Bananas are one of the most popular and easily available fruits (even though they’re botanically classified as herbs too). They are filled with so many nutrients and come with a lot of benefits that you’d be tempted to think they should be expensive, but guess what? They’re one of the cheapest fruits around. Lucky us. But how many of us tap into all the wonderful benefits of eating this fruit/herb hybrid? Perhaps you’d be inclined to eat more bananas after reading about all the things to be gained from eating them.
Bananas provide potassium
Potassium helps to maintain a good heart and blood pressure, and bananas provide a reasonable amount of one’s daily needs of it. A normal sized banana could provide around 300-400mg of potassium which is about 10% of one’s daily potassium requirements.
Bananas are low in sodium content
Bananas are low in sodium content. The low sodium and high potassium content of bananas helps to control high blood pressure.
Bananas are rich in vitamins B6
Vitamin B6 is very important in the body as it helps in the production of red blood cells, the metabolism of amino acids, carbohydrates and fat, removal of unwanted chemicals from the liver and kidney and also to maintain a healthy nervous system. A normal sized banana has the potential to provide one-quarter of one’s daily vitamin B6 needs.
Bananas are fairly good sources of vitamin C
Bananas are reasonably good sources of vitamin C. Vitamin C helps to:
- Make the body absorb iron better
- Produce collagen (the protein which holds the skin, bones and body together)
- Protect the body against cell and tissue damage
- Produce serotonin (a hormone that affects our sleep cycle, moods, and experiences of stress, and pain)
Bananas are rich in dietary fibres and are fat and cholesterol free
The dietary fibres contained in bananas make digestion easier and beat gastrointestinal issues such as:
- Stomach ulcers
The riper they get, the easier they even are to get digested as they contain less resistant starches than less ripe bananas. So, the browner the better. We have soluble and insoluble dietary fibre. Soluble fibre helps your body control your blood sugar level by absorbing sugar slowly. It also gets rid of fatty substances such as cholesterol. Insoluble fibre adds weight and softness to stools, making it easier to have regular bowel movements.
Bananas contain manganese
Bananas contain manganese and manganese helps the body make collagen and it also protects one’s skin and other cells against free radical damage.
Bananas give energy
You probably saw this coming. Yes, bananas give energy, and I’m sure this is a fact that some of us would attest to. They are quick sources of energy at that. They contain three natural sugar – sucrose, fructose, and glucose. Eating a medium sized banana before an exercise gives you increased source of quick energy with which you can perform your exercise.
The benefits of eating bananas are great and everyone should avail themselves to the benefits. One could eat bananas every single day as it has no significant side effect if eaten moderately. If eaten excessively, it could increase the risk of consuming excessive vitamins and minerals. Excess vitamin C for example could lead to nausea, diarrhea, stomach cramps. Excess vitamin B-6 leads to a lack of muscle control or coordination of voluntary movement, nausea, sensitivity to sunlight and a reduced ability to sense pain or extreme temperatures amongst other things.
Even though it’s not set in stone, one or two bananas per day is considered moderate for most healthy people. The goal is not to overeat calories and not displace other foods that contain nutrients that you need as a result of your consumption levels of bananas because bananas don’t make a completely balanced meal or snack on their own as they are very low in protein and fat. So only eat bananas as part of a balanced diet that provides you with all the nutritional values you need.