With today’s hectic lifestyle and busy work schedule, people are finding ways to improve their overall health and wellness by taking supplements such as different food items and products that can help people and individuals achieve their health goals.
People of all ages and from all walks of life are now more interested in consuming food items that can enhance their overall health and bananas are one of those food items can certainly be promising in terms of promoting good health and overall wellness. The question now is “Are bananas really healthy?” In this article, we will look at the carbs present in bananas and the health benefits of the said fruit.
What are the Health Benefits of Bananas?
Bananas are not only healthy but they are very delicious and convenient in terms of being a quick snack and to address food cravings. Surprisingly, bananas are pretty nutritious and can offer a ton of health benefits. Listed below are some of the said health benefits:
Bananas Contain Numerous Important Nutrients
As mentioned earlier, bananas are a great source fo various important nutrients. This fruit, common in Southeast Asia, is a popular fruit and food or snack item the world over. There are different types of bananas and they can come in all shapes and sizes but the most common variety of banana would be Cavendish which is a banana usually taken for dessert. One of the main characteristics of this banana is that it turns yellow when mature, but unripe it is usually colored green. Bananas have anti-oxidants and a significant amount of fiber.
Bananas are also full of nutrients with a 118 gram worth of banana containing around 0.4 grams of fat, 1.3 grams of protein, 3.1 grams of fiber, 24 grams of net carbs, 14% of the recommended daily intake or RDI of manganese, 10% of the recommended daily intake or RDI of copper, 8% of the recommended daily intake or RDI of Magnesium, 11% of the recommended daily intake or RDI of Vitamin C, 33% of the recommended daily intake or RDI of Vitamin B6, and 9% of the recommended daily intake or RDI of Potassium. A serving of banana contains limited amounts of calories amounting to just 105 calories per serving. Banana is also composed of proteins, water, and carbohydrates with almost zero fats.
Bananas Can Help Manage Blood Sugar Levels
Pectin is present in significant amounts in Bananas and this is the specific fiber that lends bananas its sponge-like texture. On the other hand, bananas that are unripe also contain resistant starch which can avoid being digested directly and act as a form of resistant starch soluble fiber. This combination of soluble fiber and pectin can both contribute to managing blood sugar levels. Pectin and soluble fibers can also help decrease the feeling of being hungry by helping individuals slowly empty their guts.
Bananas generally have a low GI or Glycemic Index which means that bananas tend to increase blood sugar levels very slowly and can help prevent dangerous and sudden spikes in the blood sugar levels of individuals. It must be mentioned that people with type 2 diabetes must avoid eating ripened bananas as they have a different need in terms of controlling their blood sugar levels.
Bananas Can Help Enhance Digestive Function
As stated earlier, bananas contain a certain amount of fiber and since fibers are known to help aid in improving the digestive functions of individuals, consuming the recommended amount of the said fruit may improve the digestive function of individuals.
This beneficial health property of bananas can once again be credited to the two (2) components of bananas which were discussed earlier which are pectin and resistant starch. Both these components directly get routed to the large intestines of individuals where it can help enhance the beneficial and good bacteria of individuals. Healthy gut bacteria can then consequently result in improved digestive functions. In addition, evidence suggests that pectin can help fight against certain cancers such as colon cancer.
Bananas Can Help With Weight Loss
Further research should be conducted to confirm the weight loss properties of bananas. However, what is certain is that bananas do have certain characteristics that can aid individuals in losing unwanted weight. One of these characteristics would be that bananas are a low-calorie food item.
This means that it can make people and individuals full or satiated without bumping up the caloric intake of people. The fiber in bananas can also aid in losing weight as it can make the digestive and metabolic systems function more efficiently. Unripe bananas also contain significant levels of resistant starch which can promote a feeling of being satiated resulting in fewer food cravings and decreased feelings of hunger.
Bananas Can Enhance Cardiovascular Health
Bananas are rich in potassium, a mineral that is extremely important in managing blood pressure and hypertension. The problem with our diet at present is that it is high in sodium and low in potassium. Consuming bananas then can help individuals better manage their blood pressure resulting in better cardiovascular and heart health.
Bananas contain around 9% of the recommended daily intake or RDI of potassium and a diet rich in potassium can have a 27% decrease in the risk of developing heart or cardiovascular diseases. Aside from potassium, bananas also contain significant amounts of magnesium which can also contribute to the body’s management of blood pressure and enhanced heart health.
Bananas contain significant levels of anti-oxidants
In general, fruits and vegetables contain significant amounts of anti-oxidants and bananas can provide these anti-oxidants in a convenient and tasty snack item. Bananas specifically contain the anti-oxidants catechin and dopamine which can help reduce and prevent certain degenerative and heart diseases.
The dopamine in bananas, though, should not be mistaken for the same dopamine that can make people feel good as the dopamine in bananas mainly contributes to the overall anti-oxidants present in bananas. This is because dopamine from bananas stays in the bloodstream without seeping through or over the brain barrier.