Many people generally assume bananas as fruits that will make you gain weight due to its high carbohydrate content and should be consumed before or during exercises for an instant energy boost. However, bananas are more than just sources of energy, but a great source of vitamins, minerals and fiber that can boost overall health. Let us explore more in this article!
Firstly, we will dwell into the basic nutritional facts of a Banana.
One medium sized banana has 105 kcal with 1.29 g of protein, 0.4 g of fat and 27 g of Carbohydrate. It has a Fiber content of 3.07g and total Sugars of 14.4 g
Here are the top few Health Benefits of Bananas
Manage High Blood Pressure
Number 1, it helps to manage High Blood Pressure. Bananas are a rich source of potassium; each medium sized banana delivers about 450 mg or 13% of daily requirement. Potassium helps to lower blood pressure through regulating the levels of sodium in the body. It can also help to lower stroke risks and prevent kidney stones. However, it is important to note that those who have kidney issues should keep potassium intake in check. Do seek medical professional help if in doubt.
Weight and diabetes management
Number 2. Helps with weight and diabetes management. The high fiber in bananas is beneficial for weight management, as fiber intake helps make you feel fuller without overeating. Fiber also reduces the absorption of fat and carbohydrates when food travels through the gut. Green bananas contain resistant starch or insoluble fiber, it is able to add size and density of stools which encourages easier channelling of food through the digestive system that helps to fight constipation. It may also regulate blood sugar levels, thereby helping manage diabetes. However, because the resistant starch changes to simple sugars when they turn yellow, it is advisable for diabetic patients to stick to the unripe variant instead.
Promotes gut health
Number 3. Promotes gut health. Bananas are rich in prebiotics, which is a food source for the good bacteria in our gut called probiotics. Prebiotics are known to help treat some gastrointestinal infections and also ease irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
Energy for workouts
Number 4. Energy for workouts. Yellow bananas are a healthy source of energy as they are high in simple sugars plus are fat and cholesterol free. It is also convenient to pack and can serve as ideal pre or post - workout snacks.
Good for skin
Number 5. Bananas are actually good for the skin. Bananas are rich in manganese, which helps the body produce collagen and protects cells from the ravages of free radicals.
Rich in Vitamins
Last but not the least, it is rich in Vitamins A, B6 and C. Vitamin A is good for your eyes and may also help protect your body against cancer. Vitamin B6 helps the body metabolise macronutrients into energy and Vitamin C helps protect the body cells from free radical damage and able to bolster the immune system aiding the body to heal faster.
Bananas are not for everyone
Because of the high potassium levels, individuals who have medical conditions that restrict potassium intake, such as kidney diseases should refrain or seek medical advice before consuming the fruit.
Diabetic patients should moderate or refrain from consuming yellow bananas, green bananas are more suitable due to the lower sugar content and glycaemic index.
Here are some simple ways to include bananas in your diet.
Fry a mixture of mashed up bananas and whisked eggs over low or medium heat.
Blend one frozen banana, milk and a few cubes of ice.
Sandwich 2 slices of wholemeal bread with sliced bananas, peanut butter or butter spread.
Banana fruit salad
Slice your favourite mixture or fruits and include bananas in a salad bowl for a burst of flavour and tons of healthiness.
Banana ice cream
Slice up one or two bananas and freeze them. Blend them into a creamy consistency and freeze the paste before consuming.
By : Alvin Ho
B (Eng), MBA, Certified Allied Healthcare/Fitness Professional (EIMS), Master Fitness Trainer / Fitness Nutrition, Resistance & Endurance Training Specialist (NFPT)