10 Surprising Health Benefits of Bananas

Everyone has heard the phrase, “an apple a day keeps the doctor away”. While we are huge fans of apples, we feel that another fruit hasn’t gotten the proper credit for all the health benefits it contains. Bananas are surprisingly packed with a ton of nutrients and can provide benefits for digestion, heart health, and weight loss. Today we want to highlight ten of these health benefits and hopefully inspire you to add this amazing fruit into your diet.

  1. Nutrients found in Bananas

In addition to being delicious, bananas are packed full of nutrients that your body needs. They are rich in fiber and antioxidants and generally are only about 110 calories! Being conscious about the food you consume is very important, so here is a breakdown on exactly what is inside a banana.

Potassium: 9%  – Potassium is an important mineral that functions as an electrolyte. It helps regulate fluid balance, nerve signals and muscle contractions

Vitamin B6: 33% – B6 is significant to protein, fat and carbohydrate metabolism and the creation of red blood cells and neurotransmitters. Your body cannot produce vitamin B6, so you must obtain it from foods or supplements.

Vitamin C: 11% – In the body, vitamin C, acts as an antioxidant, helping to protect cells from the damage. The body also needs vitamin C to make collagen, a protein required to help wounds heal.

Magnesium: 8% – Magnesium is important for many processes in the body, including regulating muscle and nerve function, blood sugar levels, and blood pressure and making protein, bone, and DNA.

Copper: 10% – Copper plays a role in making red blood cells and maintaining nerve cells and the immune system. It also helps the body form collagen and absorb iron, and plays a role in energy production.

Manganese: 14% – Manganese helps with protein and amino acid digestion and utilization, as well as the metabolism of cholesterol and carbohydrates.

In addition to these amazing nutrients you will also find net carbs, fiber, protein, and fat in bananas!

  1. Bananas enhance exercise routines

If you were to look at a professional athlete’s diet, you would likely find that bananas play an important role. That is because they are the ideal food for working out due to their mineral content and easily digestible carbs. It has long been said that bananas help reduce cramping and soreness, although scientists tend to disagree on if they actually help with this issue. They do agree however, that they are an excellent choice in nutrition before or after an endurance workout!

  1. Bananas are linked to heart health

When it comes to the conversation of bananas and heart health, the key mineral that we will be talking about is potassium. Now remember from our first point, potassium is, an important mineral that functions as an electrolyte. It helps regulate fluid balance, nerve signals and muscle contractions. Naturally potassium has the ability to aid in blood pressure control and since a single banana contains 9% potassium, it is a great way to work it into your diet.

  1. Bananas are linked to digestive health

Bananas are rich in two types dietary fibers: pectin and resistant starch. It is the 3 grams of fiber found in each banana (on average) that is linked to improved digestion. Bananas are also a great source of fructooligosaccharides, which act as a probiotic and promote the growth of good bacteria in the digestive tract, which ultimately helps with digestion.

  1. Banana nutrients can help moderate blood sugar

In point four we mentioned a type of fiber found in bananas, pectin. Pectin is what gives the banana’s flesh the spongy and structural form. It is this digestive fiber that has been linked to moderate blood sugar levels and reduce ones appetite after meals. Another benefit in regards to blood sugar is that in the glycemic index (a scale of  0-100 used to determine how quickly foods increase blood sugar levels) a banana rates averagely at a 50. This means that eating a banana will not create a spike in blood sugar levels.

  1. Bananas and weight loss

While it hasn’t been scientifically tested that bananas aid in weightless, it is generally agreed that they are a great addition to your diet if weigh loss is your goal. First, they are relatively low calorie while being incredibly filling. In addition, the fiber in bananas also plays a role in aiding weight loss, being packed with nutrients and helping suppress your appetite.

  1. Bananas are packed with antioxidants

The two main antioxidants found in bananas are dopamine and catechins. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter, one of those chemicals that is responsible for transmitting signals in between the nerve cells of the brain. It is associated with feelings of euphoria, bliss, motivation, and concentration. Catechins are natural antioxidants that help prevent cell damage and provide other benefits. These substances can reduce the formation of free radicals in the body, protecting cells and molecules from damage

  1. Bananas can help fight anemia

 Anemia is a condition where there is a decrease in the number of red blood cells or hemoglobin in the blood. Dietary changes are often needed once diagnosed with anemia and generally it is said that increasing your consumption of iron can help better transport oxygen in your blood to correct the condition. That is why bananas, which are high in iron, can be a great way to help balance your diet.

  1. Bananas can help detoxify your body

The pectin found in bananas acts like a natural detoxifier for your body. This fiber, which has a gelation like structure, will stick to toxic compounds in the blood and flush them out of the body through urine. Basically, the fiber works to clean out your system while giving you a boost of healthy nutrients.

  1. Bananas are a natural energy boost

Vitamin C, antioxidant, and fiber all work together in a banana to make them a powerhouse energy snack. The great part about this boost is that it is instant while being sustainable, meaning it will last you longer than a quick sugar rush. This is another reason why bananas are so popular among athletes.

So there you have it, our top ten health benefits that bananas can provide. Whether you are looking to add them into your diet for specific reason or you just love the taste, bananas are a fantastic addition to any diet. Here are Organics Unlimited we are dedicated to producing the best quality organic bananas and tropical fruits in a socially responsible way. Read more about our mission here!

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