Bananas are one of nature’s great snack foods, but did you know that they’re also packed with health benefits? Most of us know they’re a great source of potassium but I’m going to share some of the more surprising banana health benefits – my favorite is hangover cure! Read on for 5 banana health benefits that will give you more energy, improved digestion and even improve the way you look and feel.
Benefits of Banana
A look into the nutritional breakdown of bananas and it reveals the following: per 100 grams, it contains 0.3 gm total fat, zero cholesterol, 1 mg salt, about 360 mg potassium, 2.6 gm dietary fiber, 12 gm sugar and 1.1 gm protein. If you still need reasons as to why you must include bananas in your diet, here are some –
1. Increased Energy
Watching tennis for instance, it’s not uncommon to see the players snacking on a piece of banana in between games. If a banana can keep a professional tennis player going, it must rank highly as a healthy energy source.
Some people are worried about bananas spiking blood sugar, but tests show they actually have a glycemic index of around 52, with 24 g of available carbs . That’s a glycemic load in the vicinity of 12 which isn’t considered that high. These figures will obviously vary depending on variety and ripeness.
Bananas make a great work snack to combat that mid-afternoon slump. They’re a good choice for weight loss too – a small banana contains about 100 calories and will satisfy your sweet cravings.
2. 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 and coronary heart disease.
3. Blood Pressure
It is a known fact that salt is the evil when it comes to high blood pressure. Bananas have low salt content and high potassium content, and these properties contribute to making it ideal for those undergoing this condition.
4. Cancer Fight
Recent Japanese animal research linked bananas that are fully ripe (with dark spots) to production of a compound called TNF–a. This is a cytokine believed to have the potential to increase white blood cell count, thus enhancing your immunity and combating cancerous cell changes.increasing overall fruit consumption in your diet has been consistently linked to a lower risk of developing various cancers.
5. Skin Conditions
Even the banana’s skin has its uses. It is great for treating skin conditions like psoriasis and acne.
Rub the freshly peeled inside 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 relieve a variety of skin conditions, as well as having a strong moisturizing effect.
Banana peel treatments are a traditional remedy to heal warts. Rub a small piece of banana peel over the wart and then tightly tape it in place. Leave it overnight and repeat this process for at least a week or until the wart disappears.
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.