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5 Health Benefits of Bananas
A dietitian provides the real facts on banana nutrition. And yes, they’re good for you!
What is it about bananas that make so many people think they shouldn’t eat them?
As with all fruits, they are packed with nutrients that our bodies thrive on; but somehow, they have gotten a bad rap. People complain bananas are high in sugar and calories.
One medium banana contains 15 grams of sugar and 110 calories. Well, I think it is time to set the record straight. Below are five important benefits about bananas I wish everyone would remember.
5 Reasons to Eat Bananas
Good source of potassium
Bananas are a great source of potassium. One medium-sized banana provides 10% of the daily value of potassium, a mineral that lessens the effects of sodium in your body.
The more potassium you eat, the more sodium you may lose through urine.
Research shows that consuming potassium also helps to ease the tension in your blood vessels, which in result, helps lower blood pressure.
Potassium is also vital for kidney function, and eating bananas regularly may help play a role in keeping your kidneys healthy.
However, if diagnosed with any type of kidney disease, one should speak with their physician about their potassium intake.
Packed with fiber
The intake of dietary fiber has been associated with a decrease in cholesterol levels; however, most individuals do not meet the RDA (25-30g per day).
One medium-sized banana provides about 3 grams of fiber. Furthermore, the lower your cholesterol levels the lower your risk for heart disease.
Fiber is also known to aid in satiety which may help with weight management.
This tropical fruit is also good for our digestive tract, as it decreases the risk for constipation and diarrhea.
Lastly, since fiber is known to digest more slowly in our bodies, studies have supported that it may not cause huge spikes in our blood sugar.
Bananas are rich in antioxidants
Same as other fruits, bananas are rich in antioxidants, especially vitamin C with 12% of the RDA.
Research supports that foods rich in vitamin C help maintain immune health by fighting off free radicals that may cause cell damage.
Vitamin C also has anti-inflammatory properties which may further help to reduce the risk of heart disease and certain cancers; plus, possibly, even anti-aging benefits.
Good source of magnesium
Magnesium is another mineral that’s important for heart health by helping to regulate our blood pressure, and bananas provide 8% of the recommended daily value. And not only heart health, but research has linked magnesium to maintaining bone density and reducing the risk of osteoporosis.
Furthermore, there are studies to suggest individuals with a lower intake of magnesium are more prone to developing Type 2 diabetes because magnesium plays a role in insulin metabolism and glucose control.
Great source of energy
Bananas contain 29 grams of energy-boosting carbohydrates, of which all the 15 grams of sugar contained is naturally occurring and easy to digest.
These carbohydrates may provide the perfect boost of energy pre-workout.
But because bananas also contain potassium and magnesium, they also can be great post-workout to replenish these electrolytes lost through sweat.
And not only do they make a good addition to exercise, but they may also make the ideal pick-me-up in the afternoon for anyone who needs a little extra energy.
Pair the banana with some protein, such as yogurt, nuts or cottage cheese, and you have a great well-balanced snack with staying power.
Banana Snack and Meal Ideas
Bananas are packed with nutrients that are beneficial to your health and are easy to enjoy.
They can be added to hot or cold cereal, pancakes or muffin mixes, sliced with peanut butter spread on top or on top of almond butter toast with a drizzle of honey – or just simply on their own.
Perfect Snack Pairings
Eating nachos from bowl
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