We cannot help but think of bananas when someone mentions fruit. What makes them so common is that they are readily available, convenient, and inexpensive. Loved by all age groups, the banana comes handy when one is looking for something to snack on.
However, the lack of knowledge has left people debating over the banana for its link with weight loss. Before we break some myths and discuss its health benefits, it is essential to know the banana nutrition facts.
- Suggested read: Avocado Nutrition – Its Amazing 10 Health Benefits
Banana nutrition facts
Banana is widely famous for the rich potassium content that it carries. However, it does not just end there. Besides that, a banana is a rich source of Vitamins such as Vitamin B6, Vitamin C, Vitamin A, manganese, folate, choline, biotin, iron, copper, zinc, and selenium.
One medium sized banana contains around 105 calories, 0g of fat, 3g of fiber and 2g of protein. This nutrient-rich fruit makes it a perfect candidate to include in your diet regimen.
Bananas and weight loss
Most people refrain from incorporating bananas in their diet generally because of the myth surrounding weight. It is important to note that bananas have zero fat in them, which makes them even more favorable for dieters.
Bananas are rich in fiber diet, which means it keeps you feeling full for more extended periods, making you feel less hungry, thus aiding you in weight loss.
The calories present in banana mostly come from carbohydrates which owe banana its bad reputations, but most people do not know that calorie intake from banana is just as like what one can have from an apple.
Carbohydrates do not hinder the weight loss process but rather boost it due to the presence of resistant starch, something that other fruits do not have.
Ripe bananas (yellow ones) have sugar in them whereas the unripe bananas (greens) usually have higher starch content in them. When a banana ripens, the starch converts into sugar, which renders it a lovely taste.
Resistant starch is what is responsible for aiding weight loss, good colon health, and well-maintained blood sugar levels.
Banana health benefits
1. Energy boosters
Sugars found in banana when converted, give an instant boost of energy to the dieters. Whether you include it in your breakfast or as a snack, it kept one full and energized for a long time.
2. Regulate blood pressure
The vital nutrients found in a banana are potassium and magnesium. They help to regulate the blood pressure along and minimize the risk of heart diseases. Patients with high blood pressure can always opt for bananas as their diet.
3. Kidney health
Bananas promote healthy functioning of the kidney by fostering renal health, lowering risks of kidney cancer and all the credit for this goes to potassium found in bananas.
4. Lowers cancer risk
It does not only help with the kidney cancer, but other cancers such as leukemia and bowel cancer also stay on the bay, if you make friends with bananas.
5. The probiotic banana
Not many foods offer the role of a probiotic when it comes to maintaining healthy gut flora. Fructooligosaccharide, a substance in bananas, helps build a healthy colon, promoting better absorption of nutrients and better digestion.
The potassium in unripe bananas helps maintain the fluid balance by restoring the essential electrolytes lost during a diarrheic episode.
7. Fights psychological problems
You can help alleviate your mood with a little banana dose since banana is rich in dopamine, serotonin, and other mood-enhancing neurotransmitters.
Why depend on medications when nature itself is a bountiful source of antidepressants. The amount of potassium present also helps bust some stress where tryptophan, a mood enhancer, acts by curing the seasonal affective disorder.
Are banana peels edible?
While the banana in itself is full of healthy secrets, the banana peel also has its advantages. Mostly ignored and thrown away, it is quite high in vitamin B6, B12, potassium, and magnesium.
Banana peels work amazingly to cure your pimples and warts. Those might not taste as pleasant as the banana, but you can always cook it slightly to savor on its benefits.
Potential risks of banana
While bananas are not harmful to anyone, these may present particular risks for some people.
- People who are allergic to banana may experience subtle signs of itching, hives, or swelling in their throat region
- Also, if you are on beta-blockers, avoid eating bananas. Beta-blockers are prescribed for heart diseases but it tends to have a high content of potassium. If you are opting for bananas as well, then you might risk yourself with higher contents of potassium in the blood
- See that you do not overdo your intake of bananas. Since they are high in fiber, they can contribute to gas, bloating, nausea or stomach cramps