Fun fact: Americans eat more bananas than apples and oranges combined. In fact, the average American eats 27 pounds of bananas every year
A powerhouse of essential nutrients, banana also happens to be delicious, affordable and easily available making it one of the most widely consumed fruits in the world. Banana, with scientific name Musa acuminata colla, is widely cultivated in tropical and subtropical countries.
Banana is a popular fruit for weight loss. Aside from the amount of energy you get from it, 100 grams of banana has only 89 calories. Its calories is relatively higher than other fruits, however its soluble dietary fiber is 7% Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) per 100 grams so it makes you feel full faster. The dietary fiber also improves bowel movement.
This fruit is also rich in potassium with 8% of the daily-recommended intake, which protects the cardiovascular health to prevent high blood pressure.
Banana also yields protein and calcium. The 2% RDA of protein helps repair and produce cells. The calcium present in banana, meanwhile strengthens not only the bones but also the muscles and even the blood.
It is also a melting pot, although in small amounts, of flavonoid poly-phenolic antioxidants. These include the α and ß-carotene, lutein, and zeaxanthin, which reduce the risk of contracting chronic eye illnesses. The antioxidants generally delay or prevent damages to the cells.
Aside from the aforementioned nutrients present in bananas, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Nutrient data base reveals that banana is indeed very rich in vitamins like vitamins A, B complex, C, E, and K. The 15% RDA of Vitamin C in bananas is very remarkable and beneficial especially because this kind of vitamin guards the immune system to keep away from illnesses or diseases. Also, among the vitamin B complex, it is the 28% RDA of vitamin B6 or pyridoxine that helps produce antibodies to prevent diseases. It also helps in producing hemoglobin that carries oxygen in the red blood cells.
Minerals like copper, magnesium, manganese and phosphorus are also found in bananas. Altogether, these minerals contribute to the wellness and function of the body. Copper aids in the formation of red blood cells, which could affect the health of your blood vessels and nerves. The 13% RDA of manganese is great for processing carbohydrates, cholesterol, and protein. Moreover, magnesium helps strengthen the bone and maintain good cardiac health.
And since bananas contain a soluble fiber called pectin, expect that elimination process would be a lot easier.
The Health Benefits of Bananas
Based on the previous survey, bananas are the most consumed fruit in the world. Not only that they are very delightful to eat, they are also one of the most nutritious fruits of all time. According to the Department of Agriculture of the United States of America, banana is in fact voted as their top favorite fruit. Banana is the biggest type of the herbaceous plant often mistaken as a tree. Bananas or musa acuminate contains variety of minerals and healthy substances that are very beneficial to human health.
Nowadays, there are already a lot of banana plantations. Due to the consistent high demand for banana many invests in banana production business. High demand for banana is not only because of its taste but also of its important benefits to the human body. Bananas contain a lot of minerals and nutrients that help the body to function accordingly. Our body needs vitamins and nutrients for it to achieve its optimal state.
High Potassium Content
The most known beneficial mineral that banana contains is potassium. Potassium is vital in stabilizing the blood pressure and stimulating the function of the heart. In fact, medicines that help normalize blood pressure contains primarily of potassium. Not being able to regulate blood pressure can lead to many serious illnesses like stroke and heart ailments. Potassium also reduces the risks of kidney problems. Having kidney stones is also an effect of low potassium intake. If you wish to keep your kidneys healthy, better make sure to have at least a banana a day. The potassium content of banana also assures that calcium loss is prevented. You can get rid of having brittle bones or worst osteoporosis.
Source of Energy
If you are looking for a healthier substitute to energy bars or drinks, then you are looking just right at bananas. This explains why you see sports players eating bananas just before their game. Not only that it is natural, it is also way healthier than processed energy foods and drinks.
Because banana is an excellent source of fiber eating such improves digestion. Fiber allows the food we eat to properly move to the subsequent process of digestion. Plus bananas also have FOS or fructo-oligosaccharides that eliminate the harmful bacteria and preserve the good ones that are very helpful when it comes to nutrients absorption. In fact bananas can also help prevent and cure ulcer because of its ability to eliminate the type of bacteria that causes ulcer. Bananas also contain compounds that thickens the protective wall in the stomach that blocks off hydrochloric acid. Bananas are very popular in cleansing digestive tract in order that we digest the food we intake the right way.
Rich in Vitamin B6
B6 is an important mineral that produces hemoglobin that makes our blood clean and healthy. B6 also regulates the bloods sugar levels. On top of that, B6 is vital because it stimulates production of antibodies and breakdown of amino acids to strengthen the body’s immune system.
Improved heart health
The key to achieve an optimal heart health is to increase intake of vitamin C and decrease sodium intake. This will reduce chances of having cardiovascular diseases. Studies have been conducted and it was concluded that high intake of potassium decrease risks of stroke, heart ailments, kidney stones, and many more.
Treatment for diarrhea
Potassium serve as electrolytes and electrolytes have the effect lessening the effects of diarrhea. This is because electrolytes makes the affected parts feel weak therefore reducing its effects and restoring the balance of potassium in the body.
Rich with various Vitamins and Minerals
You will be amazed with the vitamins and minerals that one piece of banana contains. It has potassium, vitamins b6, dietary fiber, manganese, vitamin C, protein, folate, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin A, and iron as well. It is a source of so many vitamins and minerals that is very desirable for many parts of the body.
Stabilizes mental and psychological health
Bananas are not only good for the body but the mental and psychological state as well. Studies supported that due to the presence of tryptophan in the banana it causes mood elevation and reduces depression as well as anxiety. Tryptophan is converted to serotonin that transmits mood elevating substances in the brain. And the magnesium content helps relax the body’s muscles plus the vitamin b6 regulates healthy sleeping patterns. Bananas effectively affect stress management and your overall mental health.
Nowadays, you will not find difficulty buying bananas because they are widely distributed in almost all grocery stores. In fact there are already various types of bananas that differ in terms of size and taste. The main type of banana that is consumed by the majority and mostly sold in the markets is what they call Cavendish bananas. Cavendish bananas can be eaten raw or can be used to make desserts and other kinds of treats. Bananas can also be used to make meals like incorporating it in your salad or oatmeal. Associating this fruit in your daily food intake can cause many amazing health benefits. Just make sure that you buy fresh bananas that are free from harmful chemicals. Make sure that they are produced safely. It is most beneficial if they are organically produced to assure that they do not contain any toxic substance, like pesticides, that are used in their cultivation.