10 Amazing Benefits for Banana Health
Banana Health Benefits: – Bananas are one of nature’s nice snack foods, however did you know that they are also packed with health benefits?
Most people know that they are a great source of potassium however I will share some of the incredible benefits of incredible banana health – my favorite is the hangover cure! Read on for 10 banana health benefits that can offer you additional energy, improved digestion and even improve the way you look and feel.
The 10 Health Benefits for Bananas
10 Amazing Benefits for Banana Health
1. Increase in energy
Sports drinks, energy bars and electrolytic gels are very popular nowadays, but professional athletes are often seen eating bananas just before and even throughout their sports. Watching tennis, for example, is not uncommon to watch players snack on a piece of banana between games. If a banana will keep an expert tennis player going, it should be ranked highly as a healthy source of energy.
I have experimented with this myself – working with, or while not being a banana – and it seems to constantly do better once I have one before training. The natural sugars of bananas balanced with soluble fiber give me a slow and steady energy release once eaten half an hour before I hit the gym. Some people are worried about blood sugar bananas, however tests show that they actually have a glycemic index of about 52, with 24 g of available carbohydrates (less the less mature they are).
That is a glycemic load within the vicinity of 12 that is not considered as high. These figures obviously can vary depending on the variety and maturity. (Source) Bananas make an excellent work snack to combat that mid-afternoon drop. They are a decent option for weight loss too – a small banana contains in relation to 100 calories and can satisfy your sweet cravings.
If you are going to replace candy bars and different junk foods with bananas, it is a useful step to lose weight. Not only can your body thank you for the vitamin and mineral increase however the release of energy are much more consistent.
Potassium is an essential mineral that maintains proper heart function and regulates your blood pressure. Foods rich in potassium such as bananas make up the effect of sodium (salt) on increasing blood pressure. This, coupled with a healthy diet and lifestyle, reduces your risk of heart attack and stroke. (source)
This is not pseudoscience. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) allows the banana industry to make official claims, much like a pharmaceutical drug, regarding reducing the risk of high blood pressure and stroke. Research published in the American Heart Association magazine suggests eating bananas regularly will reduce the risk of having a stroke by 20%. (source)
The potassium content of bananas also benefits your kidneys and bones. Increased intake of potassium suppresses the excretion of calcium within the urine, preventing painful kidney stones. (source)
Decreased calcium excretion means more calcium to preserve your bones. This means that a banana or two a day will reduce the risk of developing osteoporosis and brittle bones. (source)
3. Cure for ulcers and acidity
Bananas are a known cure for heartburn. They help balance the pH of your stomach and improve the protective layer of mucus, relieving pain. The fiber content also moves food through your digestive tract faster – preventing reflux. (source)
Eating bananas regularly can help protect against stomach ulcers. In the long run, bananas thicken the protective barrier of mucus inside the stomach, avoiding the damage of hydrochloric acid. Bananas also contain protease inhibitors that help eliminate stomach bacteria that can cause stomach ulcers. (source)
4. Vitamin B6
Bananas are particularly rich in vitamin B6. This vitamin is very important for the creation of hemoglobin for healthy blood.
B6 is also involved in maintaining adequate blood sugar levels, synthesizing and breaking down amino acids and producing antibodies for a stronger immune response in your body.
Only one banana has a fifth of its recommended daily intake of vitamin B6. And they taste a lot better than vitamin pills too! (source)
5. Improvement of digestion
Most people do not get nearly enough fiber in our diets. Fiber is needed to help food travel smoothly through the digestive tract. It also improves bowel movements. Bananas are a great source of dietary fiber.
A couple of bananas is a better option than taking a laxative to treat occasional constipation.
Returning to another vital element of digestion, bananas are made into fructo-oligosaccharides (FOS). FOS is a prebiotic, that is, it feeds the vital “friendly” bacteria that live in your digestive tract. These bacteria help us to absorb nutrients efficiently. (source)
6. Skin conditions
Even the skin of the banana has its uses. It is pleasant to treat skin conditions like psoriasis and acne. Rub the freshly peeled interior of the banana skin gently over the affected area and leave the residue to be absorbed. The fatty acid content of the banana skin helps to relieve a variety of skin conditions as well as having a strong moisturizing effect. (source)
In the case of psoriasis you will notice some additional redness initially, however this could improve once a few days of use. Patch test in a small area if you have any concerns. It usually takes many weeks to see the full benefit of this treatment.
Banana peel treatments are a traditional remedy for curing warts. Rub a small piece of banana peel over the wart and tape so firmly in place. Leave it overnight and repeat this process at least weekly or until the wart disappears. (Source) Many online testimonials have reported good results with these simple treatments, although the results with natural cures will be varied. I would be interested to know of someone who has tried any of these techniques for themselves.
7. A cancer fighter?
Recent Japanese animal research linked fully mature bananas (with dark spots) to the production of a compound called TNF-a. This is a cytokine that is believed to have the potential to increase white blood cell count, thereby improving your immunity and fighting cancer cell changes. (source)
Personally, I do not put too much material in animal studies. Regardless, increasing overall fruit consumption in your diet has been consistently linked to a lower risk of developing various cancers.
8. Improve mood and reduce stress
Bananas are a decent source of the amino acid tryptophan that your body turns into serotonin. Among other things, proper levels of serotonin help to improve your mood, reduce stress and improve your overall outlook and levels of happiness. It also helps to regulate your sleep patterns.
Tryptophan is an essential amino acid because the only way your body gets it is through your diet. Bananas, while certainly not the highest source out there, are one of the easiest ways to get a little more tryptophan. Another reason why bananas make such a great sandwich for once you feel stressed at work. (source)