That Doctors Won’t Tell You
Bananas, those fresh, adaptable, and budget-friendly fruits, hold a treasure trove of essential nutrients that can contribute to weight management, improved digestion, and a healthier heart.
Bananas are like nutritional powerhouses, loaded with stuff that’s good for your heart, helps with blood pressure, and can even brighten your mood. But, like with anything, we should be aware of some possible issues too.
Eating bananas might help bring down blood pressure and could lower the chances of getting cancer.
Let’s talk about the good things bananas can do for your health, such as making your heart happy and keeping things regular. At the same time, we’ll look at some potential health problems that experts have connected to bananas.
Health Benefits Of Bananas
Bananas are rich in potassium and offer a good dose of protein and fiber, which are good for your health. We’ll break down some of the ways bananas can be good for you.
The info about what’s in bananas comes from the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Food Data Central database.
The daily guidelines for what adults need, according to the 2015–2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, are kind of like general suggestions. Keep in mind, these can vary based on how old you are and whether you’re a guy or a girl.
The American Heart Association (AHA) suggests cutting back on salt and eating more foods with potassium to help manage blood pressure. Bananas are a good source of potassium, which is helpful for your heart.
According to the info from the sources mentioned earlier, eating a medium banana can give you about 9% of the potassium you need in a day.
In 2007, a study said that eating bananas might help kids with asthma by preventing wheezing. It’s thought that the antioxidants and potassium in bananas could be the reason. But, we need more research to be sure.
Some lab studies hinted that a protein called lectin in bananas might stop leukemia cells from growing.
Lectin also acts like an antioxidant, helping the body get rid of harmful molecules called free radicals. Too many free radicals can lead to cell damage and maybe even cancer.
In 2004, researchers noticed that kids who had bananas or orange juice had a lower chance of getting leukemia. They thought it might be because of the vitamin C in bananas, which is also an antioxidant.
Bananas have fiber, potassium, folate, and antioxidants like vitamin C – all things that help keep your heart in good shape.
A review from 2017 found that people who eat lots of fiber have a lower risk of heart problems, and they also have less of the “bad” cholesterol (LDL).
The American Diabetes Association thinks bananas are a good idea because they have fiber, which can help keep your blood sugar levels from going too high.
Another review from 2018 said that eating a diet with lots of fiber might lower your risk of getting type 2 diabetes and can help control blood sugar if you already have it.
Bananas have water and fiber, which are great for keeping things moving in your digestive system. A medium banana gives you about 10% of the fiber you need in a day.
Bananas are also part of the BRAT diet Trusted Source that doctors sometimes recommend for treating diarrhea. BRAT stands for bananas, rice, applesauce, and toast. Bananas can replace the nutrients you lose when you have diarrhea.
But, be careful – some high-fiber foods might bother people with inflammatory bowel disease. However, bananas could actually help, according to a study from 2012.
The Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America says bananas are a good snack in their diet plan.
Keeping Your Brain and Mood in Check
Bananas have something called tryptophan, an amino acid that might help your memory, learning, and mood.
Bananas are full of potassium, which helps keep fluids balanced in your body, moves nutrients and waste in and out of cells, and does other important stuff like helping your muscles and nerves work right. It even helps your heart beat regularly and can lessen the effects of sodium on blood pressure.
Getting enough potassium might also lower the chances of getting kidney stones as you get older. And, if your kidneys are healthy, they make sure you have the right amount of potassium.
A medium banana has 422 milligrams (mg) of potassium. It’s best to get potassium from foods like bananas, but you can also get supplements online.
Here’s a chart that shows how much of each nutrient is in a medium banana, compared to what adults need according to the 2015–2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans Trusted Source. Remember, the requirements can change based on your age and whether you’re a guy or a girl.
|Amount in One Medium Banana
|Daily Adult Requirement
|27 (including 14.4g sugar)
|Vitamin C (mg)
|Folate (mcg DFE)
|Beta Carotene (mcg)
|Alpha Carotene (mcg)
Bananas in Daily Life
You can get fresh bananas all year round, and they keep ripening even after being picked.
Leave bananas at room temperature to make them ripen faster. Storing them in a paper bag can speed up the process.
If you put bananas in the fridge, they’ll ripen more slowly. The peel might darken, but the banana stays good longer.
Easy Ways to Enjoy Bananas
- Put sliced bananas in your morning cereal or oatmeal for a healthy breakfast.
- Mash ripe bananas and use them instead of butter or oil in baking.
- Add mashed bananas to muffins, cookies, and cakes for a natural sweetness.
- Blend bananas into a smoothie.
- Take a banana to work or school for a healthy snack.
Other Banana Products
If you like bananas, you might also enjoy banana chips and banana powder.
Before buying processed banana products, check the labels for added sugar, salt, or fat.
Plantains are like bananas’ savory cousin and are popular in Central America. Remember to cook them before eating. You can also find plantain chips.
Some people need to be careful not to eat too many bananas.
- Beta-Blockers: If you take beta-blockers for heart problems, be mindful that they can increase your blood potassium levels. Too much potassium, especially if your kidneys aren’t working perfectly, can be risky. So, if you’re on beta-blockers, it’s a good idea to enjoy bananas in moderation.
- Allergies: Bananas can cause allergic reactions in some people, leading to itching, hives, swelling, wheezing, or difficulty breathing. If you experience any of these symptoms, seek medical help right away. Severe reactions can be life-threatening.
- Migraines: Some people might get migraines triggered by bananas.
11 Astonishing Health Advantages of Bananas
While bananas originated in Southeast Asia, they have found their home in various warm climates globally, making them an excellent addition to your quest for a healthier fruit-filled diet.
Dive into the world of bananas, teeming with fiber and a plethora of beneficial nutrients, including potassium, vitamin B6, vitamin C, antioxidants, and phytonutrients.
- Nutrient-Rich Composition: Bananas present a balanced mix of carbs, water, fiber, and antioxidants, with minimal protein and no fat content. A medium banana offers a modest 112 calories, making it a nutritious and satisfying choice.
- Blood Sugar Harmony: The soluble fiber in bananas, along with resistant starch in unripe ones, plays a pivotal role in moderating blood sugar levels. While beneficial for most, individuals with diabetes should consume them in moderation.
- Digestive Wellness Advocate: Loaded with dietary fiber, including prebiotic-resistant starch and pectin, bananas contribute to improved digestion. Prebiotics support the growth of beneficial gut bacteria, potentially preventing constipation and even showing promise against colon cancer.
- Weight Management Ally: Although no direct studies focus on bananas and weight loss, their low-calorie content, coupled with filling fiber and resistant starch, suggests their potential as a weight-friendly snack.
- Heart Health Supporter: With a notable potassium content, bananas play a crucial role in maintaining healthy blood pressure. Magnesium, another heart-essential mineral, further enhances their heart-protective benefits.
- Antioxidant Powerhouse: Bananas boast a variety of antioxidants, including flavonoids and amines, which contribute to heart disease and macular degeneration risk reduction by preventing oxidative damage to cells.
- Satiety Promoter: Soluble fiber in bananas adds bulk to the digestive system, promoting a feeling of fullness. Their low-calorie yet high-fiber composition makes them a satisfying snack, ideal for hunger control.
- Insulin Sensitivity Booster (when unripe): Regular consumption of resistant starch, found in unripe bananas, may enhance insulin sensitivity, potentially reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes. However, further research is needed for a comprehensive understanding.
- Kidney Health Advocate: The potassium abundance in bananas supports healthy kidney function and blood pressure regulation, potentially slowing the progression of kidney disease.
- Exercise Recovery Facilitator: Packed with easily digestible carbs, potassium, and magnesium acting as electrolytes, bananas are hailed as a go-to food for athletes. While specific research is scarce, bananas offer excellent nutrition pre, during, and post-exercise.
- Dietary Versatility: Beyond their health merits, bananas effortlessly integrate into various dishes—from yogurt and cereal to smoothies and baking, making them a convenient and tasty addition to your culinary repertoire.
Bananas are a popular fruit, and they’re packed with nutrients that can keep you healthy.
Embrace the banana revolution, adding not just flavor but a wealth of health benefits to your daily life.
It’s important to note that while bananas can be beneficial for many, the impact can vary from person to person. Having a diet rich in fresh fruits and vegetables remains a smart move for overall well-being.
Also Read Our Articles: