Bananas are a convenient snack, and you can carry them with you anywhere you go. Apart from being healthy and delicious, bananas have several vitamins and minerals that can help to maintain good health, digestion, and weight loss. They also provide plenty of needed energy.
A medium-sized banana (about 7 to 8 inches) contains the following percentages of recommended dietary intake (RDI) of vitamins and minerals: 9% potassium, 11% vitamin-C, 33% vitamin B-6, 14% manganese, 10% copper, and 8% magnesium.
There are also significant amounts of vitamin A, iron, zinc, niacin, pantothenic acid, thiamin, and selenium. According to the journal Food Chemistry, bananas should be considered a good source of natural antioxidants.
Bananas contain both resistant starch and pectin, which are important for moderating the rise of blood sugar after a meal. That's just one great benefit bananas have to help you maintain your body's health.
Let's examine some other great healthy benefits of eating a banana or two everyday.
Bananas Lower Blood Pressure
Potassium is an important nutrient in the diet because it lessens the effects of salt. The more potassium you consume, the more sodium your body passes out through urination, therefore reducing your risk of a heart attack or stroke.
Potassium helps relax the blood vessels of the circulatory system, which in turn helps lower blood pressure and therefore, maintains a healthy cardiovascular system.
An adult individual needs about 4,700 mg of potassium daily. And the average banana contains nearly 3 g of fiber, 467 mg of potassium and only 1 mg of sodium.
Several studies have shown that eating bananas and other potassium rich foods are effective in lowering blood pressure. Medical studies have also shown that eating a potassium-rich diet that also includes foods that are rich in magnesium and fiber can reduce the risk for a stroke.
The journal Stroke published a study of over 9,000 Americans and suggested that low dietary potassium intake is associated with an increased risk of having a stroke.
Prevents Heart Disease
Fiber, specially water-soluble fiber has shown to help prevent and alleviate symptoms of heart disease. And a medium sized banana contains 3.1 grams of fiber, including 1 gram of soluble fiber.
JAMA Internal Medicine published saying that 7 studies have shown that a higher intake of dietary fiber, particularly water-soluble fiber, reduces the risk of coronary heart disease.
While eating a banana a day does NOT guarantee immunity from heart disease, there is enough convincing evidence that adding high-potassium, high-fiber, and low-sodium foods to your diet like bananas is a good idea for maintaining a healthy heart.
Strengthens Skeletal Structure Of The Body
Consuming enough potassium citrate daily as found in bananas, can help prevent urinary calcium loss induced by a high sodium chloride diet, as well as too much calcium getting in your blood stream which can weaken your bones, create kidney stones, and interfere with the way your heart and brain works.
Recommended supplement to ad to your healthy diet: Dyno-Mins Magnesium Potassium with Bromelain
Prevents Digestive Issues
The potassium content of bananas are an effective antacid, neutralizing your body’s pH. It also works to restore electrolyte and pH imbalances caused by nausea or vomiting.
Soluble fiber, also called pectin is found in bananas. Soluble fiber acts as a gel making digested food to move along more smoothly. Having regular bowl movements can help avoid digestive issues.
Bananas contain a plant compound called papin that acts as a protease inhibitor. Protease is a proteolytic enzyme that functions mainly to help digest different types of proteins.
The proteolytic enzyme also blocks protease found in protein. Blocking protease prevents infectious microorganisms requiring the enzyme for replication and adding their effectiveness and enabling them to:
- Colonize the host by attaching themselves to the hosts cells
- Invade the host's immune response
- Inhibit the host's immune response
- Obtain nutrition from the host
Recommended supplement to ad to your healthy diet: Bromelain 2400 GDU/g - 500 mg - Natural Proteolytic Enzyme that Supports Healthy Digestion and Joint Comfort
Bananas also contain high levels of fructooligosaccharide (FOS), and along with insulin promotes the absorption of calcium. FOS also nourish healthy bacteria in the colon that manufacture vitamins and digestive enzymes. Doing so helps to boost the body’s overall ability to absorb nutrients.
FOS have important beneficial physiological effects such as:
- Low carcinogenicity
- Prebiotic effect
- Decreased levels of serum cholesterol, triacylglycerols and phospholipids
In conclusion, eating fruit like bananas should also be coupled with exercise and other healthy lifestyle habits for you to fully achieve optimal health.