Bananas are produced in abundance and you can get it any time of the year. It is an excellent source of a number of vitamins and minerals. It is packed with fiber and antioxidants that help to make you feel full for a long time and also get rid of the free radicals in the body. It is extremely nutritious and is one of the most convenient snacks to have. It offers lots of health benefits and those are discussed below:
1. Powerhouse of Nutrients
Bananas are full of important nutrients, antioxidants, and fiber. It is loaded with potassium, iron, folate, magnesium, riboflavin, etc. that helps in the proper functioning of the body. Here are some nutritional facts you should know about bananas:
- Potassium in bananas helps to maintain blood pressure and heartbeat, keep your brain healthy, and make your bones stronger. It also regulates the movements of nutrients in and out of cells.
- Bananas contain vitamin B6 that helps to produce red blood cells, metabolize amino acids, maintain a healthy nervous system, produce antibodies to fight diseases and help to get rid of unwanted chemicals from kidneys and liver.
- It contains vitamin C that helps to protect the body from cell and tissue damage, produce collagen and keep the brain healthy.
- It has manganese that protects the skin from damage against free radicals.
- It contains powerful antioxidants like Catechins and Dopamine that help to reduce the risk of heart attack and degenerative illnesses.
- It is rich in fiber that supports regular bowel movements and helps to maintain good digestive health.
- Antioxidants present in bananas help to battle the free radicals in the body and lower the risk of blood pressure.
- It contains calcium that helps in muscle contraction and bone growth.
With so many health benefits, it is essential that you include bananas in your regular diet. You will be able to lead a healthy life by getting protection from various diseases.
2. Helps to Lose Weight
Bananas are rich in fiber that helps to slow down digestion and keeps you full for a long time. So, you will consume fewer calories that will help to lose weight.
- Pectin in bananas reduces appetite by slowing down the emptying of the stomach and limits the absorption of fat by the body. Therefore, it will help you in your weight loss mission.
- Choline in bananas acts on the genes that are responsible for the fat storage in the abdomen and so helps to burn fats.
- The resistant starch in bananas can increase the post-meal fat burn considerably.
It is a less known fact that the smell of bananas helps to suppress appetite. So, if you are hungry, smelling bananas can trick your brain into thinking that you have eaten a banana. Thus, you will eat less and lose weight.
3. Controls Diabetes
Bananas contain pectin and the unripe bananas contain resistant starch which helps to maintain blood sugar levels after meals.
- Bananas have a low Glycemic index that prevents spikes in blood sugar levels.
- It can improve insulin sensitivity and help to control the symptoms of type 2 diabetes.
- It slows down the absorption of sugar from banana to the bloodstream and so helps to keep the blood sugar level in control.
If you are suffering from type 2 diabetes, then you should eat unripe bananas more than well-ripened bananas in order to maintain your blood sugar levels.
4. Good for Heart Health
As banana is a high-fiber food, it is very good for the heart as it can lower the chances of coronary heart disease and cardiovascular disease.
- Bananas contain low salt content and high potassium content that helps to prevent high blood pressure and thus reduces the chance of heart diseases.
- Vitamin C and B6 present in bananas are also good for heart health.
- It is packed with potassium that helps to keep the electricity flowing throughout the body and thus helps to keep the heart beating.
- It also helps to prevent your arteries from getting hardened.
Bananas are rich in useful vitamins and minerals that are good for the heart. So, you can reduce the chances of heart problems by consuming banana regularly.
5. Helps Fight Anemia
Anemia can lead to fatigue, shortness of breath, paleness, etc. and lead to serious diseases. Bananas are rich in iron and, as a result, are good for people who are suffering from anemia.
- It stimulates the production of hemoglobin in the blood.
- Vitamin B6 present in bananas helps to regulate blood glucose levels and helps people who are suffering from anemia.
Iron is responsible for transferring oxygen to our cells. Deficiency in iron will cause weight loss and slow down metabolism. So, you should consume bananas regularly to fight anemia.
6. Helps Fight Cancer
Consuming bananas regularly can reduce the chances of childhood leukemia. It can also prevent other types of cancers.
- Bananas contain vitamin C that helps to fight the free radicals that may cause cancer.
- The high fiber content in bananas lowers the risk of colorectal cancer.
- High levels of antioxidant Phenolic compounds in bananas can prevent kidney cancer.
- It contains Delphinidin that has anti-tumor properties.
Cancer is a deadly disease and one of the easiest ways to prevent it is including bananas in your regular diet.
7. Digestive Health
If you are suffering from diarrhea, then eating a banana can ease your condition. During diarrhea, electrolytes like potassium are lost in huge amounts and eating bananas can help to restore the lost potassium content in the body.
- Bananas contain both soluble and insoluble fibers. The soluble fibers help to get rid of cholesterol and control blood sugar level and the insoluble fiber adds softness to stools helps to promote regular bowel movements.
- Bananas have a sweet and sour taste. According to Ayurveda, the sweet taste gives a sense of heaviness, so you won’t feel hungry for a long time and the sour taste stimulates digestive juices that help in building up metabolism.
- It also keeps the gut safe from harmful bacteria.
- It can help to beat gastrointestinal problems like constipation, stomach ulcers, etc.
- It contains Prebiotics that improves digestion by acting as food for good gut bacteria, and so you can prevent diseases like IBS.
- It is an all-natural detox and rich in Pectin that sticks to the toxic compounds like mercury in the blood and takes them out of the body through urine.
- It is easy to digest, and so doesn’t cause any irritation in the gastrointestinal tract.
Bananas help to slow down the speed of digestion by soothing the digestive tract and so prevent any problems related to digestion. It can also restore the lost minerals after diarrhea and therefore, you must have bananas if you have diarrhea. As it is easy to digest, it is one of the first solid foods that are introduced to babies.
8. Improves Brain Health
Bananas contain the amino acid Tryptophan that helps in preserving memory and boosting mood. It can help you overcome depression as Tryptophan is converted to Serotonin which is the mood-elevating brain neurotransmitter. Tryptophan also has sleep-inducing properties.
- Magnesium in bananas help to relax the muscles and vitamin B6 helps you to sleep well.
- Vitamin B9 can help fight depression by letting serotonin, a feel-good chemical, to get into the brain faster.
- Serotonin in a banana can help to treat insomnia and anxiety. It can also deal with mood issues like agitation, irritability, anger, etc.
- Norepinephrine in bananas helps to regulate stress, promote a positive mood and so prevents depression.
If you are suffering from depression, anxiety or other mental disorders, then eating banana can help you feel relaxed and stress-free.
9. Improves Vision
Bananas contain vitamin A that helps to protect the eyes in a number of ways and these are discussed below:
- Banana helps to maintain normal vision and improve vision at night as well.
- It helps to preserve the membranes that are around the eyes and brings light to the corneas.
- Lutein in bananas helps prevent macular degeneration.
- It contains vitamins A and C that are both antioxidants which are good for the eyes.
Beta carotene, Lutein and vitamin E in bananas are eye-healthy and so you can prevent a number of diseases that can disrupt your normal vision.
10. Improves Athletic Performance
Athletes often have sports drinks to replenish energy and electrolytes. But you can get the same benefits by eating bananas.
- The Serotonin and Dopamine present in bananas improve the antioxidant capacity of the athletes and helps to improve their performance.
- It can also reduce muscle cramps and soreness related to exercise.
- It provides great nutrition during and after endurance exercise.
- If you eat a banana after your workout, it will replenish the energy stores that get depleted during a strenuous workout session.
- It boosts the muscles and provides nutrients and antioxidants naturally.
- They don’t contain any cholesterol or fat and contains very little amount of sodium and so is very good for maintaining good health.
You will see that the marathoners eat a banana during and after the race. As it is rich in glucose, it is easily digestible and provides the optimal energy for the marathoner to run. Bananas are considered to be the perfect food for the athletes.
You can eat bananas raw or make refreshing smoothies with it. When you buy bananas, make sure that you pick those that are slightly firm. As bananas ripe very quickly, it’s better to buy them in small quantities so that you can eat them fresh. Banana is usually taken as breakfast and they are great for the children and adults as well. It is also very beneficial for pregnant women as it prevents gestational diabetes. One of the major reasons for gestational diabetes is lack of sleep and banana contains Tryptophan and Magnesium that helps to ensure a good night’s sleep. So, everyone should include bananas in their regular diet to get amazing health benefits from it.