Bananas have been called a super fruit for a long time now. They are also a fruit that is most consumed on the planet. This fruit comes in different sizes, colors, and levels of firmness. People throughout the world cultivate crops of bananas in the subtropical and tropical zones. Then there are also plantains that are firmer than bananas. There are several more varieties of bananas such as candy apple bananas, lady finger bananas, red bananas, and cooking bananas.
Whether you like to consume them as they are, make a smoothie out of them or bake them to enjoy deliciously crisp chips, bananas are full of health benefits. Let’s check out the top 15 health benefits of bananas!
Improves the Health of The Brain
Bananas are packed with Vitamin B6. This vitamin is essential to enhance the cognitive function of your body. According to a study performed by Tuft’s University, men who had higher levels of Vitamin B6 were able to perform better in tests of memory than the rest. Another essential component of bananas that helps in facilitating the electrical activity amidst your brain and the nerve cells is magnesium. It is also a known fact that potassium helps in maintaining optimum oxygen levels in a human brain. In the same vein, manganese help in preventing certain brain conditions such as Parkinson’s disease and epilepsy (1) (2).
Makes Your Heart Healthy
According to a report published by the Harvard Medical School, if you have low levels of potassium in your body, it can cause significant disturbances in your heart rhythm. In this regard, bananas can prove to be beneficial as they are extremely rich in potassium and can counteract the problem (3) efficiently. In addition to that, if your sodium intake is high, it can result in your body retaining a lot of water. This can result in elevated blood pressure. Consuming bananas works wonders in this regard because the potassium in it helps in reducing the retention of water.
Makes Your Bones Stronger
Osteoporosis is a genuine problem and a threat to women. The potassium present in bananas is excellent for the health of your bones (4). Bananas are also rich in silicon and magnesium that contribute significantly to the health and structure of your bones. Potassium-rich foods help substantially in the maintenance of bone structure (5) and consuming bananas on a regular basis can also help you avoid the loss of calcium from your bones. At a certain age, women tend to lose their bone density and eating bananas regularly can help strengthen your bones.
Bananas have been known to cure diarrhea for decades. Bananas are rich in electrolytes, and therefore, they help in replacing the electrolytes that are lost during this condition. It can also help you restore the amount of potassium that you use during diarrhea. All you are required to do is eat a banana, and you will notice the relief (6). Bananas also help in providing some much-needed rest to your stomach.
Supports Digestive Health
If you have a disturbed bowel function, bananas can do a great deal for your stomach. Bananas are rich in fiber, and if you want to maintain your digestive health, that is exactly what you need. The potassium present in bananas also plays a vital role in the function of your muscles. This helps in a proper bowel movement, and the soluble and insoluble fibers present in bananas help you feel content for a long time. Bananas also help in improving the level of health of your intestines.
We have all woken up in the morning with a deadly hangover and regretted the drinking session the night before. Consuming alcohol causes dehydration (7). The potassium present in bananas helps rehydrate your body (8). You can have a banana to treat your hangover in a variety of ways. An excellent idea for a bad hangover is having a banana milkshake with honey. The banana will help in calming your stomach. The milk will rehydrate and soothe your body while the honey will help in replenishing the depleted levels of sugar in your body. In addition to that, bananas are also ripe with electrolytes and glucose that will help cure your hangover (9).
Manganese and potassium are two minerals that help in whitening your teeth. Banana peels are ripe with these two minerals and hence, rubbing the peel on your teeth for a few minutes before brushing can help you get a super white smile. In addition to whitening the teeth, bananas are also excellent for the health of your teeth (10).
As mentioned above, bananas help in alleviating your blood pressure. They also go a long way to help you reduce your stress levels (11). Bananas are a powerhouse of carbohydrates, and hence, they produce a relaxing effect on your body. This effect comes about due to the production of serotonin by carbohydrates. This neurotransmitter helps in calming you down. Bananas also consist of dopamine, which is a chemical that reduces stress and helps in soothing the nervous system.
Can Be Called as An Instant Energy Booster
Bananas can be called a powerful combination of natural sugars, amino acids, complex carbohydrates and plenty of other minerals that offer an instant energy boost to your body. When the carbohydrates present in bananas are released in the blood system, they offer a very sustained energy supply. The nutrients present in bananas also help in muscle repair as well as water retention. This fruit is also full of antioxidants that help in sustaining energy. This is probably why it is a crucial ingredient of the beverage of choice after workout sessions (12).
Assists in Fighting Cancer
According to research, yellow bananas are incredibly healthy, and you might refuse to believe it, but spotty and brown bananas are even healthier. According to a study, the more the number of brown patches on a banana, the more it will have a Tumor Necrosis Factor (TNF). TNF is a compound that fights cancer and the presence of abnormal cells in your body. It has been observed that bananas consisting of dark spots are at least eight times healthier and more effective in dealing with abnormal cells in the body than those with green skin. This helps in improving the body’s immunity (13).
Makes Your Eyes Stronger
According to some medical practitioners from Nigeria, combining bananas with an African herb known as Orinol can help in treating cataracts and macular degeneration.
We can attribute this to the presence of Vitamin A in bananas. This helps in protecting the eye membranes and offering adequate light to the cornea.
Relieves Menstrual Pain
Bananas are also a quick fix for menstrual pains. The potassium present in bananas works to the advantage of women as a muscle relaxant. This mineral relaxes the muscles of the uterine during periods. It also significantly helps women in combating muscle cramps that are usually triggered by menstruation (14). In addition to that, the potassium and Vitamin B6 present in bananas prevents the retention of water and prevents you from feeling bloated, which is a universal symptom of periods.
Boosts the Immune System
Bananas are rich in copper, and this mineral helps in enhancing the immunity of your body by protecting your cells from undergoing damage during several chemical reactions. The fruit also consists of Vitamin C that helps in stimulating the production of the white blood cells. These WBCs, in turn, assist in destroying pathogens that cause diseases. Bananas are also packed with folate, which is an essential nutrient responsible for synthesizing cytokines. These proteins help in regulating the response of the immune system. Also, the prominence of magnesium in bananas help in strengthening the immune system and the immunity of a person.
Helps Quit Smoking
For people who have a strong urge to smoke, eating bananas might prove to be a lifeline. People who smoke excessively usually have a high level of nicotine in their bloodstream. This gives them an urge to smoke repeatedly without wanting to quit. This results in a very unhealthy cycle of smoking. The magnesium and potassium present in bananas help in lowering the levels of nicotine in the blood. This assists smokers in resisting the urge to smoke.
Anemia is a common side effect of pregnancy and the best way to treat it is with the perfect quantity of folic acid. Folic acid is a nutrient that is found in foods in the form of Vitamin B. Bananas have been blessed with a significant amount of folic acid which helps in preventing anemia in pregnant women. It also helps in promoting the optimum health of the fetus (15). Moreover, the Vitamin C that is present in bananas assists the body in properly absorbing iron, which is needed to fight anemia.
As can be seen, bananas are excellent fruits to help you stay away from all kinds of diseases such as kidney disorders, blood sugar, hyperkalemia, tooth decay, and headaches. There are several ways to consume bananas. You can just eat them like a good old fruit or mix it with your bowl of breakfast cereal. However, you prefer it, including bananas in your diet is your ticket to a healthy lifestyle.