Why are bananas gloriously good?
The curation of my banana recipes wouldn’t be complete without mentioning the many benefits that consuming bananas brings to your health and general well-being. Here’s my started for 10:
1. Bananas enhance your intake of nutrients
Bananas pack a big nutritional punch, literally wrapped in its own convenient packaging: Vitamin B6, Vitamin C, Manganese, Magnesium, Potassium, Dietary Fibre, Protein, Folate, Riboflavin, Niacin, Vitamin A, Iron, Iodine, Selenium and Zinc, Biotin, Copper, Flavonoids, and Polyphenolics, such as Lutein, Zeaxanthin, Beta and Alpha Carotenes, acting as free radical-gobbling antioxidants.
In particular, bananas’ high content of vitamin B6 protects against type II diabetes, maintains blood sugar levels and strengthen the nervous system. B6 is also syntheses and breaks down amino acids, producing antibodies for a stronger immune response, combating swelling and inflammation in the body, which is also aided by the high vitamin C content with its infection-fighting properties.
Bananas are among the most convenient food sources of potassium, which is essential for maintaining proper heart function and regulating normal blood pressure. Moreover, being rich in iron, bananas relieve anemia, help with the production of white blood cells, and prevent the risk of coronary heart disease.
2. Bananas aid weight loss
Bananas might not be the most obvious weight loss food, yet they are only about 100 calories and low in fat (less than 4%). Also, they are a fascinating fruit in terms of their carbohydrate and sugar content. Even though bananas taste quite sweet when ripe, they have a low glycemic index (GI) value, due to their high fibre content. GI measures the impact of food on our blood sugar. Also, the sterols found in bananas block absorption of dietary cholesterol, helping to keep blood cholesterol levels in check.
3. Bananas boost your mood
Bananas help overcome depression due to high levels of tryptophan, which is converted into serotonin – the happy-mood brain neurotransmitter. This reduces stress and enhances your general outlook and happiness levels. Moreover, apart from improving your mood, bananas also reduce PMS symptoms and regulate good sleep patterns by controlling blood sugar and producing stress-relieving relaxation.
4. Bananas provide you with long-lasting energy
The combination of natural sugars, balanced with the soluble fibre and potassium provide a stable source of energy. It is, therefore, no wonder that the unique mix of vitamins, minerals and low glycemic carbohydrates in bananas has made them a favourite fruit among endurance athletes. What’s more, athletes consume bananas to prevent muscle cramps, which is enabled by their high potassium content.
5. Bananas strengthen your bones
High in potassium and magnesium, bananas counteract calcium loss and therefore help build strong bones, reducing the risk of developing osteoporosis.
6. Bananas increase mental alertness
Bananas stimulate brain power and help with learning by making one more alert, due to the high levels of potassium.
7. Bananas aid cardiovascular health
The potassium found in bananas maintains normal blood pressure, heart function and prevents heart attack and stroke. One banana supplies an adequate amount of copper to keep up the production of red blood cells. Furthermore, the water-soluble fibre found in bananas is associated with decreased risk of heart disease.
8. Bananas protect against chronic disease
Recent research linked ripe bananas to the production of a compound called cytolcin, which increases white blood cell count, enhancing immunity and combating cancerous cell changes. Moreover, the potassium found in bananas suppresses calcium loss, reducing the risk of developing osteoporosis and brittle bones.
9. Bananas aid digestion
Bananas are a great source of dietary fibre which helps help normalise bowel motility and regulate the speed of digestion. Within their fibre content, bananas also contain pectins which gently clear toxins and heavy metals from the body. Also, they are rich in prebiotics such as fructooligosaccharides which feed the friendly bacteria in the digestive tract that help us absorb nutrients more efficiently. Also, bananas are soothing to the digestive tract and help restore lost electrolytes. Not to mention that due to their protease inhibitors, bananas protect against stomach ulcers by coating the lining of the stomach against corrosive acids.
10. Bananas treat skin conditions
Even the skins of this amazing fruit are beneficial for one’s health, as they can be used to treat skin conditions like psoriasis and acne. If you suffer from these conditions or simply wish to improve your skin complexion, then gently rub the freshly peeled inside of a banana skin over your face and leave the residue on overnight. Banana peel treatments are even used to heal warts, simply by rubbing a small piece of banana peel over the wart and then tightly taping it overnight for at least a week, changing it to a new one each night.
The “why they’re so healthy” list is a long one, which is why they are one of the most popular foods in the world.
Acknowledging all these benefits of bananas has made me adore them even more and I am so grateful to nature for creating such a gloriously good food. This sweet, tender fruit is a true wonder to me – the ultimate indulgence and health food of all times. I actually regret that for a long time, I denied bananas their health glory and subsequently the right to play such a big part in my life.
Whenever I buy fruits and vegetables, I am always caught up in my mental debate of whether it’s worth paying more for the organic ones. However, the wonderful bananas don’t put me through this worry, as I know that their natural coating protects them from pesticide residue. To this point, bananas will always be eaten in a hygienic manner with literally no effort: you don’t need to worry about washing them or your hands before consuming them. Their natural “yellow jacket” separates them from all bacteria. So, enjoying bananas couldn’t be more convenient.
I hope this article has inspired you to consume bananas in the many ways in which they can be enjoyed. Bon appetit!
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