Bananas are an amazingly versatile fruit that can be made into refreshing smoothies, added delicious flavor to baked goods, or simply eaten on the go. That may explain why it’s one of the world’s most popular fruits: More than 96 percent of US households buy bananas at least once a month, according to the report.
So we like to eat bananas. But is this obsession good for us?
Research says yes. There’s more to bananas than affordability and deliciousness. According to research, the magic number is three – eating three bananas a day will provide your body with 1,500 mg of potassium, which has many health benefits.
So what exactly are the benefits?
Here are 10 amazing health benefits of eating a banana every day.
- Banana lowers blood pressure.
Research shows that eating three bananas a day can significantly lower blood pressure. A medium banana contains about 422 mg of potassium and almost no sodium. A high potassium-to-sodium ratio helps neutralize the blood pressure-raising effects of sodium in the diet.
So it seems like your mom’s advice to buy a banana instead of that bag of crisps is really sound advice.
- Bananas improve digestion.
Bananas are full of soluble and insoluble fiber. Fiber is an important nutrient in the body because it regulates and slows down the rate of digestion. Eating bananas not only makes you feel fuller for longer, but also helps with constipation.
It is not surprising that bananas are often included in breakfast. These will help you start your day energized and satisfied.
- Banana improves cardiovascular function.
Eating foods high in fiber is good for the heart, and bananas are packed with fiber. A high-fiber diet is associated with a lower risk of both cardiovascular disease (CVD) and coronary heart disease (CHD). Soluble fiber in bananas can reduce the risk of heart disease in particular.
A healthy, balanced diet will provide your body with the vitamins, minerals and antioxidants it needs – fill up on a banana or two to get 4 grams of fiber per serving.
- Bananas build healthy cells.
Bananas are rich in vitamin B6, which contains 20% of the daily requirement for adults. Vitamin B6 helps the body produce insulin, hemoglobin, and the amino acids needed to build healthy cells. It helps produce antibodies to fight infection.
Perhaps we should have phrased it differently, “A banana a day keeps the doctor away.”
- Bananas improve gastrointestinal health.
Because bananas are relatively easy to digest, they are believed to be non-irritating to the human gastrointestinal tract, or gastrointestinal tract. In fact, bananas not only ease the burden on the digestive tract, they also soothe the digestive tract and help restore lost minerals after diarrhea. That is why they are the first solid foods for babies.
This is one of the reasons nutritionists use bananas, rice, apples, and dry toast as part of the clinical BRAT diet to treat acute diarrhea.
- Bananas are rich in vitamin C.
When you think of vitamin C, the first things that come to mind are oranges and strawberries. But a full serving of bananas provides 15 percent of the daily requirement. Vitamin C is an important antioxidant that neutralizes harmful free radicals in the body. Free radicals are uncharged atoms, molecules, or ions (the “bad guys”) that constantly destroy cells in your body. Vitamin C helps keep blood vessels healthy and makes collagen, which binds muscles, bones and other tissues together.
- Bananas improve athletic performance.
If you’ve ever wondered why so many athletes love bananas, here’s why: Bananas help strengthen muscles and provide antioxidants and other nutrients. A study conducted at Appalachian State University’s Human Performance Laboratory found that consuming half a banana every 15 minutes during a cycling test was just as effective as drinking a carbohydrate-containing sports drink every 15 minutes. No wonder Jamaican Olympic runner Yohan Blake eats 16 bananas a day!
- Bananas fight anemia.
Bananas are rich in iron, so their consumption stimulates the production of hemoglobin in the blood and helps fight anemia. Anemia is a condition in which the number of red blood cells, or hemoglobin, decreases, causing fatigue, paleness, and shortness of breath.
Also, vitamin B6 in bananas regulates blood glucose levels and is also beneficial for people with anemia.