion. Both pectin and resistant starch moderate blood sugar level after meals and reduce appetite by slowing the emptying of your stomach.
Furthermore, bananas rank low to medium range on the Glycemic Index(GI), which is a measure of how quickly foods increase blood sugar levels. It is measured on a 0-100 scale. The GI value of unripe bananas is about 30, while it is 60 for ripe bananas. Thus, the average cost for bananas is taken as 51. This means that bananas should not cause significant spikes in blood sugar levels in healthy individuals.
People with Type 2 Diabetes should avoid eating a lot of well ripened bananas and should monitor their blood sugar level carefully, if they do.
Bananas improve digestion and Weight Loss
A medium-sized banana(118 gms) has about three gms of fiber, making it a relatively rich source of fiber. The health benefits of banana include relief from constipation, stomach ulcers, and heartburn.
Banana contains two types of fiber.
Decreases as the banana ripen. Additionally, some test-tube studies propose that pectin safeguards against colon cancer. The addition of prevention against cancer to the health benefits of bananas might make you start eating a banana from today.
Resistant starch is found in unripe bananas. It is a type of carbohydrate that does not digest in your small intestine and goes in the large intestine. It acts as a food for beneficial bacteria in your gut. Resistant starch helps you manage your weight better as you stay full for longer.
Banana helps gain weight
Banana + Milk = Weight Gain
An underweight person can quickly eat 5-6 bananas every day apart from regular meals without any indigestion. This diet increases your calorie intake to 500-600 calories per day, which is very necessary for weight gain.
Bananas Contain Powerful antioxidants
Bananas, similar to most fruits and vegetables, are excellent sources of antioxidants.
The commercial bananas(Musa Cavendish) contain gallocatechin and dopamine, which are potent antioxidants. These science-based benefits of bananas protect against environmental pollution, radiation, reduced risk of heart disease, and degenerative illnesses.
It is a common misunderstanding that dopamine from banana acts as a feel good chemical in your brain. In reality, dopamine does not have any hormonal or mood enhancing effect.
Bananas help build muscles
Bananas being a rich source of magnesium help with muscle contraction and relaxation as well as protein synthesis. This increases your lean muscle mass. Magnesium intake helps boost lipolysis, a process by which your body releases fat from its stores.
Another one of the fantastic benefits of banana is that it helps your muscles recover faster. Potassium in bananas is an electrolyte which helps your muscles recover from a workout and strengthens their development. People going to the gym should use these health benefits of bananas to build their muscles and achieve their fitness goals.
Banana is good for skin
Manganese in bananas helps to maintain healthy skin. A banana a day enables you to attain 13% of your daily manganese needs. Manganese helps make your body to produce collagen, which protects your skin from free radical damage.
Bananas Help in increasing memory and boosting mood
According to a study conducted in 2015, bananas contain tryptophan, an amino acid that studies suggest plays a role in enhancing memory and boosting your mood. Further vitamin B6 helps you sleep well, and magnesium helps relax muscles.
Bananas contain vitamin B9 that helps fight depression. The tryptophan, which is a precursor of serotonin, is a natural anti-depressant and can help treat anxiety and insomnia.
Bananas Strengthen Bones
Strengthening of bones is one of the essential benefits of bananas for athletes. Bananas contain fructooligosaccharide, a prebiotic which is a beneficial bacteria in our digestive tract. It boosts the intake of minerals and nutrients by our body. Bananas also enhance the absorption of calcium, which in turn increases the production and regrowth of bone matter in the body. Further, it reduces the chances of osteoporosis and natural weakness.
Bananas are good for heart health and blood pressure
Potassium and magnesium are essential for heart health and help control blood pressure. Regulation of blood pressure and heart health is a kind of health benefits of bananas for men and women that they crave for.
Bananas are a great source of potassium and magnesium. A potassium-rich diet helps lower blood pressure and lead to a 27% lower risk of heart disease. The low sodium and high potassium combination in bananas help to control high blood pressure.
Bananas Improve Kidney Health
Several studies show that people who eat bananas 4-6 times a week are 50% less likely to develop kidney disease than those who don’t eat. The presence of Potassium in bananas is the reason for its ability to improve kidney health.
A 13-year study in women determined that those who ate bananas 2–3 times per week were 33% less likely to develop kidney disease.
A study in 2005 showed that various antioxidants in banana help ease the strain on kidneys and encourage urination.
Unripe Bananas improve insulin sensitivity
Several studies reveal that resistant starch improves sensitivity to insulin by 33–50% in about four weeks. Unripe bananas are rich in resistant starch. Therefore, they may help improve insulin sensitivity.
However, there are some studies which don’t support this, and therefore, more research is needed on this topic.
Bananas are good for athletes
Bananas have amazing benefits for exercise and are often consumed by athletes, mainly due to their mineral content and easily digested carbs.
The health benefits of bananas for athletes include exercise-related muscle cramps and soreness, which affect up to 95% of the general population.
However, research gives mixed findings of about bananas being beneficial in muscle cramps, while some studies find no effect.
But bananas do provide excellent nutrition and are an essential part of pre and post-workout meals.
Bananas help fight against anemia
Anemia is a condition caused due to deficiency of red blood cells or hemoglobin in the blood. This leads to fatigue, shortness of breath, and paleness. Bananas are rich in iron and hence are suitable for those suffering from Anaemia. This is one of the health benefits of bananas for children who are more prone to suffer from anemia as they don’t eat healthy food.
Banana has anti-inflammatory properties
Studies suggest that the banana contains inflammatory compounds, that can reduce inflammation, swelling, and irritation from conditions like gout and arthritis.
Banana improves vision
Due to the presence of several antioxidants and carotenoids, bananas are beneficial for your eyes. Bananas boost the health of your eyes and decrease the chances of cataracts, macular degeneration, night blindness, and glaucoma. The health benefits of bananas are enormous, and improved vision might let you see them. Haha!!
Bananas give relief from piles(hemorrhoids)
The high fiber content in bananas makes it easier to pass stools. This smooth evacuation of bowels reduces strain and provides comfort to people with hemorrhoids.
Bananas help prevent ulcers
Bananas prevent ulcers by decreasing acid secretion in the stomach. The protease inhibitors in bananas eliminate germs that cause the development of stomach ulcers. This is one of the health benefits of bananas for men who tend to overeat spicy food that gets then into trouble.