Benefits of Bananas for good health
A Banana is an elongated edible nutritious fruit produced by a flowering plant in the genus Musa. The banana plant is indigenous to Southeast Asia and grown globally in warmer parts. The bananas exist in varying types and differ in size and shape. Bananas are usually green or yellow, with some varieties being red.
Key facts of banana
- Bananas are cheap and affordable, unlike other fruits
- Bananas are easy to digest, and their sweet taste makes them a favorite food for people of all ages
- Bananas are grown in more than a hundred countries with a tropical climate
- Bananas are among the most traded and consumed food globally
- In the United States, people consume more bananas compared to other fruits ,
Nutrition in Banana
A medium-sized 100grams banana consists of the following nutrients
- Carbohydrate-22.8 gms(grams)
- Protein-1.1 gms
- Sugar-12.2 gms
- Fat-0.3 gms
- Fiber-2.6 gms
Vitamins and minerals in banana
- Vitamin B6 helps in brain development
- It boosts the immune system
- Vitamin C protects the body from harmful free radicals, preventing cell damage.
- It also enhances the immune response in our body
- Vitamin A is good for our eyesight
- It helps the normal functioning of body organs
- Potassium lowers the blood pressure maintains the heart health
- It regulates blood sugar and blood pressure
- It helps maintain healthy bones
Bioactive compounds in banana
- Catechin is a polyphenol compound having antioxidant properties
- It protects the body against cell damage
- It reduces the risk of heart diseases
- Dopamine is a neurotransmitter in the brain.
- Dopamine in bananas acts as an antioxidant in the body
Benefits of Banana
The benefits of banana are as follows:
- Supports the digestive health
- Improves the blood sugar
- Helps with weight loss
- Supports heart health
- Helps prevent oxidative stress
- Keeps the stomach full
- Improves insulin sensitivity when unripe
- Improves kidney health
- Reduces post-exercise muscle cramps
Supports the digestive health
- Unripe green bananas contain pectin and resistant starch, they act as dietary fiber in the body
- They supports the growth of beneficial bacteria in the gut, soften stool, and prevents constipation
Improves the blood sugar
- Unripe bananas contain resistant starch that the body cannot digest. Resistant starch regulates the sugar levels after meals
- It also regulates hunger by slowing the digestion Thus, unripe bananas do not cause a significant increase in sugar levels despite their high carbohydrate content.
Helps with weight loss
- Bananas have very few calories.
- Resistant starch in unripe bananas keeps the stomach full and reduces appetite
Supports heart health
- Bananas contain potassium and flavonoids in high amount
- It maintains the blood pressure and reduces the risk of heart diseases
Prevents oxidative stress
- Bananas contain several types of antioxidants, such as amines and flavonoid.
- It nullifies the free radicals in the body and prevents cell damage
- It prevents the body from chronic diseases
Keeps the stomach full
- Bananas contain soluble fibers that add bulk to the digestive system
- It slow downs the digestion and reduces hunger
Improves insulin sensitivity when unripe
- Unripe bananas contain resistant starch
- It makes the body more responsive to sugar-regulating hormone
- It reduces the risk of diabetes
However, more research is warranted to prove the effect of bananas on insulin sensitivity.
Improves kidney health
- Bananas contains potassium. It regulates the blood pressure and slows the progression of kidney disease
- However, people with kidney malfunction must limit the intake of bananas to restrict potassium intake
Reduces post-exercise muscle cramps
- Bananas contain easily digested carbohydrates such as potassium, mineral, and magnesium that act as electrolytes in the body.
- Exercise causes loss of electrolytes through sweat, and eating bananas help recover the lost electrolytes
- It also helps decrease the muscle pain
Benefits of bananas for men
Helps in muscle building
- Banana contains tryptophan amino acid that helps produce and maintain muscle tissues
- Banana is rich in bromelain, potassium, and vitamin B. It helps the production of testosterone hormone in males
- Magnesium and manganese in banana improves the prostate health
- High carbohydrate in banana helps increase energy levels and improves blood circulation in the male reproductive organ.
- Bananas contain tryptophan amino acid and vitamin B6, which help produce the serotonin hormone.
- Serotonin is a hormone that boosts our mood
Benefits of bananas for women
- It improves the skin health
- It supports weight loss as it is low in calories
- It keeps the stomach full and makes one feel less hungry
- It satisfies the taste and keeps one healthy
Who should not consume Banana
People allergic to bananas or banana products
- Some people may experience hives, itching, swelling, or difficulty breathing while eating too many bananas.
- If such a reaction happens, one should immediately contact a healthcare professional, as severe allergic reactions can be life-threatening.
People with migraine headaches
- In some cases, eating too many bananas might trigger migraine headaches.
People on heart medication
- People with heart disease are prescribed beta–blocker medication to raise the potassium in the blood.
- Bananas also contain potassium. So eating too many might lead to excess potassium in the body, leading to fatigue, lightheadedness, and abnormal heartbeat.
People with kidney disease
- People with kidney problems should limit banana consumption. The kidneys in such patients cannot remove excess potassium in the body, which can sometimes be fatal
Are bananas safe for diabetes patients?
A medium banana contains 29 grams of carbohydrates. The carbohydrates are in the form of starch, sugar, and fiber
- Green bananas contain resistant starch. Resistant starches are long-chain glucose that is hard to digest in the upper digestive tract and thus won’t cause a rise in the sugar level.
- Yellow bananas contain more sugar and less amount of resistant starch. Thus, yellow bananas might cause the blood sugar level to rise in diabetic patients.
- Before buying, one should always check the product labels to ensure they do not contain added fat, salt, or sugar.
What is the right way of eating a Banana?
In daily diet
- There is no specific recommendation about the banana consumption per day however, taking one to two bananas is appropriate for most people with no health issues.
Bananas on an empty stomach
- Although bananas contain abundant fiber, potassium, and magnesium, the fruit is acidic at the same time.
- Consuming acidic food on an empty stomach can cause digestive issues. So, one must always avoid eating it on an empty stomach.
Tips for serving and eating bananas
- Mashing ripe bananas and adding them to baked items
- Adding sliced bananas to the morning breakfast cereal to make it nutritious
- Adding mashed bananas for natural sweetening to cookies and cakes
- Adding bananas to a fruit smoothie
- Taking a banana to the workplace or school to eat as a snack.
Other banana products
Some of the banana products available in groceries are as follows
- Banana chips
- Banana powder
- Plantain Chips
Plantain belongs to the banana family and needs to be cooked before eating. It is popular in Central America
- Banana is a popular nutritious food that most people love.
- Bananas can satisfy hunger and keep one healthy.
- Bananas are readily available and can be used in a variety of foods.
- Although banana has many potential health benefits, one must always keep in mind that it might not be suitable for everyone.