Bananas are considered one of nature’s most perfect fruits. They contain an abundance of minerals and vitamins including potassium, B6, C & A, to mention a few and are high in fiber. Here are some different ways to include them in your meals.
They are the most exportable fresh fruit globally with many health benefits. Bananas are also in line with ‘zero-waste’ philosophy.
There are many health benefits to bananas.
1. Bananas are rich in potassium –
1 medium-size banana contains 9% of your recommended amount. Potassium is a key electrolyte for many functions in our bodies. Potassium helps maintain fluid levels in the body and regulates the movement of nutrients and waste products in and out of cells. Potassium also helps muscles to contract and nerve cells to respond. It keeps the heart beating regularly and can reduce the effect of sodium on blood pressure.
2. Fight Inflammation
In many traditional cultures, bananas have been used to promote wound healing such as for bug bites, minor burns, and sunburns. Bananas contain natural flavonoids, which act as antioxidants to reduce swelling, irritation, and inflammation. Quercetin is the predominant flavonoid found in bananas and is one of the most abundant antioxidants in the human diet.
3. Good for your heart
Due to the fact that bananas are rich in potassium, they are very good for your heart. The more potassium you eat, the more sodium you lose through urine.
High blood pressure is a leading cause of heart disease, and potassium helps control it by helping to ease the tension in your blood vessel walls. Less tension equals lower blood pressure, which means lower risk of heart disease.
4. Benefits your sugar level
The Glycemic index of banana is actually low having a glycemic index value of 51. Though bananas have a bad reputation in the diabetes community because they are high in carbs and natural sugars, but when you consider bananas as a whole, they’re not.
The Glycemic index is a number value assigned to foods based on how quickly they release glucose into the bloodstream. Foods with a low GI cause your blood sugar to rise gradually, not quickly, after eating them.
5. Contain Powerful Antioxidants
Bananas are high in several antioxidants, which may help reduce damage from free radicals and lower your risk of some diseases. It is a common misunderstanding that the dopamine from bananas acts as a feel-good chemical in your brain.
In reality, dopamine from bananas does not cross the blood-brain barrier. It simply acts as a strong antioxidant instead of altering hormones or mood.
6. Improves Kidney Health
Potassium is essential for blood pressure control and healthy kidney function. One 13-year study determined that those who ate bananas 2–3 times per week were 33% less likely to develop kidney disease. That’s one of the big health benefits of bananas.
7. Aids Digestion
Bananas contain insoluble fiber, which adds to the bulk of your stool and helps to move food through your digestive system.
A medium-sized banana has about 3 grams of fiber, making bananas a fairly good fiber source.
Bananas can help restore normal bowel functions after diarrhea by regulating fluids and restoring electrolytes. Eat less-ripe (green) bananas if you have diarrhea because the resistant starch in them helps to slow down bowel movements.
8. Fights Depression
Bananas can help increase levels in your brain of serotonin, a neurotransmitter that regulates mood and social behavior, as well as cognitive, sexual, and digestive functioning.
Depression is associated with low levels of vitamin B6, which is found in bananas.