Health Benefits of Bananas:

Banana has often been dubbed as a superfood and for not any lack of reasons. It has several health benefits. Every bit of the banana tree is beneficial to your health. In this section, we have discussed the benefits of banana fruit, and in later sections, we will also discuss the health benefits of banana stem, banana peel and banana flower, along with some delicious recipes. So, put your seatbelts on and let’s dive into the wholesome goodness this common household fruit is, although, is a banana a fruit or a berry? Read on to find out!

1. Regulate Blood Sugar Levels

A banana is rich in dietary fiber, sugar as well as resistant starch. However, the fruit has a lower glycemic index with unripe banana having a glycemic index of 30 while, a completely ripened banana has a glycemic index of 60. The average glycemic index of banana is 51, which when coupled with the high fibers ensures that sugar is digested and absorbed slowly. This means that there won’t be any alarming spikes in blood sugar levels of individuals. However, it cannot be formally acclaimed that banana is beneficial for managing type II diabetes, raw banana or semi ripe banana may be an option but how a banana will affect the blood sugar levels in a diabetic person depends on the ripeness of the banana.

2. Heart Health:

If you really think back to all the instances of where you were watching your sports, you would notice that after a while, they would eat a banana. Thus, most of us know that banana is really rich in Potassium, how rich, you ask, a banana can supply for 9% of your Recommended Dietary Intake (RDI). It is known that Potassium balances the necessary electrolytes and prevents cramping, what even lesser people know is that Potassium helps regulate high blood pressure. This, in turn, reduces the risk of heart diseases, in fact, researchers have found that the risk reduction is a significant 27%. The icing on the cake is that bananas are also rich in magnesium which further contribute to heart health.

3. Prevention of Kidney Stones:

While bananas are a big no-no for Chronic Kidney Disease, it is a big yes for common urinary tract infections like kidney stones. Kidney stones are formed when too many minerals, most commonly excess calcium and oxalates are deposited in the kidney to form. A diet low in calcium and magnesium can result in painful kidney stones, however, a regular intake of bananas can help lower, even prevent the risk of developing kidney stones. Even if a patient is suffering from kidney stones, bananas can help manage symptoms, as well as support treatment.

4. Digestion:

A banana of medium size is a good ‘source for approximately 3 gms of dietary fiber which improves digestive health. Banana is rich in two types of fibers, known as i) Pectin and ii) Resistant Starch. Resistant starch reduces in amount as the banana ripens. Resistant starch also escapes the digestion process and travels through the digestive tract into the large intestine, where it becomes a good source of food for the good bacteria in the gut.

5. Erectile Dysfunction:

You read it right! Banana is rich in Potassium and potassium helps regulate blood flow so that it is optimum, reducing blood pressure in the process. This not only prevents development of heart diseases, but a good blood flow means that blood flows into the penis easily, leading to erection. The banana jokes now make a lot of sense!

6. Brain Health:

A banana is one of the ultimate brain foods. It is rich in various minerals which enhance cognition along with memory and mood. Vitamin B6 in banana helps in improving an individual’s cognitive function. In fact, in a study published in American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, researchers observed the cognitive thinking capabilities of 70 men aged between 54 years to 81 years. The researchers discovered that people with higher concentrations on vitamin B6 in their bodies performed better at the cognitive thinking tests.

While, vitamin B6 enhances cognition, the Magnesium present in a banana enhance brain function including concentration and memory by neutralizing the urea produced by the body in the process of breaking down proteins. Banana is also rich in amino acids which lead to the production of serotonin and dopamine which are the “happy” chemicals in the brain. This can help manage mood swings, and prevent the development of or aid recovery from Depression.

7. Eyes:

Bananas also contain vitamin A which is key in enhancing eye health. A daily of intake of bananas reduces the risk of night blindness and promotes eye health. Mashed banana can be applied on eyelids to reduce puffiness in the eyes.

8. Prevents Bowel Disturbance:

Bananas aid in regularising bowel movement, which makes a natural cure for piles. Bananas also help alleviate heartburn, neutralize acidity to prevent the formation of stomach ulcers, the potassium in bananas helps replenish the electrolyte balance in the event of diarrhea.  

9. Weight Loss:

Banana is a food product that easily makes you feel full on consumption. It reduces hunger pangs. The fibers in banana not only regulate bowel movement, they also enhance metabolism which aids in burning up excess fat, thereby helping the body maintain weight. It is however important to remember, that banana in itself may not be enough, if one is on a weight reduction or maintenance, adding a banana to the overall diet plan is more beneficial than blindly eating banana.

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