Bananas, an incredible source of nutrients that’s packed, wrapped and ready to go. Amongst all fruits, all being quite healthy, bananas stand out for their astonishing nutritional values.
Perhaps you’ve heard about trendy superfoods like Goji berries, acai berries and quinoa, they’re nutrient-rich and exotic, but bananas are superfoods too. And they’re even better than other superfoods because they’re inexpensive and you can find them everywhere.
Here are 11 evidence-based health benefits of bananas that will make you reconsider what superfoods are. Peel yourself a banana and read on.
Bananas aid digestion
For digestive purposes, the fiber in bananas is made of two critical components, pectin, which keeps the fruit together, and resistant starch, one that your body can’t digest.
Both dietary fibers can improve your digestion while aiding your body in absorbing other nutrients. Pectin and resistant starch give bananas their soft texture, and they’re also responsible for making the fruit so filling.
They can moderate blood sugar levels
The same dietary fibers that work in your digestive system can help your body control blood sugar levels. Bananas have a reasonably low glycemic value, which means that they take longer to digest preventing sugar spikes.
Unlike other fruits that provide immediate energy in the form of simple carbs, bananas release their energy slow and steady.
Bananas are an excellent source for antioxidants
Being part of the plant realm, it’s no surprise to know that bananas are excellent sources of antioxidants. You need antioxidants to fight scavenging free radical molecules that float in your bloodstream, damaging your body at a cellular level, causing several maladies, including premature aging and even some cancers.
The most important antioxidants in bananas are dopamine and catechins. The first one is better known as the mood-boosting hormone, acting this time as an antioxidant. The second one is the same potent antioxidant found in green tea.
Bananas Can Improve insulin sensitivity
Since bananas release their energy slowly, have a relatively low glycemic index and lots of dietary fiber, they can control your blood sugar levels. The fruits can boost your insulin sensitivity, which is vital if you’re monitoring your blood sugar and are prone to diseases like diabetes.
Interestingly, unripe bananas have more insoluble fiber than ripe ones and are better at improving insulin sensitivity.
Bananas keep your kidneys healthy
A few medical studies have found a connection between kidney disease and banana consumption. The more bananas you eat, the healthier your kidneys.
The major reason is, again, potassium, since the essential mineral controls your blood sugar and your hydration levels, both critical factors to keep your kidneys working stress-free.
Bananas are packed with potassium
We all know bananas are a super-rich source for potassium, a vital mineral that works at many levels in our bodies. This might be the yellow fruit’s more popular trait, but it’s just the beginning.
Potassium helps our bodies regulate fluids and aids in the connection between nerve cells. Blood pressure and hydration are directly linked to the mineral too.
Potassium plays a role in our muscles keeping them healthy. Remember, our heart is also a muscle, so potassium really does work at all levels.
It’s not only potassium
Bananas might have lots of potassium, but they’re also rich in other nutrients. One banana adds one-third of the vitamin B6 you need for the day, and 11% of your daily vitamin C intake. There are lots of other minerals present in bananas, including magnesium, copper and manganese.
Bananas are outstanding sources of fiber. One banana adds 3.1 grams of dietary fiber to your day, and they even have 1.3 grams of plant-based, high-quality protein.
All this nourishment in a filling snack
All this nutrition in a single banana means you should consider adding them to your daily meal plan, but there’s more. Bananas add very few calories to your diet, only 100, so bananas can nurture your body while keeping your weight in check.
All the fiber and protein in bananas make them satisfying, too, and that can help you feel satisfied, thus helping you achieve your weight loss goals.
Bananas are fantastic for athletes
Forget about energy bars. If you’re looking to get fit or build some muscle, bananas are the ideal snack before, during and after a workout.
Potassium in bananas will prevent muscle cramps, inflammation and soreness. They will also add energy without causing blood sugar spikes, and since they regulate your hydration as an electrolyte, you’ll be better hydrated while you exercise.
They keep you hydrated
As explained above, potassium, amongst other minerals, works as an electrolyte in our bodies, which balance our fluids. We all know electrolytes are vital when you’re exercising, but you might not know they also play a part in controlling your blood pressure and keeping you safe from hypertension.
Bananas provide nutrition where other foods can’t
The fact that bananas are portable, easy to peel, light and resistant, in other words, the perfect snack for on-the-go, is not to be underestimated.
None of us are getting the nutrition and hydration we need, that’s a fact. Carrying a banana around every day could easily solve that.
Who Knew Bananas Were So Healthy?
Easy to carry, bananas are the perfect lunch for office or school; they’re ideal after-workout snacks and are easy to cook and bake with too! Bananas can do it all, so let’s give our favorite tropical yellow fruit some love.
Share this valuable nutritional information with your loved one and don’t forget to stop for a few bananas on your way home!