Bananas are considered the most widely used food in the world. It usually is the first food that a child tastes because it is easy to eat and digest.
Bananas are available everywhere in the world. It is an excellent source of potassium, vitamin B6, folate and fiber. Bananas are simple to eat as they don’t make your hands messy or dribble the juice when you eat them.
If you buy bananas in a bunch and don’t eat them early, then they will become overripe and mushy quickly. You can keep properly ripe banana inside the refrigerator where it will not get soft too quickly. The skin may become black but inside it will still be the same.
Nutritional Facts of Bananas
Tasty and healthful banana is one of the best natural snacks. A medium size banana contains 550mg of potassium, 1.15g of vitamin B6 and 2 g of dietary fiber. A banana contains 100 calories mostly in the form of fruit sugar and starch.
Digestive Health Benefits
The first and simplest benefit everyone gets from eating bananas is digestive health. Eating banana doesn’t give a feeling of fiber but a large ripe banana has got 10-14 % of Daily Value DV for fiber. The biggest advantage to your digestive organs is that it will protect you from getting digestive diseases such as appendicitis, hemorrhoids and diverticulitis.
In fact many other diseases originate from malfunctioning of the digestive system. It helps relieve heartburn and upset stomach. It does it by promoting stomach to produce more mucus that counteracts the acidic digestive fluid in the stomach. Overall banana soothes and encourages normal functioning of the digestive system.
High fiber content of bananas and Vitamin B6 helps you to protect against type 2 diabetes. Additionally bananas are a great weight loss food because they are filling as well as their sweet taste helps curb cravings.
Heart health Advantages
Banana is one of the best natural sources of potassium containing 450-550 mg which is almost 15% of daily value (DV) for this essential mineral. Various studies around the world have suggested that people who eat foods rich in potassium have much lower risks of high blood pressure, stroke and other heart diseases.
Daily eating of one Banana helps in reducing systolic blood pressure by 10-15 points. According to a research done in Italy (University of Naples) eating plenty of bananas may significantly reduce blood pressure that you may not need any medication.
Banana keeps low density lipoproteins (LDL) or the bad cholesterol from oxidizing there by stopping the plaque to stick to the walls of the arteries. That is why banana is a good defense against hardening of arteries or atherosclerosis which contributes to raising blood pressure, heart attack and stroke.
Restoring Fluid Balance
Have you seen tennis players eating banana during the waiting period between the sets? They do it to restore the fluid lost during the strenuous set just played. Banana is a good source of electrolyte such as potassium which gets depleted when you get dehydrated. Any fluid lost due to diarrhea, exercises or by any other activity that dehydrates you, can be restored by eating banana.
Most sports people eat bananas in between their play and workouts as it helps sustain blood sugar levels.
Other Health Benefits
Bananas contain Vitamin A which helps to protect eyesight, maintain good normal vision and improve night vision.
Though there is not enough calcium, bananas contain significant amount of of fructooligosaccharides which helps calcium absorption. This indirect help in strengthening the bones is very significant.
If you add banana to your milk instead of sugar then you get the maximum mileage from the calcium content of the milk.
Risks of Over-consumption of Bananas
Though bananas offer great health benefits, they are still not wholesome food on its own as they don’t contain any fat or protein. Over reliance on banana without supplementing can weaken you.
Since amino acids contained in bananas help dilate the blood vessels, excess consumption can cause headaches. Overripe bananas contain more of such amino acids. So if you see that banana is ripe and you are not ready to consume it, keep it in refrigerator. The skin may become black but the banana pulp remains healthy.
Another benefit of bananas that can become bad with over consumption is its high content of tryptophan which the body converts to serotonin. Serotonin is the mood-elevating brain neurotransmitter. As a result normal consumption of bananas is helpful to overcome depression. At the same time the Vitamin B6 in bananas help sleep well and magnesium helps to relax muscles.
Over-consumption of bananas therefore can induce sleepiness.
Bananas are sugary food; therefore you must maintain proper dental hygiene to overcome tooth decay.
Daily consumption of 2 bananas is alright.