10 Surprising Health Benefits of Banana – Calories, Nutrition, Uses & More

10 Surprising Health Benefits of Banana - Calories, Nutrition, Uses & More

Bananas are one of the most widely consumed fruits in the world. There are numerous health benefits of eating bananas such as in lowering blood pressure and reducing the risks of cancer and asthma. Bananas are a great source of potassium and provide you energy and help in improving digestion. Before we learn about the health benefits of eating bananas, let’s find out some interesting things related to bananas.

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Interesting Things About Banana

Bananas are extremely healthy and contain several essential nutrients. There are many types of bananas available in the market, which vary in colour, size and shape. The most common type is the yellow banana, which is green when unripe. Following are some interesting things about bananas that you might not know:

  • Bananas are the most popular fruit in the American diet
  • They grow on plants that are considered an herb
  • Bananas float in water because of a lesser density than water
  • Bananas are actually classified as berry
  • Bananas are considered as a mood enhancer as they contain amino acid, tryptophan and Vitamin B6 which helps the body to produce Serotonin
  • Bananas can protect heart health due to high potassium and low salt content
  • A banana peel can help relieve itching and inflammation

Benefits of Eating Banana

1. Lowers Blood Pressure

According to a study published in the April 2018 issue of the American Journal of Physiology-Endocrinology and Metabolism, banana contains potassium which plays a key role in managing healthy blood pressure levels. Potassium helps in relieving the tension in arteries and veins. Moreover, it oxygenates other organs to increase their function.

2. Treats Constipation

According to a study published in the journal Paediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology & Nutrition, bananas contain dietary fibre and therefore it helps in smooth bowel movements. It soothes the excretion process and relieves a person from constipation. Bananas also help you in improving your digestion.

3. Prevents Colorectal Cancer

In 2014, a study carried out by doctors at the National Cancer Registry, Uruguay stated that bananas lower the risk of colorectal cancer. Banana contains high fibres which help bulk up the stool and stimulate the body’s peristaltic motion. This in turn maintains a healthy bowel movement and lowers the risk of developing colorectal cancer.

 4. Cures Diabetes

According to a study that was conducted at the Department of Medicine and Radiology, State University of New York, has revealed that bananas contains pectin. Pectin is a nutrient which helps in improving glucose tolerance in diabetics.

5. Preserves Memory and Boosts Mood

A study done in Pennsylvania State University in US states that banana contains amino acid tryptophan and antioxidants like dopamine, which plays a vital role in boosting mood and preserving memory.

6. Treats Anaemia

Research led by Dr Olga P. García, Autonomous University of Queretaro in Mexico, states that bananas are high in iron content and, therefore, they help in treating anaemia. Bananas contains significant amount of copper, which is an important element in the creation of red blood cells. Increasing your red blood cell count, helps in preventing anaemia.

7. Helps in Weight Loss

Bananas contain a lot of fibre and are easy to digest. Moreover, they contain approximately 90 calories, therefore, an overweight person does not have to eat too much if their diet contains bananas because they are very filling. Bananas help in boosting the metabolism, thereby helping in weight loss.

8. Strengthens Bones

Eating bananas can help you in increasing absorption of calcium. Calcium is an essential element that helps in the production and regrowth of bone in the body. Furthermore, it reduces our chances of getting affected by osteoporosis and natural weakness.

9. Improves Vision

Bananas are packed with antioxidants, carotenoids and a healthy mix of minerals that helps boost the health of your eyes. It helps in treating macular degeneration, cataracts, night blindness, and glaucoma.

10. Relieves Menstrual Problems

Cooked banana flowers help in providing relief from painful and excessive bleeding during the menstrual cycle. It can relieve other menstrual distress such as menstrual cramps and menopause.

Also Read: Benefits Of Pineapple Benefits Of Pears

Nutritional Value of Bananas

Bananas are a healthy source of fibre, potassium, vitamin B6, vitamin C, and various antioxidants and phytonutrients and it is mainly composed of carbs. Bananas contain decent amounts of resistant starch and it functions like fibre, promoting colon health and healthy blood sugar levels.

Nutritional Properties of Banana:

Nutrient Value
Protein 1.1 g
Carbs 22.8 g
Sugar 12.2 g
Fibre 2.6 g
Fat 0.3 g
Saturated 0.11 g
Monounsaturated 0.03 g
Polyunsaturated 0.07 g
Omega 3 0.03 g
Omega 6 0.005 g
Calories 89

Source: www.healthline.com

Carbohydrates

Bananas are a rich source of carbohydrates; you will find starch in unripe bananas and sugars in ripe bananas. The carbohydrate content of bananas changes drastically during ripening and during ripening, the starch is converted into sugars. Later it ends up being less than 1% when the banana is fully ripe.

Fibre

Bananas are also a good source of fibre, such as pectin. Pectin is a type of nutrient present in bananas and it is water-soluble.

Risk Of Eating Banana

There are no side effects related to eating bananas. However, eating a banana in excess may trigger headaches and sleepiness. Headaches are caused by the presence of amino acids in bananas that dilate blood vessels. Overripe bananas contain more of these amino acids. Bananas can contribute to sleepiness when eaten in excess. It is due to the high amount of tryptophan found in them. Magnesium present in a banana relaxes the muscles. But it is sometimes a benefit and sometimes a risk.

Bananas are a sugary fruit and so eating too many can promote weight gain. Eating a banana and not maintaining proper dental hygiene practices can lead to tooth decay. Also, they do not contain enough fat or protein to be a healthy meal on their own.

The University of Maryland Medical Centre reported that over-consumption of potassium can lead to ‘hyperkalaemia’. It is characterized by muscle weakness, temporary paralysis and an irregular heartbeat. Eating too many bananas becomes significantly risky.

Also Read: Cantaloupe CaloriesMuskmelon Calories

How to Consume Banana

1. Making a Peanut Butter Banana Smoothie

  • Take a peeled and sliced banana into a blender
  • Add milk and yoghurt to it (use 150 grams of yoghurt)
  • Add peanut butter
  • Blend the ingredients to have your smoothie ready

2. Make Frozen Banana Bites

  • Cut the banana into thick slices
  • Freeze it for one hour
  • Melt the chocolate chip along with coconut oil in a small bowl
  • Keep the mixture aside and take out the banana
  • Put the banana slices into the chocolate mix
  • Place the coated banana slice back on the wax baking sheet
  • Put it back in the freezer for sometime

Facts Related Banana

The Banana Capital

Most species of the banana plant originated in Southeast Asia and India is the leading producer of bananas. India produces 11 million tons of bananas in a year.

Banana Consumption

Uganda has the highest consumption of bananas in the world and an average person eats almost 500 pounds of bananas every year.

Scientific Name of Banana

The scientific name for banana is Musa sapientum. It means fruit of the wise men. Bananas are grown throughout the year. It doesn’t have a particular season.

Banana Corresponds to Fingers

The word “Banana” is derived from the Arabic word “Banan” that means finger in Arabic.

Perfect Pre-Workout Snack

Bananas are great pre-workout snacks because they are loaded with potassium. It helps in maintaining nerve and muscle function during workouts

Conclusion

There are numerous benefits of banana due to which you should include the sweet and delicious fruit in your diet today itself. A single banana is said to contain only 90 calories. Also makes it a great (and healthy) snack rather than sugar-loaded goodies or deep-fried treats. Talking about its benefits, Banana is high in antioxidants. They provide protection from free radicals, when we come in contact with sunlight.

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