The benefits of bananas are endless. Delicious and generally cheap, bananas are full of calories and have great nutritional value due to their high amounts of potassium, magnesium, and other nutritional values.
Highly useful for people practicing physical activity thanks to its high potassium content, this fruit guarantees a series of very interesting positive effects for human health.
Nutritional Value of Bananas:
- Great source of soft fibers.
- Excellent source of potassium.
- Promotes satiety.
- Regulates transit.
- Rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
|Nutrients||Raw banana (sweet), 100 g||Raw plantain, 100 g|
|Protein||1,06 g||1,28 g|
|Carbohydrates||19,7 g||29,6 g|
|Lipids||< 0,5 g||0,39 g|
|Dietary fiber||2,7 g||2,3 g|
|Glycemic load: Moderate|
|Antioxidant power: High|
Thanks to its unique composition, the flesh of bananas turns out to be a real health ally daily. Satiating, rich in dietary fiber and micronutrients, it has its place in a varied and balanced healthy diet. Among the potentials benefits of bananas, we find the following:
1. Rich in fiber
The fiber content of bananas is 1.9 g per 100 g. This constitutes 6.3% of the recommended intake for an adult and 12.6% for a child aged 7 to 10 years. These fibers, essentially soluble, composed of fructooligosaccharide (FOS) are also well tolerated.
The fiber intake from bananas participates in a harmonious transit, in the balance of the intestinal flora, in the regulation of the level of cholesterol and blood glucose, and is useful in the event of constipation.
2. Rich in potassium
If there is one thing bananas are most known for, it’s their high content of possium. Indeed, bananas contain up to 400 mg of this mineral per 100 g.
Potassium plays many important roles in the body, most notably allowing muscles to contract, especially the heart. To do this, potassium works in tandem with sodium to transmit nerve signals to the muscles.
3. A good source of manganese
You have probably never heard of manganese, but it is very important for the body! Bananas contain an average of 0.37 mg.
Manganese is a trace element, an activator of enzymes, and a vector of many health benefits. It especially helps for the proper functioning of the thyroid and sex hormones, which is particularly useful for women suffering from painful menstruation.
Manganese also regulates blood sugar levels and influences fat and carbohydrate metabolism, which is especially helpful when looking to lose weight!
4. Rich in antioxidants
Antioxidants are naturally present in some foods. These molecules help protect the body’s cells and are recognized in the fight against cell aging. Scientists have identified several types of antioxidants: trace elements, micronutrients, and certain vitamins, such as vitamins A, C, E, or even carotene.
Bananas are precisely rich in antioxidants. Carotene, vitamins C and E as well as selenium and polyphenols are all present to provide the body with their antioxidant properties and help fight against cellular aging.
Bananas are also recommended in the diet of the elderly, in which antioxidants will provide a protective effect.
5. Good for blood pressure
High blood pressure affects millions of people in the United States. It can go unnoticed for years before a diagnosis is confirmed. And when you suffer from it, there is no miracle cure but adapted treatments prescribed by your doctor.
In addition to these treatments, an adapted diet is recommended to better cope with the disease. With nearly 360 milligrams of potassium per 100 grams, bananas help maintain normal blood pressure.
Numerous epidemiological studies have indeed shown that an insufficient potassium intake leads to the risk of high blood pressure, while a diet providing between 4 and 5 grams of potassium each day helps maintain normal pressure.
But how exactly does it work? The potassium in bananas contributes to muscle contractions. Our heart is a muscle, a regular supply of potassium, therefore, allows it to contract normally and thus avoid the risk of high blood pressure.
Definitely, the banana is a fruit with many benefits. Think about it the next time you get hungry.
6. Increases energy
Rich in carbohydrates (90 kilocalories per 100 g), bananas are the fruit for energy-guzzling activities. Indeed, a banana provides almost twice as much energy as an apple.
This is why you’ll often see large baskets of bananas distributed during sports competitions because bananas are regenerative in addition to being energetic. Furthermore, the sugars in bananas, which can be assimilated in less than two hours by the muscles, accelerate recovery after exercise.
Note that when dried, bananas contain even more energy than when they are fresh: the energy content triples (285 kcal per 100 g).
7. Improves mental health
If you are feeling down, bananas can help cheer you up. Indeed, bananas contain tryptophan, a protein that stimulates the production of serotonin, the mood-regulating hormone.
Serotonin is known to be a powerful natural relaxant. The vast majority of antidepressant drugs act on serotonin and increase its effects. They prevent serotonin from being broken down too quickly in the brain. Therefore, too low a serotonin level can lead to depression.
In other words, bananas can help you feel happier, promote concentration, help relax the nervous system, and combat stress and depression.
8. Beneficial for blood sugar levels
As we’ve seen, bananas are rich in fiber. These not only have a satiating effect but can also contribute to keeping your blood sugar levels better balanced. Fiber slows down the absorption of glucose from food, preventing sudden rise and fall of blood sugar levels.
There is evidence that the high vitamin B6 content in bananas may also be beneficial for blood sugar levels during pregnancy. A study shows that taking vitamin B6 for two weeks improves blood sugar levels in people with gestational diabetes and low levels of vitamin B6.
9. Good for the eyes
Like carrots, bananas contain a valuable substance for your eyes: vitamin A. This vitamin contributes to the preservation of the membranes around your eyes. In addition, vitamin A is a component of proteins that allow light through the corneas.
Vitamin A can also be found in blackberries, broccoli, and orange. Apricots, in particular, contain a lot of this vitamin.
10. Strengthens the bones
Also, for its high potassium content, bananas help preserve and strengthen bones. This is because potassium reduces the loss of calcium from the body and therefore there is much less risk of developing osteoporosis, a skeletal disease characterized by a decrease in bone density and alterations in the microarchitecture of the bones. This makes the bone more fragile and increases the risk of fracture.
11. Improves kidney function
Bananas are an excellent source of potassium, which is vital for supporting proper bodily and cellular functions (including kidney functions). The mineral is essential for regulating water retention in the body (along with sodium,) as well as maintaining normal blood pressure levels
Potassium deficiency is linked to an increase in blood pressure, which can raise the risk of renal damage, cardiovascular disease, and stroke.
Therefore, potassium-rich foods, such as bananas, are an essential element of dietary plans for lowering blood pressure.
12. Good for the skin
The vitamins and minerals that bananas contain are very good for the skin. Bananas are not only good for making a face mask but can also help to nourish the skin from the inside out.
Its antioxidant properties can help prevent cell damage. They can also help to restore skin tissue and thus prevent the premature appearance of wrinkles.
13. Promotes weight loss
Bananas are a raw product, which has not been processed, are easy to consume (you just have to remove the skin), and turn out to be very satiating due to their fiber content.
The advantage with bananas is that you are therefore quickly satisfied, it is not necessary to eat several to cut the feeling of hunger, a good thing when you are prone to snacking.
14. Bananas facilitate the digestion of fats
Like many fresh foods, bananas contain enzymes. Among these enzymes, we find lipase, which makes it possible to digest fats, and which will therefore facilitate the degradation of body fats.
15. An ally of intestinal transit
When you have to deal with a digestive problem like constipation, it is important to drink plenty of water. It is also important to favor fruits and vegetables rich in fiber. Bananas, with a noticeable fiber content, are a recommended food!
The fibers and water contained in the banana (2.7% fiber and 75.8% water per 100g of banana) thus participate in the proper functioning of the transit!
Bananas also contain essential nutrients, many minerals (potassium, manganese, magnesium), antioxidant vitamins (vitamins C, E, and provitamin A), and B vitamins (B6 and B9) that also promote a healthy transit.
16. Great for pregnancy
Pregnant women have increased caloric and nutritional needs, especially from the second trimester. But they frequently suffer from digestive disorders (nausea, bloating, etc.) linked to hormones as well as to the place that the baby takes in her womb, compressing the stomach and intestines.
Bananas, very digestible and rich in carbohydrates, fibers, and minerals will therefore provide them with the energy and nutrients necessary to meet their needs and those of the baby. It is therefore a real ally of pregnancy!
17. Great for your hair
Bananas have a lot of benefits for the care of your hair. They contain a large amount of vitamins and minerals as well as a considerable zinc content, which is ideal for strengthening hair and preventing hair loss .
Whether your hair is long, short, curly or straight, the use of bananas in hair masks is highly recommended to hydrate, soothe, nourish and restore hair shine.
Indeed, you can easily create a natural nourishing hair cream in a few minutes using a banana and some olive oil.
Put a very ripe banana as well as two tablespoons of olive oil and a spoon of spirulina in a blender to make a homogeneous mixture.
Apply this mixture over the entire length of the hair as well as on the scalp by circular massages.
Then, cover your hair with a heating cap or a bath towel for an hour while the banana nourishing cream takes effect. Then rinse with lukewarm water.
Bananas are generally safe to eat. However, the protein in bananas can be the cause of an oral allergy. This syndrome usually affects people with pollen allergy.The allergic person experiences itching and burning sensations in the mouth, lips and throat after consuming or touching the offending food. Symptoms can go away within a few minutes.
Nonetheless, it is recommended to consult an allergist in order to determine the cause of the reaction and any precautionary measures to be taken.
People who are allergic to latex may also be hypersensitive to bananas and other foods such as kiwi and avocado. They must remain vigilant about the consumption of these fruits and consult an allergist in case of doubt.
For people with diabetes, who fear blood sugar spikes, you should know that bananas do not have a very high glycemic index: between 46 and 62 depending on their maturity. The glycemic index measures the impact of a food on the increase in blood sugar after a meal.
People with diabetes can therefore eat bananas, but should avoid eating large amounts of very ripe bananas, which is just common sense.
Basically, they can eat one banana at a time, not to exceed four a day. Do not forget to measure your blood sugar, however, as after any meal rich in starch or sugar.