35 Amazing Health Benefits of Bananas


Rich, soft, creamy, delectable, truly delicious, Banana, naturally gift wrapped by Mother Nature, in golden yellow hue, packs a punch of a whole lot of goodness.  Both young and old alike love the humble fruit, which goes easy on the pockets, for its rich texture, flavour, nutrients and essential vitamins.

Banana

Banana (Image source: sxc.hu)

History and Origin of Bananas

The existence of bananas dates back to about 4000 years, having originated in Malaysia.  From there it spread to other countries of the world. Jean Francois Poujot, a Jamaican, first discovered the very popular, sweet golden-hued variety in the year 1836, a result of mutant strain between the red and green cooking bananas that may be consumed without cooking. The Cavendish banana named after the Duke of Devonshire is the most commercially sought after variety today, with over 300 different species.

Bunch of Bananas

Green Bananas (Image source: sxc.hu)

The banana plant belongs to the family lily and orchids available for harvest throughout the year.  The banana plant grows 10 to 26 feet, the fruit cluster containing 50 to 150 bananas.


Banana Nutrition Facts

Bananas are a rich source of several nutrients.  Consisting essentially of natural sugars such as glucose, fructose and sucrose, bananas are loaded with vitamins and minerals such as vitamin B6, vitamin C, potassium, dietary fibre, biotin, carbohydrates, magnesium, riboflavin and manganese.  According to various studies, bananas are the best food source for combating vitamin A deficiency.


Nutrition Facts of Banana

(Amount per serving – 200gm)

Water g 149.82
Calories kcal 178
Protein g 2.18
Total lipid (fat) g 0.66
Carbohydrate, by difference g 45.68
Fiber, total dietary g 5.2
Sugars, total g 24.46
Minerals
Calcium, Ca mg 10
Iron, Fe mg 0.52
Magnesium, Mg mg 54
Phosphorus, P mg 44
Potassium, K mg 716
Sodium, Na mg 2
Zinc, Zn mg 0.30
Vitamins
Vitamin C, total ascorbic acid mg 17.4
Thiamin mg 0.062
Riboflavin mg 0.146
Niacin mg 1.330
Vitamin B-6 mg 0.734
Folate, DFE µg 40
Vitamin B-12 µg 0.00
Vitamin A, RAE µg 6
Vitamin A, IU IU 128
Vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol) mg 0.20
Vitamin D (D2 + D3) µg 0.0
Vitamin D IU 0
Vitamin K (phylloquinone) µg 1.0


Amazing Health Benefits of Bananas
1. Bananas Provides Instant Boost of Energy

Bananas provide the much-required boost of energy by converting the natural sugars instantaneous into energy. That is one of the main reasons for sportsmen to consume this rich delectable fruit during breaks. A couple of Bananas provide enough energy for a strenuous workout of one and a half hour.  Hence, they make an excellent breakfast option for kids and adults providing the required energy throughout the day.

Athlete

Athlete (Image source: morgueFile.com)

2. Bananas Keep Blood Pressure under Check

A number of studies have substantiated the potential ability of potassium in keeping blood pressure under check.  Blood pressure is positively connected with alcohol, higher sodium content and protein intake. Reduced intake of merely sodium or improved intake of calcium, potassium and magnesium can decrease high blood pressure. Therefore, Bananas enriched with a combination of 467 milligram of potassium and one milligram of sodium make a healthy dietary option for controlling blood pressure.

Blood Pressure Measurement

Blood Pressure Measurement (Image source: morgueFile.com)

3. Bananas Prevent Risk of Atherosclerosis

Since bananas contain enormous amounts of potassium with low sodium content, they prevent and protect the risk of Atherosclerosis.

 

4. Bananas Help Lower Cholesterol

Pectin, a soluble fibre in banana facilitates reduction of Cholesterol levels.  According to various studies, four main water-soluble fibres such as pectin, psyllium, guar gum and beta-glucan effectively lower LDL Cholesterol (low-density lipoprotein cholesterol) without causing any kind of disturbance to HDL cholesterol.

 

5. Bananas Support Renal Health
Renal health

(Image source: sxc.hu)

Since bananas are a rich source of potassium, regular consumption of this humble fruit, in moderation though, promote renal health. Every year, there is a tremendous rise in the incidence of renal cancers, across the globe. This is mainly due to factors concerning obesity, hypertension, smoking and exposure to toxic substances such as cadmium and asbestos. According to International Journal of Cancer, Bananas containing high amounts of antioxidant phenolic compounds consumed along with cabbage and other root vegetables protect renal health.

 

6. Bananas Improve Nerve Function

Rich in B vitamins bananas perk up nerve function.

 

7. Bananas cut down Risk of Stroke

The New England Journal of Medicine states that regular consumption of bananas, as part of a daily diet, cut down risk of stroke-related mortality by 40%.  This is because Bananas enriched with high doses of potassium reduce the incidence of stroke.

 

8. Bananas Reduce Risk of Cancer

Rich in antioxidants and dietary fibre, consumption of bananas reduce risk of various types of cancer especially bowel cancer.

 

9. Bananas to Protect Eyesight

A survey published in the Archives of Ophthalmology suggests that consuming three or more servings of banana each day helps lower the risk of age related macular degeneration in older adults, by 36%, compared to those who consumed less than one and a half servings of fruit every day

 

10. Bananas Help Build Healthy Bones

Through various mechanisms, bananas have this astonishing ability to absorb calcium in the body.  Hence, consuming bananas help in building better bones.  Potassium may also help neutralize the increased calcium loss via urine due to excessive intake of salt thus preventing bones from thinning out at a rapid rate.

 

11. Bananas Acts as a Probiotic

Being an exceptionally rich source of a substance known as fructooligosaccharide, Bananas stimulate the growth and activity of friendly bacteria (probiotics) in the colon.  These bacteria produce enzymes that enable better absorption of nutrients and enhancing the digestive ability thus preventing the invasion of unfriendly bacteria from attacking the body.

 

12. Bananas Protect Against Stomach Ulcers

Bananas contain antacid effects as certain substances in bananas stimulate the cells that make up the stomach lining, so that they produce a thicker protective mucus barrier against stomach acids.  Besides this, other substances in bananas known as protease inhibitors get rid of bacteria in the stomach that produces stomach ulcers.  According to a study, a simple concoction of banana and milk suppressed acid secretion considerably, protecting against stomach and ulcer damage.

 

13. Bananas are an Excellent Solution for Diarrhoea

Frequent attacks of diarrhoea tend to exhaust the body’s store of vital electrolytes.  Unripe bananas that are astringent in nature prove an effective treatment for diarrhoea.  By refilling body’s resources of potassium, which is one of the most essential electrolytes in the body, bananas help regulate fluid balance.

 

14. Bananas Help Alleviate Constipation

Pectin a soluble fibre, known as hydrocolloid, found in Bananas, help alleviate constipation and improve normal bowel action.

 

15. Bananas assist curing of piles

The complexity involved in passing stools normally known as piles may lead to bleeding in most cases.  Since bananas help normal bowel function they help cure piles.

 

16. Bananas conquer Symptoms of PMS

Irregular glucose levels in the body are one of the main causes for erratic mood swings in a person temperament.  However, Bananas loaded with vitamin B6 content regulate the blood glucose levels and help overcome premenstrual symptoms (PMS).

 

17. Bananas Reduce Menstrual Pain

Bananas can be a great help, intended to reduce menstrual pains. Besides banana flower, cooked with curd makes an effective medicine for curing menstrual disorders like excessive bleeding and painful menstruation.  Banana flower benefits increase progesterone, a hormone that reduces bleeding considerably.

 

18. Bananas Fight Depression

Rich in serotonin, dopamine, and other natural mood-enhancing chemicals and neurotransmitters, Bananas facilitate stimulation of nerve cells that improves mood significantly.  Therefore, according to recent findings, consuming a banana combats depression and imparts a feel good factor.

Depression

Depression (Image source: morgueFile.com)

19. Bananas Make Good Stress Busters

Increased stress levels may lead to depleted levels of potassium content in the body.  Since bananas have ample quantities of potassium, they make good stress busters.

 

20. Bananas cure Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)

Since bananas contain tryptophan, a natural enhancer of moods, they help people with Seasonal Affective Disorder.

 

21. Bananas Help Cope with Anaemia

Bananas help regulate haemoglobin levels as they contain high levels of iron.

 

22. Bananas Enhance Brain Power

Packed with potassium, bananas keep the mental faculties alert and enhance learning abilities.


23. Bananas the Best Remedy for Heart Burn

The best natural remedy for treating heartburn is to eat a banana.  It has a natural antacid effect on the body and gives immense relief.

 

24. Bananas For expectant mothers

Many of the cultures regard bananas as a cooling fruit that help lower the emotional and physical temperature of expectant mothers. For instance in Thailand most mothers expecting a baby consume bananas to ensure that their babies are born with a cool temperature.

 

25. Bananas Prevent Morning Sickness

Bananas help in keeping blood sugar levels up. Hence, snacking on bananas, between meals at regular intervals, prevent morning sickness.  Besides, their calming properties help combat morning sickness.

 

26. Bananas prevents Allergies 

For those who are allergic to certain foods, Bananas prove extremely useful.  Unlike other protein foods, which contain amino acids, which produce allergy to some people, Bananas contain only benign amino acids, which in many cases are not allergic.

 

27. Bananas Help Withdraw Smoking

The vitamin B6 and the Vitamin B 12 combined with high levels of magnesium and Potassium in Bananas help people trying to give up smoking.  The factors help the body recover from nicotine withdrawal.


28. Bananas Dispels effect of Hangover

The natural ingredients in bananas combined with their ability to refuel the body’s vitamins make them a perfect option to dispel the effect of a hangover.  A combination of bananas blended with honey and yoghurt makes an excellent cure for hangover.

Hangover

Hangover (Image source: sxc.hu)

29. Bananas Improve Weight Gain

Taken in combination with milk, Bananas rapidly improve weight gain, since they provide the required natural sugars along with protein provided by milk. Since bananas get absorbed effortlessly, a not so strong person, in addition to the usual meals, taking 5-6 bananas each day gains approximately 500-600 additional calories essential for weight gain.

 

30. Bananas Benefits for Weight Loss

A banana weighing 100 grams contains approximately 90 calories.  Containing loads of fibre and low amounts of fat bananas are easily digestible. Therefore, a diet consisting primarily of bananas does not make an obese person gain a few extra kilos.

 

31. Bananas Prevent Insomnia

One of the main benefits of banana is that they ensure a good night’s sleep, highly essential for enjoying good health. Melatonin a hormone secreted in darkness, by the pineal gland located in the brain, regulates sleep.  Bananas packed with Tryptophan, an amino acid, required for the production of the sleep hormone, melatonin, prevents insomnia and induces sleep.  Besides these factors, high carbohydrate content in bananas help the brain utilize tryptophan and serotonin in order to produce the sleep hormone.  Eating banana a few hours before bedtime ensures a peaceful night’s sleep.

 

32. Bananas for a Healthy Skin

Bananas are loaded with essential nutrients vital for a healthy skin. They contain high doses of vitamin C which helps production of collagen, a type of protein found in the skin. This keeps the skin soft and supple eliminating fine lines and wrinkles. Vitamin C a potent antioxidant protects the body from attack of free radicals that cause premature ageing. Apart from all these factors Bananas are a good source of vitamin B6 known as pyridoxine essential for promoting a healthy skin.

 

33. Bananas Are Good For the Hair and Scalp

Bananas make an effective treatment for promoting healthy hair and scalp.  Rich in potassium, natural oils, carbohydrates and vitamins, Bananas help soften hair, protecting their natural elasticity, preventing split ends and breakage. Bananas when used for hair have a number of benefits as they create manageability, shine, growth, controlling dandruff.

Healthy Hair

Healthy Hair (Image source: morgueFile.com)

34. Bananas Manage To Repel Mosquitoes

Rubbing the inside of a banana peel on a mosquito bite is very effective in reducing itching and swelling, thereby preventing diseases caused by mosquito bites.


35. Bananas Eliminate Warts

Placing the insides of a banana skin and holding the skin with a plaster helps eliminate warts.

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  • Ajit

    Thanks it is informative

  • ISSA

    can i know the year of publication of this article

  • shanker

    is it advisable for a diabetic to consume bananas?

    • Vivek Rajawat

      Yes as per the American Diabetes Association, people with diabetes can eat bananas. But as blood glucose responses can vary from person to person, one should be careful about the quantity and the fact how your blood glucose responds to eating banana. Also avoid eating bananas as a part of dessert with sugary syrups.