What happens if you eat a banana daily. Maybe you’re interested
Bananas are extremely healthy and delicious.
They contain several essential nutrients, and have benefits for digestion, heart health and weight loss.
Aside from being very nutritious, they are also a highly convenient snack food.
Here are health benefits of bananas that are supported by scientific research.
1. Bananas Contain Many Important Nutrients
Bananas are among the most popular fruits on earth.
Native to Southeast Asia, they are now grown in many warmer parts of the world.
There are many types of bananas available, which vary in color, size and shape. The most common type is the yellow banana, which is green when unripe.
Bananas contain a fair amount of fiber, as well as several antioxidants. One medium-sized banana (118 grams) also contains :
Potassium: 9% of the RDI.
Vitamin B6: 33% of the RDI.
Vitamin C: 11% of the RDI.
Magnesium: 8% of the RDI.
Copper: 10% of the RDI.
Manganese: 14% of the RDI.
Net carbs: 24 grams.
Fiber: 3.1 grams.
Protein: 1.3 grams.
Fat: 0.4 grams.
Each banana contains only about 105 calories, and consists almost exclusively of water and carbs. Bananas contain very little protein and almost no fat.
The carbs in unripe (green) bananas consist mostly of starch and resistant starch, but as the banana ripens, the starch turns into sugar (glucose, fructose and sucrose).
Bottom Line: Bananas are rich in fiber, antioxidants and several nutrients. A medium-sized banana contains about 105 calories.
2. Bananas Contain Nutrients That Moderate Blood Sugar Levels
Bananas are rich in a fiber called pectin, which gives the flesh its structural form
Unripe bananas contain resistant starch, which acts like soluble fiber and escapes digestion.
Both pectin and resistant starch may moderate blood sugar levels after meals, and reduce appetite by slowing stomach emptying
Furthermore, bananas also rank low to medium on the glycemic index,
which is a measure (from 0–100) of how quickly foods increase blood sugar levels. The glycemic value of unripe bananas is about 30, while ripe bananas rank at about 60. The average value of all bananas is 51
This means that bananas should not cause major spikes in blood sugar levels in healthy individuals.
However, this may not apply to diabetics, which should probably avoid eating lots of well-ripened bananas and monitor their blood sugars carefully when they do.
Bottom Line: Bananas contain nutrients that can help moderate blood sugar levels after meals. They may also reduce appetite by slowing stomach emptying.
3. Ease in Digestion
According to Ayurveda, banana has a sweet and sour taste. The sweet taste is said to bring about a sense of heaviness but the sour taste is known to stimulate agni (the digestive juices), thereby supporting digestion and helping in building up metabolism.
4. Powerhouse of Nutrients
Banana is a heavyweight when it comes to nutrition. It is loaded with essential vitamins and minerals such as potassium, calcium, manganese, magnesium, iron, folate, niacin, riboflavin, and B6. These all contribute to the proper functioning of the body and keeping you healthy.
5. Heart Health
High fiber foods are said to be good for the heart. According to a study done by University of Leeds in UK, increasing consumption of fiber-rich foods such as bananas can lower risk of both cardiovascular disease (CVD) and coronary heart disease (CHD).
6. Bananas Contain Powerful Antioxidants
Fruits and vegetables are excellent sources of dietary antioxidants, and bananas are no exception.
They contain several types of potent antioxidants, including dopamine and catechins
These antioxidants have been linked to many health benefits, such as a reduced risk of heart disease and degenerative diseases
However, it is a common misunderstanding that the dopamine from bananas acts as a feel-good chemical in the brain.
In reality, dopamine from bananas does not cross the blood-brain barrier. It simply acts as a strong antioxidant instead of altering hormones or mood
Bottom Line: Bananas are high in several antioxidants, which may help reduce damage from free radicals and lower the risk of some diseases.
7. Bananas May Improve Kidney Health
Potassium is essential for blood pressure control and healthy kidney function.
As a good dietary source of potassium, bananas may be especially beneficial for maintaining healthy kidneys.
One study in women showed that over 13 years, those who ate bananas 2–3 times per week were 33% less likely to develop kidney disease
Other studies have found that those who eat bananas 4–6 times a week are almost 50% less likely to develop kidney disease, compared to people who don’t eat bananas
Bottom Line: Eating a banana several times a week may reduce the risk of kidney disease by up to 50%.