One of my friends once told me that her most tormenting childhood memory was the image of her mom scooping up slices of freshly peeled yellow bananas and literally shoving them down her throat! ‘It’s good for you.’ her mom used to say, in reply to her protesting cries, but she would never mention why. Convinced at a young age that it was some kind of torture trick, my friend can’t stand bananas to this day. If only her mom had told her…
This article presents the top ten reasons why you should fall in love with bananas – yellow ones, green ones, all kinds of them – and teach yourself to gorge on them whenever you have the chance! They have a lot of benefits for your health and should be an important part of your diet if you want to live healthy.
10. Low On Calories
If anyone has ever told you that bananas will make you fat, don’t believe them! A single medium sized banana contains only half a gram of fat and no more than 105 calories. It is one of the best diet options you can get if your looking at some serious workouts and weight loss. Including bananas in your daily meal plan will not only help keep your meals well-balanced and slim you down but also ensure that you stay that way! So substitute those fattening cookies and pastries with bright and refreshing bananas, and throw in a regular workout to shed those kilos!
Bananas are one of the most easily digestible fruits you can find! Being rich in pectin, they smoothly break down heavy metals and toxins into simpler substances, thus aiding digestion. They also produce essential digestive enzymes which stimulate the absorption of nutrients from food and promote the growth of useful bacteria within your digestive tract, thereby performing the functions of a prebiotic. If you’re suffering from constipation, eating a few bananas would be a great idea since they help restore bowel movements. Moreover, bananas also help you regain lost electrolytes after a bout of diarrhoea. They are natural antacids, providing relief from acid reflux and heartburn. If you are a victim of stomach ulcers, bananas are the only fruits you can safely have since they protect the stomach walls from corrosive acids by creating an impermeable lining.
8. Fights Depression
Though this may sound improbable, but many researchers claim that bananas can actually help you overcome depression and mood swings due to the presence of a chemical called tryptophan – a natural mood enhancer – which is converted into serotonin. Depression is said to affect people with lower levels of serotonin in the brain. Therefore, eating bananas is beneficial for persons with such tendencies as it increases their serotonin levels and consequently brightens their moods.
Dietary fibre, also known as roughage, is the indigestible portion of the food that we eat. It can be both soluble and insoluble. Fibre is essential for us since it performs a number of beneficial functions including regulation of blood sugar, energy intake control, prevention of constipation and enhancement of metabolism, which means that it keeps us from obesity, ensures smooth bowel movements and prevents fatigue as far as possible. A medium banana has 2.7g of fibre, which constitutes about 10% of your fibre needs for the day. It also contains resistant starch, which is useful pretty much for similar reasons.
Potassium is an essential electrolyte found in the human body and plays a vital part in electrolyte regulation, nerve function, muscle control, blood pressure, water and mineral balance throughout the body. This mineral is found within all somatic cells, and its levels are controlled by the kidneys. One of the most important health benefits obtained from bananas is their high potassium content, which contributes to the lowering of blood pressure and prevention of cardiac arrests and strokes. A diet low in potassium leads to high blood pressure, hypertension and cardiovascular diseases. To prevent any and all of these, all you need are bananas! If you are an athlete or someone who regularly works out, or have plans to do so, you definitely require a potassium-rich diet to provide you with sufficient endurance and energy.
5. Calcium Absorption
A banana by itself contains only a small amount of Calcium – the key to strong bones. However, it plays the much more essential role of improving calcium absorption and bone health. As mentioned earlier, they enhance nutrient absorption by promoting the growth of friendly bacteria in the colon. Moreover, green bananas are excellent for bone health since contain short chain fatty acids, which makes them twice as effective in strengthening your bones. They release enzymes which help to break down calcium and other useful nutrients for their easy absorption. These assimilated nutrients then enrich your bones with long-lasting strength and health.
Carbohydrates are one of the most important nutrients our body needs and bananas are packed with these energy boosters! Carbohydrates are a necessary component of our daily food intake since they are a source of easily-obtained energy in the form of glucose, which is absorbed by the blood and carried to each and every cell of our body. A part of this glucose is converted to energy required for our daily activities. Another part is stored in the form of glycogen in our muscles and liver as an energy reservoir. Since cells in brain tissues depend on carbohydrates for their nutrition, one serious side effect of a low-carb diet is reduced brain function. However, you don’t need to worry about falling short of your carb count when you have bananas. With these fat-free fruits, you’ll be able to lose weight without compromising on your carbohydrate intake, and ensure that your energized throughout the day!
Bananas are very rich in B complex vitamins, particularly Thiamine, Niacin, Riboflavin, Vitamin B6 and Folate. Not only do these essential vitamins enhance digestion, but they also promote the health of your nerves, muscles and heart. Moreover they are integral members of many biochemical reactions within your body. Bananas are also rich in Tocopherol or Vitamin E and the water soluble Vitamin C i.e. Ascorbic Acid. Vitamin E is an antioxidant that helps your body eliminate free radicals, thereby reducing your chances of developing serious organ disorders and cancer. It also prevents the clotting of blood, dilates blood vessels for improved blood flow and boosts the immune system. Vitamin C, another potent anti-oxidant, contributes to the production of collagen, an important component of skin and connective tissues. Thus, by eating one banana, our body assimilates the wide-ranging benefits of five different vitamins and many minerals as well. Imagine the wonders they can do if you remember to eat them regularly everyday!
Anti-oxidants are chemical reducing agents which prevent the oxidation of certain molecules. The oxidation process releases free radicals which if left unchecked, can have damaging effects on our body cells. he anti-oxidants present in bananas prevent the spread of these free radicals thereby protecting us from a host of diseases related to ageing which have the potentiality to impact our most vital organ systems. With the help of the anti-oxidant properties of the nutrients in bananas, you can keep yourself disease-free as well as maintain the youthful glow on your face for a greater length of time than you ever thought naturally possible.
1. Natural Protector
Eating bananas will keep you safe from a number of potentially serious ailments and disorders and certain injuries as well. For example, they help to prevent kidney cancer and macular degeneration of the eyes with age. They have also been known to ward off osteoporosis due to their ability to help build strong bones by facilitating calcium absorption. They stabilize sugar and pressure levels in the blood which in itself ensures that you do not fall prey to a wide range of diseases related to these two conditions. And of course, minor botherations like constipation are very ably handled by these nutritious fruits. Banana peels help reduce swelling and can be used to treat bug bites and stings as well!
So go grab some bananas, if you haven’t already. Don’t like it in its raw form? No problem, churn it into a smoothie or bake it into a cake! Now you’ve got both taste and health on your side! So dig in!
Hopefully you would be more interested in eating banana’s from now onwards, you can also check out the benefits of eating apples if you need more to know more facts before you are compelled to start eating fruits.