36 Banana Health Benefits
Bananas, the lovely yellow fruit, is one of the most widely consumed fruit in the world. Who doesn’t love them? The banana is a nutritious and wholesome fruit. It’s tasty and one of the few fruits which cannot be juiced or milked. They come in other colors too, including red. Also, it is available throughout the year and is also very affordable. Bananas are a rich source of energy and storehouse of many nutrients.
When a person is eating 100 grams of banana, it means, he is taking following nutrients. Calories (116 KCal), Protein (1.2 grams), Fat (0.3 g), Carbohydrate (27.2 g), Calcium (17mg), Phosphorus (36 mg), Iron (0.36 mg), Magnesium (41 mg), Sodium (36.6 mg), Potassium (88 mg), Zinc (0.15 mg), Vitamin C (7 mg), Vitamin B6 ( 0.8 mg), Fiber (0.4 grams), Carotene (78 mcg), Thiamine (0.05 mg), Niacin ( 0.5 mg).
Now let’s see the health benefits of the banana.
Banana Health Benefits
Bananas are a storehouse for nutrients. In fact, they contain more nutrients than an apple. Bananas also act as a probiotic and help produce digestive enzymes to assist in absorbing nutrients.
Bananas contain a very essential mineral, potassium, which helps in the functioning of the digestive tract. Potassium helps in the functioning of the involuntary or the smooth muscles which play a very pivotal role in the food moving smoothly in the digestive tract. The smooth muscles contract in a wave-like pattern called peristalsis. One banana consumed provides about 400 milligrams of potassium.
Bananas also contain dietary fiber which is of two types, insoluble and soluble dietary fiber. Dietary fibers provide no nutrition but they do have other benefits.
Insoluble fiber does not dissolve or mix up with the digestive juices and they make up for the roughage or the bulk of the food. Due to this, we tend to feel full and avoid overeating. Bananas help in weight loss too.
Also, this helps in the bowel movements and hence constipation can be prevented. By consuming a banana every day, we can avoid the use of laxatives. Common digestive problems like gas and bloating can be prevented. Ripe bananas should be consumed to prevent constipation.
Soluble fibers mix or dissolve with the digestive juices secreted in the stomach and become a gel. Absorption of carbohydrates and fats are very much slowed down and the blood sugar in the body is maintained at an optimal level. Also, harmful pathogens are prevented from attaching to the intestinal walls. So, they play a key role in the healthy functioning of the intestines.
Bananas reduce or suppress the acid secretion in the stomach as they contain a substance pectin which activates production of the cells which coat the stomach lining. So, the stomach is protected against acid as a very thick mucus lining is formed and this acts as a barrier against the acid.
Bananas also contain a substance which helps to eradicate and prevent the formation of a certain type of bacteria which causes cancer and stomach ulcers.
Bananas contain pectin which helps in the absorption of excess water secreted in the small intestines and hence the stools become firm. Excess water needs to be absorbed as during diarrhea, water which is secreted is much more than water which is absorbed and hence the stools become watery.
During bouts of diarrhea, there is water loss from the body and hence essential electrolytes are lost from the body and this can make one very weak, tired and dehydrated. Potassium present in the bananas helps to maintain electrolyte balance in the body.
Fructose which is present in the bananas helps to increase the probiotic or the good bacteria in the colon. The good bacteria help in absorbing essential nutrients and also protects the body from harmful pathogens.
Raw green bananas are the best to consume during bouts of diarrhea.
Consuming bananas before working out at the gym or running is highly recommended. While working out or when we do any rigorous workout, potassium loss occurs thru body sweat. If potassium levels dip very low, which can happen during prolonged physical activity, it can lead to dizziness and extreme fatigue. Potassium plays an important role in the proper functioning of muscles.
Bananas contain carbohydrates which are again very essential for athletes. Carbohydrates are like fuel to the body. Appropriate levels of Carbohydrates increase the physical endurance of the performing athletes. Bananas contain fructose, sucrose, and glucose which are all quickly converted to energy. When a person is feeling very tired and sluggish, by consuming a banana, intake of coffee and tea can be avoided.
Bananas are a source of instant energy, but it is advised to consume a banana at least one hour before attempting any physical workout or sports. It gives the body sufficient time for digestion.
Bananas also contain manganese which plays an important role in bone development and also metabolism of the body. Manganese aids in procuring energy from the meals or diet a person eats. Hence optimum levels of manganese in the body are very essential as it especially plays an important role for the athletes and helps to boost their performance in sports events.
Bananas contain magnesium, which plays a very important role in the proper functioning of enzymes which are responsible for very essential actions in the body like the transmission of nerve impulses, heartbeat, and contraction of the muscles. Also, magnesium present in the banana helps to lower the ammonia levels in the brain and thus helps a person to focus and ease stress symptoms.
Magnesium present in the bananas plays a very crucial role in the contraction of the cardiac muscle fibers in the heart. Magnesium relaxes smooth muscle in the blood vessel walls thus reducing blood pressure.
Vitamin B6 present in the bananas helps to produce neurotransmitters, which ensure there is proper communication between brain cells and nerve cells. This ensures processes like metabolism take place very smoothly. Vitamin B6 also strengthens the nervous system. Vitamin B6 thus helps to improve memory and learning abilities.
Bananas are very effective in treating insomnia and promotes very sound sleep due to the presence of tryptophan. Eat a banana before bed if you have been having trouble trying to fall asleep.
Lower Blood Pressure
As they are high in potassium and contain very little salt, bananas are able to lower blood pressure and protect against heart attack and stroke. Eating bananas often enable smooth blood circulation to the brain. Potassium relaxes the blood vessels.
Bananas give cardiovascular protection and eating of a banana is highly recommended during tension and anxiety or panic attacks. Presence of potassium and fiber controls high blood pressure.
Bananas contain pectin which is actually a soluble dietary fiber and is beneficial for the heart. It helps to reduce the level of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) Cholesterol, which is the bad cholesterol.
The heart is a smooth muscle and depends on potassium for proper contraction and expansion. Low potassium levels, a condition called hypokalemia, can also lead to heart palpitations. Since bananas contain high levels of potassium, it helps to tackle heart palpitations. So, it is one of the fruits to be taken for a healthy heart and for problems associated with irregularities in the heartbeat.
Stabilize Blood Sugar Levels
Pectin also helps to keep the blood sugar levels stable. The fiber aids in slowing down the digestive process and hence the emptying of the stomach is delayed. It slows the rate at which carbohydrates are absorbed from the meal, which helps to stabilize the glucose levels.
Diabetics are advised to include bananas in their diet as it does not cause the blood sugar level to rise like other fruits as it has a very low glycemic index of 51. The potassium present in the banana helps to stabilize the blood sugar levels. So, the impact on blood sugar level is minimum.
Treat and Prevent Muscle Cramps
Muscle cramps usually occur due to low levels of magnesium and potassium, which is actually an indication of an electrolyte imbalance in the body. Bananas are very effective in the prevention of muscle cramps as they are a very good source of potassium. Regular consumption of bananas helps prevent muscle cramps. They help prevent night cramps too, particularly in the aged people. Athletes before any strenuous activity or workouts or a run are advised to consume a banana. But it is effective if the banana is consumed an hour before the workout or physical activity.
Reduce Premenstrual Syndrome Symptoms
Bananas help in reducing Premenstrual syndrome symptoms like cramping and bloating. Bananas are very rich in vitamin B6 and Potassium which helps in reducing water retention. Hence bloating can be prevented.
Prevent Kidney Stones
A diet which is low in potassium leads to increased levels of calcium in the excreted through the urine. This could lead to the formation of kidney stones. Magnesium present in the banana prevents calcium from forming crystals which invariably leads to the formation of kidney stones. They are often the result of absorbing too much calcium, consuming excess calcium or other minerals, intestinal problems, urinary tract infection, or genetics.
Bananas contain potassium which helps to lower the levels of calcium expelled through urine. Hence regular consumption of bananas prevents the formation of kidney stones.
Treat Stomach Ulcers
Bananas are used to treat stomach ulcers as it is the only fruit which can be consumed raw without any distress. It coats the stomach lining and protects it from corrosive acids. Helps in thickening of the stomach layer. Production of mucus helps reduce irritation of stomach lining. Ulcers are inflammations or open sores in the stomach lining and cause burning sensation and pain. Bananas act like a natural antacid, protecting against the acidity of gastric juices. Consuming bananas helps ease the burning sensation and also reduce inflammation.
Ripe Bananas may be consumed or they can be blended in with milk and taken like a milkshake. Also, two to three bananas can be cut into thin slices, dried in the sun until they become dry. The dried slices can then be ground into a fine powder. Two tablespoons of this powder can be mixed with honey and consumed for about a week.
Bananas are very beneficial for patients suffering from anemia or an iron deficiency. These patients have a very low hemoglobin value. They are normally advised to eat iron-rich food and bananas are one of them. They contain iron which helps to strengthen the blood and relieve anemia. Bananas are beneficial as they also contain besides easily iron, folic acid, and vitamin B12, all of which are extremely useful in the treatment of anemia. By drizzling honey over the bananas and consuming it helps as copper present in the honey helps in iron absorption.
Prevent Eye Problems
Bananas are very beneficial for the eyes. They protect the eyes against macular degeneration, which is normally age-related. They contain Vitamin A which is extremely beneficial for the eyes and which protects eye membrane. Bananas are very in potassium which helps to balance the salt element in the body. If there is excess salt in the body, it causes the eyes to become red and dry. Regular consumption of bananas helps to counter discomfort in the eyes due to excess salt and also for the aged to prevent macular degeneration of the eyes.
Relieve Itching from Bug Bites
Bananas provide relief from bug bites, hives, and mosquito bites. A small piece of the banana peel is taken and the inside of the banana peel is rubbed gently on the affected area. This moisturizes and eases the itching to a certain extent as the banana peel contains antioxidants. The banana peel also works as an anti-inflammatory agent. It reduces the size and redness of the bump caused due to the mosquito bite. rubbing a banana peel on the affected area can moisturize and neutralize some of the itchings. Banana peel reduces the itching sensation and further, the cooling effect reduces the sensation of itching and the pain subsides.
A few drops of glycerin can also be added to the affected area and the banana peel can be placed over it. By doing this, rashes or dark spots can be avoided.
Treat Nicotine Addiction
Bananas help counter effects of withdrawal symptoms of nicotine withdrawal seen in persons who try to quit smoking. Bananas contain Magnesium which helps to calm muscles and also relaxing the nervous system. Also helps to calm the nerves. Cravings tend to lead to stress and frustration and bananas help to calm the person. They contain serotonin which induces feelings of happiness and the person feels relaxed. Also, the high dietary fiber of bananas bowel movements and this results in flushing out toxins from the body.
Bananas are also very effective in treating warts, though it more or less considered a home remedy and not medically recommended. Warts are fleshy sore bumps which grow on the outer layer of the skin and is caused by a virus called HPV virus. Banana peels are used to cover the area and it can be secured and left overnight. By continuing this for about a week or so, it has been noticed that the wart disappears and this also eases the itching and pain.
- A Headache and Migraine Treatment
During bouts of a migraine, when a headache is at its peak, banana peels are found to be effective when placed over the forehead.
Bananas are effective to counter a hangover after consumption of alcohol. An excessive intake of alcohol causes depletion of essential electrolytes in the body and leads to a headache and dizziness. When bananas are blended with a few berries and milk, this helps as bananas contain essential electrolytes like potassium and magnesium.
Bananas are also found to be beneficial for asthma patients. By regularly consuming bananas, asthma attacks can be prevented. Bananas contain prebiotic which increases the growth of the good bacteria in the gut. This helps in reducing the inflammation in the airways and prevents asthma attacks.
Bananas contain certain phytochemicals and antioxidants which helps in fighting inflammation and also prevents cancer.
Morning Sickness Treatment
Pregnant women suffering from morning sickness are advised to eat a banana in between meals and this helps to reduce nausea. The potassium content in the bananas helps prevent morning sickness.
Bananas have beauty benefits too. By regularly consuming bananas, helps the skin to become very soft and supple due to the presence of manganese which helps the body to produce collagen and this prevents skin damage also.
Banana mash mixed with honey and coconut milk helps in keeping the hair soft when applied as they contain natural oils and also help to promote hair growth as they contain healthy hair ingredients like potassium, vitamins, and carbohydrates. It works like a conditioner, softens the hair and the elasticity of the hair is preserved.
Banana peels are also very effective. When they are rubbed on the affected area of the skin, helps to get rid of pimples and also brightens the skin. Skin wrinkling also is minimized. Applying mashed bananas under the eyes helps to reduce puffiness as the potassium present helps to limit fluid retention.
Repair Cracked Heels
Applying mashed banana pulp helps cure cracked heels. The pulp moisturizes and nourishes the skin and prevents any infection from occurring.
Treat Oily Skin
Banana pulp when mixed with oats, honey and almond and milk makes an effective facial scrub and is good for oily and greasy skin. It gently exfoliates the skin.
Another beauty benefit of bananas is that the peel contains a natural whitening agent. When the inside of the banana peel is rubbed over the teeth and left for ten mins before rinsing, stains on the teeth start to diminish and teeth become sparkling white again.
Prevent and Treat Dandruff
The antifungal and antibacterial properties of the banana help to clear dandruff from the hair. Banana pulp mixed with coconut oil, honey, and lemon juice when applied on the scalp and washed after twenty minutes, helps get rid of dandruff.
Natural Lip Balm
Bananas are also very efficient in treating chapped lips. Banana pulp mixed with a little sweet almond oil and applied to the lips before going to bed helps to moisturize the skin and heal the cracks.
Do you know any other banana health benefits? If so, comment below!