health benefits of bananas

What’s the top thing to do if you’re in Covid-19 lockdown?

People are doing jigsaws, working out, and drinking on screen. According to HuffPost the top Covid-19 lockdown activity is making banana bread.

Do you sometimes wonder whether your favorite fruit was good for you? Perhaps the surprising health benefits of bananas will persuade you to fill your shopping cart even more with this delicious treat. Read on to learn about 10 impressive health benefits of bananas.

1. See Better

You may have heard the advice to eat carrots if you want to improve your sight. Beta-carotene is contained in plants that have an orange pigment such as carrots.

It is also present in orange or dark yellow varieties of bananas. It’s converted by your body into vitamin A.

Vitamin A is essential for good vision. It’s especially important for vision at low light levels. If you want to have good night vision, you need to eat foods that contain beta-carotene. 

2. Feeling Fuller for Longer

Obesity is a major risk factor for heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, stroke, osteoarthritis, and several types of cancer. It can also be associated with mental illness, sleep problems, and low quality of life.

Foods that are good for us and which make us feel fuller for longer can be helpful in maintaining a calorie-controlled diet. Bananas are a great way to do this because they are fiber-rich.

It’s helpful to have a food that you can carry with you in its own natural packaging to meet your need for a snack that doesn’t undermine your diet plans and which fills you up. It means that you don’t feel tempted to eat a less healthy alternative that might contain far more calories.

3. Feel Good Fruit

Depression is a complex illness. It’s not likely that any specific food can offer a solution but there may be some benefits of eating bananas for people who suffer from low mood.

A low level of serotonin is sometimes associated with depression. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter. Changing the brain chemistry, specifically making more serotonin available to the brain, can have an impact on your mood.

Bananas contain a substance that boosts the production of serotonin in the body. Eating a banana, along with other therapies could boost your mood. Include it in strategies for lifting your mood including, taking daily exercise, spending time in nature, and talking therapies.

4. Power Up Your Potassium

You may know that bananas contain potassium. They’re famous for it. But why would you want to eat more potassium?

Potassium is a necessary element in your diet. Without it, you would feel fatigued, weary, and you may also ultimately suffer respiratory failure. You may suffer from gut ailments such as constipation and obstructions.

So, you need potassium to live. Boosting your potassium intake can help the function of nerves, blood pressure, and even improve your heart function. It’s protection against stroke, osteoporosis, and even reduces the likelihood of kidney stones and some more added benefits.

With more than three times your daily potassium requirement, eating a banana a day means you’ve got your potassium needs covered and some.

5. Healthy Guts

Your gut is the means by which you absorb nutrients from your food. The healthier it is, the better you can get the most from your diet. Poor gut health means that you don’t benefit from the good food you eat and the more likely you will suffer from diseases of the gut.

Bananas can help inhibit ulcers both in the stomach and mouth. Bananas do this by promoting the growth of good bacteria in your gut. This prebiotic effect is produced by fructooligosaccharides that naturally occur in bananas.

Eating a high fiber diet also helps gut health. Including plenty of fruit and vegetables in your diet provides lots of fiber. Bananas are a great high fiber fruit so eating them contributes to the fiber content of your diet and helps improve gut health.

One of the causes of ulcers is too much acid in your gut. This is unfortunate because your gut uses acid to help digest food. The problem comes when too much acid is produced and it starts to damage the lining of your stomach and upper gut.

Banana has a slight ant-acid effect. It neutralizes the acid and so alleviates its damaging effect. Eating bananas can therefore reduce excess acid, reduce inflammation, and prevent ulcers.

6. Ripe for Relief

Constipation can be an uncomfortable condition and sometimes downright painful. If you suffer from constipation from time to time, try eating a ripe banana. The fiber-rich fruit helps get things moving.

Don’t be tempted to eat an unripe banana if you are feeling constipated. Bananas do contain fiber but when they are unripe the starch has the unhelpful effect of slowing down your digestion. This could make your constipation worse. 

7. Fighting Cancer

Some research has demonstrated that some bananas may be helpful in supporting the immune system’s response to cancer. This characteristic seems to be more pronounced in older or brown bananas.

Other fruits may also have this beneficial effect but they are more pronounced in bananas. There may be several factors that contribute to the banana’s beneficial effect on carcinogenesis. For example, they contain antioxidants and also help deliver dopamine and serotonin to the brain all of which may help the immune system.

The research doesn’t suggest that eating a banana will prevent cancer but it does conclude that it has the potential to be useful. Lifestyle diseases and cancers are certainly a concern today. If the research is right, perhaps eating a banana a day might be a wise course to take.

8. Relieve Reflux

Heartburn is a symptom of acid reflux. It is caused by acid rising from your stomach into your upper gut. It can cause pain and damage the soft tissue of your gut.

When you take medicine to relieve heartburn or acid reflux, the chemicals in the medicine reduce the pH of the liquid rising from your stomach. This same effect can be achieved without using medicines.

Bananas are a natural way to reduce the pH in your stomach. This will, in turn, reduce the burning sensation you feel. Eating a banana will also encourage other food in your gut to move down through the digestive system and so further reduce the reflux that’s moving in the wrong direction. 

9. Help Build Bones and Teeth

If you want to build bones and teeth, you probably think that drinking more milk is the best thing to do. Milk contains calcium and bones need calcium to grow and stay strong.

The problem with this is that your body has to be able to absorb the nutrients from the milk you drink. If you aren’t able to absorb the calcium it will pass right through your digestive system and will not benefit your bones and teeth.

Bananas contain microflora that helps your body absorb the minerals it needs from your food. One of the minerals it helps you absorb is calcium. Supporting your gut with healthy bacteria improves the health of your bones and teeth because more of the calcium you eat in your diet can be used.

10. Boost Your Power

Have you ever wondered why so many athletes eat a banana when they need an energy boost? You’ll see top tennis players take a few bites of banana when they take a quick rest between games. Even distance runners and cyclists will take a quick bite of banana when they get a chance.

The reason athletes do this is that bananas provide a very effective boost to energy levels. They’re great to eat before a workout or afterward too.

Before your workout, you need some quick-release energy to get you moving. After your workout, you need to relieve your weariness. Bananas answer this need very effectively.

But what’s the reason bananas perform this function so well? It’s two things that achieve this.

Firstly, a banana is very easy to digest so your body can access the nutrients it contains very quickly. Secondly, bananas contain carbohydrates.

Carbohydrates are a useful source of energy. These carbohydrates are combined with electrolytes that help your muscles function. Just when you might need help to prevent muscle cramps, the humble banana is there to help.

Share the Health Benefits of Bananas

Whether you give them a slice of banana cake or split a bunch of bananas with a friend, sharing bananas is so much more than sharing a delicious snack. You’re doing them a huge favor. The health benefits of bananas mean you’re giving their health a boost too.

Browse our banana-oriented website starting here.

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