Did you know that bananas are a nutritious fruit that offers a ton of health benefits to the body? Whether consumed directly or used as an ingredient in shakes, juices, and salads, these tropical fruits can help support a variety of important bodily functions and protect your different vital organs and systems.
If you want to be strong, healthy, and disease-free for a long time, you should make bananas a constant part of your daily diet. Below are reasons why you should do that now:
1. Bananas are rich in essential nutrients
Bananas are an excellent source of many different essential vitamins and minerals. According to the United States Department of Agriculture, they are loaded with dietary fiber, carbohydrates, potassium, protein, vitamin B6, vitamin C, and folate. They also contain some sodium, niacin, riboflavin, pantothenic acid, copper, magnesium, calcium, phosphorus, and manganese. And, if you are trying to lose weight and/or maintain a healthy weight, they can be a big part of your fitness goals as they have zero fat and cholesterol content.
2. Bananas can help lower blood pressure levels
Bananas contain potassium, which is an essential nutrient that is key to reducing blood pressure. If your body has sufficient potassium levels, the tension in your arteries and veins are kept low, allowing blood to circulate and flow through your body properly. With enhanced blood circulation and flow, oxygen can also be delivered to your various organs, enhancing their efficiency and function.
3. Bananas can help in blood sugar management
Bananas are loaded with pectin and resistant starch, which are two compounds that can moderate your body’s sugar levels after you eat and can slow down the emptying of your stomach by decreasing your appetite. Several studies have also found that bananas are one of the lowest-ranked foods on the glycemic index or GI, which means that it is much slower in causing an increase in blood sugar levels compared to other kinds of foods.
4. Bananas can help in weight loss
Bananas contain few calories, just a little more than 100 calories per piece, so it is considered a good diet and weight-loss food. It also has fiber, so it can aid in reducing body fat and weight. And, if you eat unripe bananas, you can get more resistant starch, which is a substance that can make you feel full quite fast and helps you eat a lot less food.
5. Bananas can help prevent constipation
Bananas are high in dietary fiber, so they can enhance your bowel function. The substances found in them contribute to a smooth excretion process, lowering your risk of constipation. In addition to that, several research studies have found that regular consumption of bananas can give your body a good amount of friendly gut bacteria that can improve your digestive function, and reduce your risk of colon cancer and other gastrointestinal-related disorders.
6. Bananas can enhance mood and memory
Bananas are a good source of amino acids and antioxidants that support mood and memory. In one study, the findings showed that the amino acid called tryptophan and the antioxidant called dopamine found in bananas play key roles in improving your mood and sharpening your memory. Moreover, the magnesium and vitamin B6 in bananas has been found to have a hand in keeping your muscles relaxed and helping you get enough sleep every night.
7. Bananas can aid in diabetes management
Bananas have high concentrations of pectin, which is a naturally occurring nutrient that has been found to have a positive effect on the glucose levels of people with diabetes. In one research study, it was revealed that pectin in bananas can improve a diabetic person’s glucose tolerance, preventing buildups of glucose in the bloodstream and blood sugar spikes that can cause severe and long-term damage the nerves, blood vessels, and vital organs.
8. Bananas are great for cardiovascular and heart health
Bananas are an excellent source of potassium, which is an essential mineral that plays an important role in cardiovascular and heart function. If you eat one average-sized banana a day, you can get about 9% of your recommended daily potassium requirement. With sufficient potassium in your body, you can better manage your blood pressure levels, and reduce your risk of cardiovascular and heart disease by as much as 27%. Bananas can also supply your body with a good amount of magnesium, which is another essential nutrient that can improve your blood pressure and protect you against heart disease.
9. Bananas are good for the kidneys
Bananas are rich in potassium, which is an essential nutrient that is not only good for heart health but also for kidney function. There was a study that found that women who consumed 2 to 3 average-sized bananas a week showed a 33% reduced risk of kidney disease, and those who ate 4 to 6 averaged-sized bananas a week showed a 50% reduced risk of kidney disease.
10. Bananas reduce the risk of muscle soreness and cramps
Bananas are an excellent source of carbohydrates and minerals that can help protect you against soreness and cramps after exercising or working out. They are often described as the perfect food for sportspeople or athletes because of their high mineral and carb content, which helps in maintaining electrolyte balance in your body and preventing dehydration. To avail of these benefits, you should make sure to eat bananas before, during, and after engaging in any kind of exercise.
Recommended amount of bananas to eat per day
Your body needs a wide assortment of nutrients to carry out its functions properly. Therefore, your diet should consist of a variety of foods from each of the different food groups. You should not eat the same thing over and over, as doing so limits the kinds of nutrients that your body gets. If you like bananas, a good amount is between 1 and 3 per day. Make sure to include nutritious fruits and vegetables, foods that contain healthy proteins and good fats, and others too.