Hands down one of my favorite snacks healthy and tasty often do not go together, and it’s not surprising that a majority of people, especially children, choose bananas as a healthy snack choice. Are they good for you though? Lets take a closer look!
Switching to a healthier diet without compromising on taste may be easier than you think. Incorporating bananas is the perfect example. Counted among the most popular fruits in the world, bananas can cater to your taste buds while offering many health benefits.
Bananas Improve Digestion:
The contents of dietary fiber and carbohydrates present in bananas help to regulate bowel movements which then result in healthy digestive system. It is ideal for getting rid of chronic constipation due to the pectin contents present in it. It helps reduce stomach ulcers and also diminishes the risk of developing gastric cancer.
Bananas And Your Bones:
Per the University Of Maryland and University of Kansas Medical Center, bananas benefit the kidneys and the bones due to their high potassium content. A normal intake of potassium suppresses calcium excretion in the urine and minimizes the risk of kidney stones. Also, for the same reason (suppressing of calcium excretion), it minimizes the loss of calcium from the body and thereby reduces the risk of osteoporosis!
Bananas And Your Blood:
Bananas are one of the highest sources of naturally available vitamin B6. Vitamin B6 plays an important role in converting tryptophan to serotonin, and also helps the body to make hemoglobin – a crucial ingredient of your blood. Vitamin B6 is also essential for antibody production and to maintain a healthy immune response. It also helps to convert carbohydrates to glucose and thereby maintains proper blood sugar levels. A medium banana can take care of 1/5th of your daily recommended intake of vitamin B6 and is one of the easiest (and cheapest) ways to increase your dietary intake of the vitamin.
Bananas And Their Peels:
The peels of bananas are also rich sources of potassium and contain much more soluble and insoluble fiber than their flesh. Dietary fiber promotes digestion and bowel movements and can reduce blood cholesterol levels. Banana peels also contain tryptophan, which increases serotonin levels in the body and affects mood, much like the drug Prozac does. According to “Prescription for Nutritional Healing,” researchers in Taiwan discovered banana peel extract can ease depression because of its effect on serotonin, which is a neurotransmitter in the brain responsible for balancing mood and emotions. Others found that eating the peels of two bananas a day for three days increased blood serotonin levels by 16 percent.
Further, the peels of bananas contains lutein, a powerful antioxidant that protects the eye from free radicals and harmful frequencies of UV radiation from the sun. Lutein has been proven to reduce the risks of cataracts and macular degeneration, as cited in “Biochemical, Physiological and Molecular Aspects of Human Nutrition.”
It is unimaginable how one tiny yellow colored fruit can give your body numerous health benefits. Include bananas in your breakfast, lunch, snack or dinner and enjoy the phenomenal benefits it imparts your body with. Honestly, these are my go to snack before hitting the gym and working out. Add a little bit of peanut butter and I find this really helps stabilize my blood sugars before a rigorous workout!
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