If you think bananas are just for monkeys, think again. A wide variety of health benefits of bananas is available.
They contain several essential nutrients, such as potassium, magnesium, vitamins C, and B6, etc. Bananas also provide benefits for digestion, heart health, and weight loss.
They also reduce swelling, protect against diabetes, strengthen the nervous system, and help with the production of white blood cells. A single piece of banana contains only 90 calories, which makes it a great and healthy snack to munch.
Bananas are one of the most widely consumed fruits in the world for good reasons.
What is banana?
Bananas are tropical fruits that have a soft pulp inside their fleshy peel. Banana is one of the world’s most appealing fruits. The scientific name for banana is Musa, from the Musaceae family of flowering tropical plants.
Musa acuminata and Musa balbisiana are the scientific names of the most cultivated bananas. Musa paradisiacal is the name of the hybrid of Musa acuminata and Musa balbisiana. The old scientific name, Musa sapientum for the combination is no longer used.
The fruit of the banana plant varies in size, colour, and firmness. The soft flesh of bananas is mostly curved and rich in starch. The banana fruit may be green when unripe and yellow, red or brown when ripe. The fruits of the plant grow in clusters hanging from the top of the plant.
Today, humans grow bananas in about 135 countries, primarily for their fruits. Bananas are fourth among the world’s food crops in monetary value.
Health Benefits of Bananas
Rich Source of many Important Nutrients
Banana is a rich source of fibres, natural sugars, and antioxidants. Carbohydrate, vitamin B6, vitamin C, vitamin A, manganese, potassium, calcium, niacin, folate, magnesium, iron, riboflavin, and dietary fibre are present in the banana fruit.
Bananas contain a tiny amount of protein and almost no fat.
Banana Aids Digestion
Bananas have very high fibre content. Therefore, they can help you in smooth bowel movements. Fibres present in bananas can soothe your excretion process and relieve you from constipation.
Bananas contain two types of fibre:
- Resistant starch: Found in unripe bananas.
- Pectin: Decreases as the banana ripens.
The resistant starch found in unripe bananas escapes digestion and ends up in your large intestine. In your large intestine, it becomes food for the beneficial bacteria in your gut.
Dietary fibres are of two types, soluble and insoluble fibres. Control of blood sugar level and get rid of substances such as cholesterol is the work of soluble fibres while insoluble fibres aid bowel movements.
Improves the Health of your Heart
A critical nutrient for your heart is potassium. As bananas are a rich source of potassium, they can help you to reduce blood pressure. Potassium helps maintain the electrical balance of our body, which helps to keep your heart to keep beating.
The fibre in bananas also scrapes excess cholesterol from the arteries and blood vessels, which further reduces the stress on your cardiovascular system. The sodium content in a banana is low.
Gives You Energy
Most energy giving foods also contain fair amounts of fats and cholesterol. Bananas, however, gives you energy minus the fats and cholesterol. They are the perfect food for athletes because of their mineral content. They can also help you reduce exercise-related muscle cramps and soreness. It is ideal for children for breakfast and athletes, before, during, and after sports.
Cares for the Skin
Bananas are essential to have well-moisturized skin. The vitamin A present in bananas can help you heal dry and withered skin, fade acne scars and dark spots and also smooth out your ageing skin.
Manganese in bananas is good for the skin. Manganese is a trace mineral because the body in small amounts needs it. It is essential for collagen production and wound healing in human skin cells.
Banana Helps Fight Anaemia
Bananas contain a high amount of iron. Iron is perfect for your body if you are suffering from anaemia because it helps the human body to produce haemoglobin. Iron is also essential for pregnant women because it helps in the development of the baby.
Bananas also have a significant content of copper, which is an essential element in the creation of red blood cells. Also, by increasing your red blood count, you not only prevent anaemia, but you also increase circulation to all parts of your body, thereby oxygenating them and increasing their functionality.
Contains Nutrients That Moderate Blood Sugar Level
Pectin, a type of fibre that helps give flesh its spongy structural form, is present in large amount in bananas. Resistant starch, which acts like soluble fibre and escapes digestion, is also present in unripe bananas.
Both pectin and resistant starch help in moderating blood sugar level after meals and helps in slowing the emptying of your stomach.
Improve Kidney Health
According to healthline, eating bananas several times a week may reduce your risk of kidney disease by up to 50%. Potassium present in the banana fruit is essential for healthy kidney function.
Aids in Weight Loss
As mentioned earlier, one banana has approximately 90 calories. This is especially useful to you if you want to lose weight because they contain a lot of fibre and are very easy to digest.
Therefore, an overweight person does not have to eat much if their diet includes bananas because they are very filling. The fibre will also not make you hungry by delaying the release of the hunger hormone, ghrelin.
This will help you reduce overeating and in the end, help you reduce weight.
Bananas are very rich in calcium. Calcium is the most crucial element in the production and growth of bone matter in the body.
- If eaten in moderation, there is no significant health risk associated with eating bananas. However, eating it in excess may result in headaches and sleepiness. Amino acids in bananas that dilate blood vessels cause headaches. The tryptophan present in bananas causes drowsiness if eaten in excess.
- Despite the health benefits of bananas, eating it in excess and not maintaining proper dental hygiene practices can lead to tooth decay. Tooth decay is a result of the sugar in the fruits.
- The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) recommends that adults eat about two bananas daily. Daily eating dozens of bananas can cause a high level of vitamin and mineral levels in the body.
- Overconsumption of potassium and vitamin B6 can lead to severe damages to the human body like hyperkalemia. Irregular heartbeat, temporary paralysis, and muscle weakness are the characteristics of hyperkalemia. Daily consumption of about 500 milligrams of vitamin B6 can cause nerve damage in the arms and legs.
- Humans suspect bananas to be the world’s first fruit.
- A banana tree is the largest flowering herbaceous plant in the world.
- There are almost about 1,000 varieties of bananas to the FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.
- Bananas are the most popular fruit in the world.
- Because of their potassium content and the small amounts of the isotope potassium-40 found in naturally occurring potassium, bananas are typically slightly radioactive.
- Wild bananas are full of seeds and are only barely edible.
- India is the largest producer of bananas. Bananas float in water.
- Humans eat more than 100 billion bananas every year in the world.
- 51% of bananas are eaten for breakfast at home.
- A hand is a cluster of banana, while a finger is a single banana.
- Humans share about 50% of their DNA with bananas.
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