Did you know that the riper a banana is, the healthier it is for your body?
Dark patches not only increase their cancer-fighting antioxidants, but the bananas also have other incredible benefits!
If you are feeling sluggish, eat a banana for an instant energy boost.
Rich in potassium, fiber and natural sugars, this fruit contains diverse nutrients essential for a healthy body.
These are some of the many health benefits that bananas offer you.
Read on to discover lots more!
1. A Nutrient Powerhouse
Bananas top the list of the world’s most favourite fruits and are rich in fiber, antioxidants and nutrients.
They come with many vitamins including potassium, magnesium, calcium, and B6, which add to your body’s proper functioning.
High in antioxidants, they protect against free radicals, chronic diseases and help boost immunity to colds through Vitamin C.
Their soluble fiber slows down digestion, keeps you feeling full longer and makes them superb for breakfast.
The high potassium content helps to regulate the heartbeat, blood pressure, as well as maintain an alert brain.
Eating bananas will help you prevent kidney cancer, avoid blurred vision and build strong bones.
Add banana to your cereal to enhance its nutrition levels or sweeten cakes naturally using ripe bananas.
2. A Healthy Snack.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Americans eat more bananas than any other fruit per year, including apples!
Wonder why? A banana has approximately 105 calories and a low glycemic index (GI), making it an excellent snack.
Bananas are delicious, portable, and affordable and come neatly packed in their yellow casing — how convenient!
The perfect pre-workout snack, their vitamins, minerals, and easily digested carbs give you high energy and sustain your blood sugar.
Additionally, they may help reduce muscle cramps and soreness, thus supply excellent nutrition before, during and after endurance workouts.
Bananas contain three natural sugars; sucrose, glucose, as well as fructose which provide you with fat and cholesterol-free energy.
How to eat them? Add them to your yogurt, smoothie or peel and eat.
3. Stabilize Blood Sugar Levels
Though sweet, bananas have a low GI glycemic index (GI) hence, they don’t cause sugar spikes.
Since fiber balances the sugar content in bananas, it helps maintain healthy blood glucose levels.
People with diabetes can enjoy a banana too, according to the American Diabetes Association.
However, those with type 2 diabetes should limit their banana intake or carefully track their blood sugar if they do.
Bananas are rich in pectin, which may moderate your blood sugar and reduce appetite.
Eat a banana between meals to help you stabilize your blood sugar.
4. May Improve Digestive Health
Bananas have two types of fiber —soluble and insoluble — in addition to high levels of pectin.
Soluble fiber can help to control blood sugar levels and lower cholesterol while insoluble fiber regulates bowel function.
The above helps to keep your gut healthy, pathogen-free, prevents constipation and helps relieve heartburn.
Potassium helps maintain body fluid levels and regulates the movement of nutrients and waste products.
Pectin helps soothe the digestive tract hence aids digestion, besides binding toxins and heavy metals from the body.
Bananas also contain probiotics which stimulate the growth of probiotics (friendly gut bacteria).
Research suggests that probiotics may boost digestion, reduce your cold, and assist in weight loss.
5. Help in Weight Loss
The Japanese Morning Banana Diet involved eating unlimited bananas and was so popular that it caused a banana shortage!
If you are on a low-carb diet, then banana is your friend — an average banana has approximately 90 calories only.
Since they have relatively few calories, the yellow fruits are linked to lower body weight and weight loss.
Furthermore, their high soluble fiber helps keep you feeling full, thus reduces your appetite by curbing your cravings.
Bananas are rich in vitamins and fiber besides being fat and cholesterol-free, which boosts your weight loss goals.
Resistant starch found in newly ripened bananas helps you manage your weight since you stay full longer.
If dieting, a low-glycemic food will help you control hunger, avoid overeating and help stabilize your blood sugar levels.
6. Support a Healthy Heart
With a medium-sized banana containing up to 400-plus mg of potassium, bananas in your diet may help prevent high blood pressure.
High in potassium but low in salt, the FDA recognizes bananas’ ability to lower blood pressure and shield against heart attack.
By blocking cholesterol absorption, they keep blood cholesterol levels low while their soluble fiber reduces the risk of heart disease.
Potassium helps in the delivery of oxygen to the brain, which helps maintain a regular heartbeat and controls blood pressure.
It helps eliminate sodium when you pass urine besides relaxing your blood vessels which helps lower blood pressure.
Low potassium leads to high risk of blood pressure and kidney stones, weakness, tiredness, and muscle cramps.
A University of Leeds study maintains that increased consumption of foods rich in fiber can lessen the risk of heart disease.
7. Act as a Natural Laxative
Are you feeling constipated? Eat bananas, and such stomach challenges may just become a distant memory.
Well-ripened bananas have a fiber that helps restore and maintain regular bowel functions.
According to a 2014 Chinese study published in the Journal of Medicinal Food, they improve the passage of waste through the bowels,
Thus, bananas can help you fight digestive system issues such as heartburn, constipation and stomach ulcers
A running tummy, perhaps? Bananas will soothe your digestive tract and help restore lost electrolytes.
A natural antacid, bananas ease heartburn, indigestion as well as acid reflux and may even prevent colorectal cancer.
They are a natural remedy for piles since their fiber eases the passing of stool while the laxative effect prevents strain.
8. A Remedy for Hangover
Bananas’ natural ingredients and their ability to replenish the body’s vitamins make them ideal for reducing hangover effects.
The fruit calms the stomach, digests quickly and provides welcome relief.
If throwing up, a banana is the speediest way to restore potassium into your system.
Gentle on the stomach, they will also replace electrolytes lost during heavy drinking.
Bananas contain lots of magnesium which relaxes blood vessels and eases headaches in some people.
For a quick remedy, blend a banana with plain yogurt and add some honey.
9. Help Soothe Stomach Ulcers
Since bananas increase mucus in the digestive tract, they help in healing or preventing stomach ulcers.
The above is according to alternative health researcher and chiropractor David Williams, D.C.
By forming a protective coating around the inner walls, they help lessen irritation in the digestive system.
Thus, they naturally promote intestinal health and defend the stomach from acids.
Because they help neutralize acidity, they’re a fantastic way to get rid of heartburn too.
Acting as a natural antacid, they quickly soothe the burn.
10. Help fight Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS)
The irritability, cramping and bloating that occurs every month to many women is a killjoy.
However, there’s a reason to smile, as luckily, a remedy exists.
Forget the chips and chocolate and instead reach for bananas.
Rich in vitamin B6 and potassium, they can stop you from retaining water and reduce bloating.
Potassium helps reduce cramps before and after the menses, while iron combats fatigue linked to PMS.
Too little potassium can lead to muscle cramping — definitely not what you want when menstrual cramps hit.
How to Eat Your Banana
For a healthy diet, enjoy your banana in any of the below ways:
· Include them in your breakfast cereal or oats.
· You can freeze bananas and add to your smoothie for a delicious taste.
· Replace oil and butter with a banana in your cooking.
· Ripe bananas may be added to cakes or muffins to give them a yummy taste.
· Peel and eat as is.
The Bottom Line
Bananas are among the most loved fruits in the world and for a good reason too.
They provide many health benefits besides being readily available at a pocket-friendly cost.
Eating bananas could help lower blood pressure, boost digestion, keep your heart healthy and reduce digestive problems.
They may even aid weight loss and are a great way to satisfy your sweet tooth.
When compared with apples they come up trumps as they have 5x the vitamins, 4x the protein, and 2x the carbohydrates!
These incredible benefits will make you desire to have the sweet and delicious fruit in your daily diet!
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