One of the most consumed fruits in the world – It’s easy to take it with, usually cheap, gives a lot of energy and nutrients, and by the way, it’s delicious! In this post we’ll tell you the main 10 benefits of eating this loved food, linking the information to scientific sources that confirm them.
Nutrients in Banana
There are a lot of species of banana harvested around the world, being the Cavendish the most common. Nevertheless, eating any of them (especially if they are organically produced) will supply similar nutritive benefits, amongst which the most important are the following:
- Vitamin B6
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin A
Bananas also contain an important amount of dietary fiber and healthy carbs (in a while we’ll explain why they’re healthier), and are low in proteins and fats.
Difference between unripe and ripe Banana
Green and yellow ones are rich in starch and complex carbohydrates (healthy carbs), and this starch converts into sugar as the banana get ripe. But it doesn’t mean we need to eat them as soon as possible. If the bananas are turning too black and mushy you could ignore them, but it’s still a healthy food as long they don’t rot.
Renal Cancer Prevention
Thanks to the high levels of potassium, this fruit is well known for its impact on Kidney Health. Scientifics studies have been made to measure its effect in these organs, showing that a constant consumption of bananas (3 to 5 days per week) cuts the risk of renal cancer and other renal failures even more than a 40%, being the fruit with the best results between all of those included in the study. Nevertheless, banana consumption must be avoided or controlled in case of renal failure.
Blood Sugar regulation
The resistant starch, as well as the dietary fiber (especially the pectin) found in important amounts in this fruit, have shown positive effect on regulation of blood sugar levels. This healthy effect isn’t just great by itself but it’s also linked to 2 more benefits that we’ll explain now, meaning that eating a banana provides a ‘metabolic-regulation’ combo.
Reduce Insulin resistance and risks of type 2 Diabetes
Problems related to insulin sensitivity are one of the most common consequences of lifestyle in the western world. It’s due to the lack of exercise and a high consumption of simple carbs and sugar, therefore the consumption of fruits are an easy and delicious way to improve Insulin sensitivity, as their resistant starch -which is more nutritive- improves glucose tolerance.
In this case is more important to consider if a banana is ripe or not, as a ripe banana could have already transformed a lot of this resistant starch into sugar, which means lower effects on improving insulin sensitivity and higher risks of presenting peaks in blood sugar levels. Therefore, banana consumption should be avoided or controlled in case of type-2 diabetes or advanced insulin resistance.
Good source of Energy for your Day
This pectin we just mentioned delays gastric emptying (digestion), which means that the energy provided by this and another fruits is absorbed slower. Thus, you’ll have more stamina for the rest of the day and it will be easier to control your appetite and weight. This effect will also improve your endurance if you do exercises or practise some sport.
Antioxidants to Slow aging
Vitamin A, C, carotenoids and flavonoids like zeaxanthin and lutein found in bananas are wonderful friends of your youth, as they allow the body to fight the free radicals produced that stimulate oxidative stress and promote aging. This benefit also involves the eyes, therefore even a banana isn’t a carrot (famous for its properties for visual health), its regular consumption promotes a better present and future for your eyes. The risks of stroke or heart diseases get also reduced by banana consumption.
Improve Immune Health
The supply of Vitamin B6 from natural and organic foods like bananas help to increase the amount of leukocytes (white blood cells) of good quality, improving this way the immune health. As bananas get ripe (starting to get black), they contain a cytokine named TNF (Tumor Necrosis Factor), which helps to fight cancer.
Banana Tea against Sleep Disorders
One important thing a lot of people miss is the healthy benefits of the banana peel. It contains important amounts of potassium, magnesium, fiber, Vitamin B6 and B12. It is quite hard to digest, unless we apply heat on it. Thus, drinking banana tea is an excellent way to get the benefits of the peel, including the improvement of sleep. Heating it also helps to reduce the consumption of fiber (too high in the peel) which may cause intestinal unbalances.
Fight Stress and Depression
As bananas and fruits provide you with resistant starch and complex carbs, they’ll help you to have more energy during the day and improve your mood. Bananas also contain tryptophan, a type of protein that’s necessary to produce serotonin, a hormone related to happiness and emotional health.
We have the duty to keep in balance our digestive system through nourishment, by replicating or not the right kind of bacteria (depending of what we eat) to alkalize or acidify that system. Consumption of refined sugars and a big and constant amount of flours promote an acid environment which is harmful, but by eating fruits like bananas, this equilibrium comes back to life, helping as well to develop a better emotional health and reduce addictions to some foods.
So, remember that this easy and delicious fruit has wonderful benefits for you, as well as any natural and organic food, eaten and prepared with love and consciousness