Healthy food isn’t always tasty. But with regards to bananas, this isn’t the case. Which is why it’s doubly pleasing to learn that they not only bring satisfaction to your taste buds but also a great many benefits to your health.
BrightSide have gathered together all the evidence showing why eating just two bananas a day can seriously improve your health.
1. Arterial pressure will return to normal
2. Excess weight disappears
Bananas are rich in fiber, which makes you no longer want to eat once consumed.
Bananas also contain a kind of starch that reduces your appetite and stops you gaining weight. It reduces the level of sugar in your blood and raises your body’s sensitivity to insulin. If your body’s cells aren’t sensitive to insulin, they can’t absorb glucose, and your pancreas begins to produce it in larger quantities. Whether the body accumulates fat depends on the insulin present.
3. The risk of anemia falls
Anemia causes paleness, tiredness, and breathlessness. It’s the result of a reduction in red blood cells and a low level of hemoglobin in the blood.
Bananas contain a lot of iron, which stimulates the production of red blood cells. Bananas also contain vitamin B6, which regulates blood glucose levels, helping people with anemia.
4. Digestion improves
Bananas are easily digested and don’t irritate the gastro-intestinal tract. Resistant starch contained in bananas is not digested and ends up in the large intestine where it serves as an effective nutritional medium for healthy bacteria.
Bananas can be eaten when a person has gastritis and heartburn, and they restore the minerals lost when a person suffers from diarrhea.
5. Stress levels will fall
Bananas improve your mood. They contain tryptophan, which is required by our bodies in order to receive serotonin (the “happiness hormone”).
On average, each banana contains around 27 mg of magnesium. This mineral is responsible for producing a good mood and healthy sleep.
6. Your vitamin deficit will be filled up
Bananas are rich in vitamin B6. On average, one banana contains around 20% of your daily requirement of vitamin B6. This helps your body produce insulin, hemoglobin, and amino acids that are needed for the creation of healthy cells.
Although we usually think that oranges and strawberries contain the greatest amount of vitamin C, bananas actually contain 15% of our daily norm of this important substance.
Vitamin C is an important anti-oxidant that neutralizes harmful free radicals (active molecules with insufficient electrons that can destroy the body’s cells). It also helps keep blood vessels healthy and produces collagen.
7. Your energy levels will increase
The potassium contained in bananas protects your muscles from cramps, whilst the carbohydrates provide you with enough energy to endure a heavy workout.
Health benefits of bananas
1. Bananas are one of the best fruit sources of vitamin B6
Vitamin B6 from bananas is easily absorbed by your body and a medium-sized banana can provide about a quarter of your daily vitamin B6 needs.
Vitamin B6 helps your body:
- produce red blood cells,
- metabolise carbohydrates and fats, turning them into energy,
- metabolise amino acids,
- remove unwanted chemicals from your liver and kidneys, and
- maintain a healthy nervous system.
Vitamin B6 is also good for pregnant women as it helps meet their baby’s development needs.
2. Bananas are respectable sources of vitamin C
You may not associate bananas with vitamin C but a medium-sized banana will provide about 10% of your daily vitamin C needs.
Vitamin C helps:
- protect your body against cell and tissue damage,
- your body absorb iron better,
- your body produce collagen – the protein which holds your skin, bones and body together, and
- support brain health by producing serotonin, a hormone that affects our sleep cycle, moods, and experiences of stress and pain.
3. Manganese in bananas is good for your skin
One medium-sized banana provides approximately 13% of your daily manganese needs. Manganese helps your body make collagen and protects your skin and other cells against free radical damage.
4. Potassium in bananas is good for your heart health and blood pressure
A medium-sized banana will provide around 320-400 mg of potassium, which meets about 10% of your daily potassium needs.
Potassium helps your body maintain a healthy heart and blood pressure. In addition, bananas are low in sodium. The low sodium and high potassium combination helps to control high blood pressure.
5. Bananas can aid digestion and help beat gastrointestinal issues
A medium banana will provide about 10-12% of your daily fibre needs. Singapore’s Health Promotion Board recommends a daily dietary fibre intake of 20g for women and 26g for men.
Soluble and insoluble fibres play an important role in your health. Soluble fibre helps your body control your blood sugar level and get rid of fatty substances such as cholesterol. Insoluble fibre adds weight and softness to stools, making it easier for you to have regular bowel movements. This helps to keep your gut healthy and safe from harmful bacteria.
Bananas, especially newly-ripened ones, contain starch that does not digest (resistant starch) in your small intestine and is able to pass into the large intestine. Such bananas help you manage your weight better as you stay full for longer.
That said, bananas can help you beat gastrointestinal issues such as:
- stomach ulcers, and
6. Bananas give you energy – minus the fats and cholesterol
Bananas contain three natural sugars – sucrose, fructose and glucose – giving you a fat and cholesterol-free source of energy. As such, bananas are ideal, especially for children and athletes, for breakfast, as a midday snack or before and after sports.