Banana Benefits and Nutrition Facts
Bananas are one of the most universally consumed fruits on the planet. This long, curvy yellow fruit is no stranger to humanity. Today, bananas are grown in at least 100 countries and are one of the world’s highest food crops in monetary value. With so many people consuming so many bananas on a daily basis, it’s important that we break down this essential fruit to properly understand its nutritional value.
It’s no secret that this tropical yellow fruit boasts numerous health benefits, but just how extensive are those benefits? We are going to look at the potential health benefits of bananas, and explore the many essential nutrients packed inside these super fruits.
Are Bananas Good for You?
Bananas are extremely good for you, for many reasons! First, they are rich in antioxidants, which provide much-needed protection against free radicals, which we encounter every single day, from the radioactive sun rays to the moisturizer you put on your skin.
In addition, bananas are beneficial for your heart. They are loaded with potassium, an essential mineral electrolyte that promotes the flow of electricity throughout your body, which is needed to keep your heart beating.
The right amount of fiber in your regime is good for you, and bananas offer an adequate amount of it. An average-size banana provides approximately 3 grams of fiber, making bananas a fairly good fiber source.
Foods that are rich in fiber promote a feeling of satiation without having to eat too much. That alone makes bananas an excellent choice if you are trying to lose weight.
One serving of banana typically contains 100 calories and are naturally fat-free. Also, bananas provide an assortment of vitamins and minerals, including:
- Vitamin B6 – 0.5 mg
- Vitamin A: 81 IU
- Vitamin C: 9 mg
- Dietary Fiber: 3g
- Protein: 1g
- Potassium: 450 mg
- Iron: 0.3 mg
- Folate: 25.0 mcg
- Manganese: 0.3 mg
- Magnesium: 34 mg
- Riboflavin: 0.1 mg
- Niacin: 0.8 mg
What Are the Health Benefits of Bananas?
As aforementioned, bananas contain various vital nutrients and provide many health benefits. Some of these benefits are well-known, but others, not so much. Here are seven health benefits that bananas boast.
Bananas May Enhance Digestive Health
One of the most abundant nutrients found in bananas is dietary fiber. Dietary fiber has been associated with numerous health benefits, and one of the most notable is enhanced digestion.
As previously mentioned, an average-sized banana has approximately 3 grams of fiber; that amount is enough to help keep your bowels functioning at their best. Furthermore, it can also help keep your cholesterol and blood pressure in control and even help ease inflammation in some cases.
Bananas Are Rich in Antioxidants
Fruits are great sources of antioxidants, and bananas are no different. However, unlike most fruits, bananas contain many types of antioxidants, such as catechins and dopamine. These antioxidants are notably helpful in reducing the risks of heart disease and degenerative ailments.
Bananas May Help with Depression and Mood
Bananas can help to overcome depression due to high levels of tryptophan, which your body transforms to serotonin, the mood-elevating neurotransmitter. In addition, vitamin B6 promotes quality sleep, and magnesium supports muscle relaxation.
Bananas Are a Great Source of Energy
Bananas are more efficient and healthier than sports beverages! A study published in PLOS One observed athletes competing in long-distance cycling races. They compared competitors refueling with Gatorade every 15 minutes to the ones refueling with a banana and just water. Researchers noticed that the athletes’ performance times were identical in both situations. However, the serotonin and dopamine in the bananas increased the athletes’ antioxidant capacity and even helped with oxidative stress, enhancing overall performance.
Bananas Moderate Blood Sugar Levels
Bananas are abundant in pectin, a variety of fiber that gives the skin tissue its structural configuration. Unripe bananas also contain resistant starch, which has many benefits for metabolic wellness. When combined, both resistant starch and pectin may help manage blood sugar levels and even decrease appetite by delaying the emptying of the stomach.
In addition, bananas also rank relatively low on the glycemic index (GI), which is a measure from 0 to 100 of how fast foods increase blood sugar levels. The GI rate of unripe bananas is around 30, while ripe bananas rank at roughly 60. On average, all bananas are 51. What this suggests is that bananas don’t cause significant spikes in blood sugar levels.
Bananas Are Good for Eyesight
Bananas contain a tiny but meaningful amount of vitamin A, which is imperative for preserving your eyes, keeping 20/20 vision, and enhancing perception at night. Similarly to some other fruits, bananas can help avert macular degeneration, an untreatable illness, which blurs central vision.
Bananas Improve Bone Health
Bananas may not be packed with calcium like almonds and broccoli, but they are still beneficial in preserving strong bones. Bananas are abundant in fructooligosaccharides, which are non-digestive carbohydrates that promote digestive-friendly probiotics and improve the body’s capability to digest calcium.
Do Bananas Have Any Side effects?
No, however, eating bananas becomes a bit risky if you eat too many. The USDA recommends that adults consume about two bananas a day or less. In the most extreme cases, if you eat ten bananas every day, you may be at risk of very high vitamin and mineral intake. Furthermore, eating too many bananas and not keeping proper dental hygiene can lead to tooth deterioration.
Bananas are one of the most popular fruits that provide many health benefits. They may promote heart and digestive health due to their high antioxidant and fiber content. Additionally, they are a great way to lose weight as they’re low-calorie and nutrient-rich. Lastly, bananas are an excellent alternative to calorie-rich sweets.
Roots of Health is a wellness company dedicated to inspiring people to live their healthiest lives through our nutrient-rich products. All of our products are certified organic, kosher, gluten-free, non-GMO, vegan, and dairy-free.