11 Evidence-Based Health Benefits of Bananas
Bananas are very healthy, delicious, and convenient and among the cheapest fresh fruits that you can purchase. They are a great option for those who are interested in eating a healthy diet.
Although they’re native to Southeast Asia, they grow widely in all climates that are warm which makes them accessible to everyone. They are the Cavendish variety, which is the most popular variety available in grocery stores begins out green and firm but becomes soft, yellow and sweet when it matures.
Bananas are rich in important nutrients that can aid in losing weight, digestive health and health of the heart.
Here are 11 research-based benefits of eating bananas for health.
1. Rich in nutrients
Bananas have a decent amount of fiber as well as antioxidants. A regular-sized (126 grams) banana (126 grams) is also awash in ( 1Trusted Source):
- Calories: 112
- fat:0 grams
- Protein: 1 gram
- Carbs29 grams
- Fiber 3 grams
- Vitamin C:12% of the Daily Value (DV)
- Riboflavin:7% of the DV
- Folate: 6% of the DV
- Niacin:5% of the DV
- Copper:11% of the DV
- Potassium:10% of the DV
- Magnesium:8% of the DV
A single banana contains around 112 calories. They are made mostly of carbohydrates and water. They are low in proteins and contain they are not loaded with fat.
The carbs present in the unripe, green bananas are mostly composed of resistant starch and starch, a kind of indigestible fibre we’ll come in the near future. As the fruit matures it’s flavor improves and its fiber content decreases ( 2Trusted Source, 3Trusted Source).
2. May improve blood sugar levels
Bananas are a great source of soluble fiber. During digestion, soluble fiber dissolves in liquid to form a gel. This is also the reason why bananas have their sponge-like appearance ( 3Trusted Source).
Unripe bananas also have resistant starch, which can’t be digestive by the organs ( 2Trusted Source).
In combination, the two kinds of fiber could reduce your level of blood sugar following meals. In addition, they could assist in controlling your appetite, by slowing the process of emptying your stomach ( 4Trusted Source).
That means that despite their higher content of carbs they won’t cause significant increases in blood sugar for healthy people. But, even though diabetics are able to enjoy bananas, it’s not recommended that they consume the entire amount in one go.
3. May support digestive health
Fiber in the diet has been associated with numerous health benefits, including better digestion. A medium-sized banana contains about three milligrams in fibre ( 1Trusted Source).
Resistant starch, a type of fiber that is found in unripe fruit, is prebiotic. Prebiotics are absorbed by digestion, but get into the large intestine which becomes food for those healthy bacteria within your digestive tract ( 2Trusted Source, 5Trusted Source).
Furthermore, pectinthe fiber in both ripe as well as unripe bananas -can to prevent constipation as well as soften the stool ( 3Trusted Source, 6Trusted Source).
A few test-tube studies have suggested that pectin could aid in preventing colon cancer. However, studies on humans are required to prove this claim. ( 7Trusted Source, 8Trusted Source).
4. May aid weight loss
There is no research that has tested directly bananas’ effect regarding weight loss. But, this fruit has a number of qualities that make it an ideal healthy food for weight loss.
The first is that bananas contain relatively low calories. The average banana is less than 100 calories, however, it’s healthy and full of nutrients. ( 1Trusted Source).
The consumption of more fiber from fruits and vegetables has been associated with lower fat levels and loss of weight ( 4Trusted Source, 9Trusted Source, 10Trusted Source).
Additionally, unripe bananas are filled with resistant starch, therefore they can be nutritious and less filling, which can help reduce your appetite. If you’d like to incorporate unripe bananas into your diet, consider using the same method as you would with the plantains ( 2Trusted Source, 11Trusted Source).
5. May support heart health
Potassium is a mineral essential to heart health, particularly blood pressure control. Although it’s important, very few people have adequate potassium in their diet ( 12Trusted Source).
Bananas are an excellent source of potassium, with a medium fruit (126 grams) giving 10percent of daily requirement ( 1Trusted Source).
A potassium-rich diet can help lower your blood pressure. In addition, according to old research and animal studies those who consume a lot of potassium can have 27% less risk of developing heart illness ( 13Trusted Source, 14Trusted Source).
In addition, bananas have 8percent of the daily value for magnesium, a mineral that is essential for the health of your heart ( 1Trusted Source, 15Trusted Source).
Magnesium deficiency could be related to a higher risk of developing heart diseases, high blood pressure, and elevated levels of fats in blood. This is why it’s crucial to get sufficient amounts of this mineral in your diet and supplements ( 14Trusted Source).
6. Filled with antioxidants
Vegetables as well as fruits are great sources of antioxidants that are dietary and bananas aren’t an the only one.
They are a rich source of potent antioxidants. These include Flavonoids, amines and flavonoids ( 3Trusted Source).
They are associated with numerous health benefits, including lower risk of heart disease as well as degenerative diseases ( 16Trusted Source, 17Trusted Source).
They protect against cell damage caused by oxidative stress that are caused by free radicals. Free radicals without antioxidants are able to accumulate as time passes and can cause damage when they are present in sufficient quantities within your system ( 16Trusted Source, 17Trusted Source).
7. It can aid in feeling more full
The soluble fiber present in bananas could help keep you fuller by adding bulk to your digestive system , and slowing down digestion ( 16Trusted Source).
Furthermore, bananas are low in calories in comparison to their dimensions ( 1Trusted Source).
Together, the low-calorie and high fiber content of bananas makes them much more filling as opposed to other snacks like sugary or processed boxed food items ( 17Trusted Source).
Protein can also be filling however, bananas are not rich in the macronutrient. For a satisfying snack, you can try eating a banana sliced alongside protein-rich food items like Greek yogurt or mix the banana in the form of a shake of protein ( 16Trusted Source).
8. Could increase insulin sensitivity when it is still ripe
Insulin resistance is a major risk factor in a number of chronic diseases, such as type 2 diabetes.
A number of studies show that eating resistant starch, for instance, eating unripe bananas can increase the sensitivity of insulin. This could make your body more responsive to this blood-sugar-regulating hormone (2Trusted Source, 4Trusted Source, 18Trusted Source).
However, more research on how resistant starch in bananas can influence insulin sensitivity is necessary.
9. May improve kidney health
Potassium is crucial for kidney health and for blood pressure control ( 19Trusted Source).
As a great source in potassium, fruits can be extremely helpful in maintaining your kidneys in good health.
One study with over 5500 people suffering from chronic kidney disease in the early stages found that potassium is associated with lower blood pressure and more gradual progress in kidney diseases ( 19Trusted Source).
However those with advanced stages of kidney failure or are taking dialysis should reduce their potassium intake. If you are in any of the above categories, talk with your physician prior to increasing your intake of potassium ( 19Trusted Source).
10. May support exercise recovery
Bananas are often called the ideal food choice for athletes. This is mostly due to their richness in carbohydrates that are digested easily and the minerals magnesium and potassium that serve as electrolytes ( 20Trusted Source).
The loss of electrolytes occurs through sweating when you exercise vigorously. In addition, replenishing your body with magnesium and potassium after sweating, such as by eating a banana can help reduce muscle cramps that are a result of exercise as well as discomfort ( 20Trusted Source).
However, research specifically on the impact of bananas on efficiency, muscle cramps, as well as the recovery from exercise is not available.
Yet, they are an excellent source of nutrition prior to, during, as well following exercise.
11. It is easy to incorporate into your diet
Bananas are not just incredibly healthy , they are also one of the most practical snacks available.
They are a wonderful flavoring for cereals, yogurt and smoothies. Additionally, they are delicious to top toast made of whole grains and peanut butter. They can also be used to replace sugar in baking and cooking.
Bananas are also extremely easy to eat and to transport. They’re generally well-tolerated and are easily digested. All you have to do is to peel the skin and you’ll be good to go.
Bananas are a well-known fruit that is packed with health benefits.
They could improve your digestion and heart health due to their antioxidant and fiber content. Additionally, they could aid in weight loss due to being energy-efficient, nutritionally dense and nutritious.
Yellow bananas that are ripe as well as green bananas that aren’t ripe will satisfy your sweet tooth , and also help maintain your health.