Hearing these stories is possibly why you may have been avoiding eating too many bananas, even thought they are the most easiest self packed snack out there.
You might have missed some very important information about bananas.
In-fact, bananas could even be healthy!
So, are bananas bad for you after all? Let’s find out!
Are Bananas Bad for You, Rather than Good?
It turns out that bananas have several qualities that are beneficial to you, and the fear of a blood sugar spike from eating this carbohydrate is not well-grounded.
There are a lot of reasons that bananas are actually healthy for you.
One of the main reasons is due to the high amount of fiber, together with the beneficial phytonutrients and magnesium that bananas contain.
Although bananas do contain a lot of carbohydrates, these other nutritional properties make it so that your body doesn’t need to store sugar into fat cells, to protect you from high blood sugar.
Instead, your body takes that sugar that bananas contain and brings it to your muscles for immediate use, or stores it for short-term use in your liver where you body can easily take it and shuttle where ever needed.
This is one of the many reasons why athletes often choose to snack on bananas at half-time of their competitions!
Fiber in Bananas
Returning to the fiber, bananas contain both soluble and insoluble fiber.
Soluble fiber being the one that forms a gel-like material when dissolved with water, which helps to slow down digestion, reduce blood cholesterol, and lower your glucose levels.
On the other hand, insoluble fiber doesn’t dissolve; making it great help at moving fecal matter through your intestines. This is very helpful to people who suffer from constipation, or irregular bowel movements.
One medium banana contains 422 mg of potassium, and 32 mg of magnesium; making it an excellent source of these two vital minerals.
The Many Health Benefits Of Bananas
The leading causes of death and disability worldwide are heart disease and stroke.
Luckily, bananas can protect you from both of them because of their high potassium levels that dilate blood vessels and lowers blood pressure. The fiber, Vitamin C and Vitamin B6 content in bananas all support overall heart health.
Moreover, a study shows that high potassium intake is associated with a 20% decreased risk of dying from all causes.
Furthermore, potassium in bananas helps to maintain proper fluid balance, which keeps swelling from occurring.
If those are not good reasons enough to eat your daily banana, let’s see what other things bananas can do:
- Protect you from developing Type-2 diabetes by maintaining a healthy metabolism
- Due to the high Vitamin B6 content, bananas strengthen the nervous system and help with the production of white blood cells
- The magnesium in bananas helps to relax muscles, and decrease the risk of cramping during heat or exercise
- Bananas can help to overcome depression because of the high levels of tryptophan, which converts to serotonin ( a mood-elevating brain neurotransmitter)
- Vitamin B6 helps you to sleep well
- Eating just one banana a day can prevent your child from getting asthma by 34%, shows a study conducted by the Imperial College of London
- Bananas can reduce the risk of kidney cancer and macular degeneration, because of their high content of carotenoids
- They are also high in other antioxidants that protect you against free radicals, and chronic disease
- The potassium and magnesium in bananas can help you from getting muscle cramps at night and during workouts
- Contain plenty of fructooligosaccharides, which feeds digestive-friendly probiotics and boost the body’s ability to absorb calcium and other nutrients
- Bananas can naturally soothe your GI track and help with acid reflux, heartburn, and GERD
- They are a great help for weight loss due to their sweet taste, and satiating properties that help with cravings
- The mixture of slow-moving sugar together with electrolytes makes bananas ideal to consume before and during workouts
- Bananas help with back pain due to their high content of potassium and magnesium, but don’t think that just by eating more bananas you can eliminate back pain
The only negative aspect of eating too many bananas (yet reasonable amount) could be the triggering of headaches and sleepiness due to the amino acids in bananas that dilate blood vessels.
Overripe bananas are even more high in these amino acids, so it is wise to avoid them when possible.
Some Tips for Banana Lovers
One way in which you can immediately improve the benefits you obtain from eating bananas is by purchasing only organic bananas, because the conventional ones are sprayed with pesticides.
These pesticides are not only bad for you, but also for the environment and the poor workers that are exposed to the pesticides causing them all sorts of health conditions.
If you are the type of person who believes that the thick skin of banana will protect you, think again. The pesticides sprayed on bananas leach into the soil where the fruit is grown, and will end up inside the peel and eventually in your mouth.
Did you know that banana peels can be eaten too ( if organic)?
In many parts of the world, banana peels are eaten due to their high amounts of magnesium, potassium, Vitamin B6, Vitamin B12, fiber, protein, and various bioactive compounds such as polyphenols and carotenoids.
I know it may sound strange to eat the peel too, but I have actually tried it today in my smoothie and didn’t notice any difference at all!
Bananas are not very high in fat, and are not a great protein source.
If you want to make a healthy breakfast or post-workout snack ( or evening treat as I do), combine it with all-natural nut butter.