The health benefits of bananas include helping with weight loss, reducing obesity, curing intestinal disorders, relieving constipation, and curing conditions like dysentery, anemia, tuberculosis, arthritis, gout, kidney disorders, urinary disorders, menstrual problems, and burns. They are also good for reducing blood pressure, protecting heart health, modifying the metabolism, improving the immune system, reducing the severity of ulcers, ensuring healthy eyes, building strong bones, and detoxifying the body.
Introduction to Bananas
The fruit of the banana tree is eaten directly when ripe or as a part of fruit salads, juice, or shakes. Unripe bananas can cause severe indigestion and should be eaten only in cooked form. Also, bananas are good toppings for breakfast cereals, or as a snack for a quick burst of energy. Bananas have been an important cultural food for many different countries, although the genus of bananas, Musa, is native to South and Southeast Asia. The full scientific name of bananas is Musa acuminata. Now, bananas are grown in more than 100 countries around the world and can also be used to make fiber, banana wine, and even as ornamental decorations.
The banana tree is actually the largest flowering herbaceous plant in the world, and although there are many different varieties exist, they almost all are elongated, slightly curved fruits with a fleshy outer peel that can be easily removed to expose white to yellow flesh. They all grow in clusters near the top of the fruiting plant, and come in a range of colors, including green, red, yellow, purple, and brown (when ripe). The main distinction is between bananas and plantains, and while there are not many differences, plantains are smaller with starchier, denser fruit and is traditionally eaten in Asia and tropical countries. Bananas are more commonly found in Europe and America, and are soft, desert fruits.
The many medicinal benefits of bananas are attributed to its rich vitamin, mineral, and organic compound content. Let’s explore the actual content of what makes bananas such an important, powerful, and beneficial fruit!
Nutritional Facts of Bananas
Bananas have been considered one of the healthiest options for fruit consumption for many years due to its impressive nutritional content, which includes vitamins like vitamin C, vitamin B6, riboflavin, folate, pantothenic acid, and niacin, as well as trace amounts of other vitamins. In terms of minerals, bananas deliver a significant amount of potassium, manganese, magnesium, and copper. Bananas are also good sources of dietary fiber and and protein.
Health Benefits of Bananas
The health benefits of banana include the following:
Weight Loss and Obesity: Bananas are useful for weight loss as one banana only has approximately 90 calories. It contains a lot of fiber as well and is easy to digest. Furthermore, it does not contain any fats. Therefore, a overweight person does not have to eat too many calories if their diet contains some bananas, because they also serve to feel very filling. The roughage will also not make the person feel hungry by inhibiting the release of the hunger hormone, ghrelin. This will reduce overeating, keep a person healthy, but also help them naturally lose weight.
Stronger Bones: Bananas are one of the best fruits for guaranteeing strong, healthy bones throughout your life. One of the best reasons for this is the presence of fructooligosaccharide, which is a prebiotic and eventually a probiotic, a beneficial bacteria in our digestive tract that boosts the intake of minerals and nutrients by the body. Specifically, bananas are linked to increased absorption of calcium. Some bananas also possess short-chain fatty acids, which humans cannot absorb, but the organism that live in our stomach lining can consume those fatty acids, which increases their ability to absorb minerals like calcium. Calcium is the most important element in the production and regrowth of bone matter in the body, thereby reducing the chances of osteoporosis and natural weakness commonly linked to aging.
Arthritis and Gout: Various compounds inside of bananas are anti-inflammatory in nature, meaning that they can reduce swelling, inflammation, and irritation from various conditions like arthritis and gout. These conditions are very common as people age, or if they have poor diets or unhealthy diets. Therefore, adding a banana a day to your dietary regimen can keep you ache and pain-free for many years.
Weight Gain: At the same time as helping people lose weight, bananas can also be useful for weight gain. When consumed with milk, bananas help to increase a person’s weight rapidly. Milk provides the necessary proteins and bananas provides the sugars. Furthermore, since bananas are easily digested, a weak person can gulp 5-6 bananas in a day apart from the regular meals without giving them indigestion. This leads to an additional 500-600 calories which is quite necessary for weight gain. Since bananas have the ability to provide instant energy, sportsmen eat bananas during breaks during games for an extra surge of energy.
Constipation: Bananas contain significant amounts of dietary fiber and therefore help in smooth bowel movements. Bananas are said to push out stubborn stools and relieve a person from constipation. They also help in treating other intestinal disorders. Fiber is able to bulk up stool and help to stimulate the body’s peristaltic motion, which helps to move bowel movements through the intestinal tract. This can help to reduce unhealthy digestive conditions, as well as colorectal cancer!
Ulcers: For years, bananas have been used as an antacid food to soothe upset stomachs. It actually does far more than that, however, and can suppress acid secretion. The organic compounds in bananas stimulate the activity of the cells in our stomach lining in order to build up a protective barrier against acids. They also contain protease inhibitors, which eliminate the harmful bacteria that has been linked to the development of stomach ulcers!
Kidney Disorders: Bananas have been linked to reducing the danger towards the kidneys from a number of different conditions. Potassium helps to regulate the fluid balance in the body, and that can help ease the strain on the kidneys, and also encouraging urination. This can help to keep toxins from accumulating in the body, and speeding up their release from the body through increased frequency and volume of urination. Furthermore, there are polyphenolic, antioxidant compounds in bananas that positively impact kidney function and the accumulation of toxins, while also stimulating proper functioning of the kidneys.
Eye Health: Bananas, like many other fruits, are packed with antioxidant compounds and carotenoids, as well as a proper mix of minerals that can seriously boost the health of your eyes. Macular degeneration, cataracts, night blindness, and glaucoma have all been shown to decrease with normal intake of bananas and other similar fruits.
Cardiovascular Protection: Bananas represent an important part of overall heart health for a variety of reasons. First of all, bananas are rich sources of potassium, so they reduce blood pressure, since bananas are vasodilators. By relaxing the tension of arteries and veins, the blood can flow more smoothly through the body and oxygenate the various organs of the body to increase their function. This can help eliminate atherosclerosis and the subsequent strokes and heart attacks that are so commonly associated with that condition. The fiber in bananas also scrapes excess cholesterol from the arteries and blood vessels, as a further message of reducing stress on the cardiovascular system.
Piles: Piles is characterized by having difficulty in passing stools that may also lead to bleeding. It is believed that bananas help in treating piles. Some people also consider bananas to cause negative effects on the bowels during piles as it adds a lot of bulk, giving additional pressure on the bowels. However, the primary problem with piles is excretion, and bananas definitely stimulate that process. Bananas also have anti-inflammatory properties, which can help treat piles by reducing the inflammation and associated pain that often leads to itching and a worsening of the condition.
Anemia: Bananas contain high iron content and therefore aid in treating anemia because iron is an essential part of red blood cells, which is why anemia occurs, low blood cell count due to lack of iron. Anemia also has a significant content of copper, which is an important element in the creation of red blood cells. By increasing red blood cell count, not only do you prevent anemia, but you can increase circulation to all parts of the body, thereby oxygenating various parts of the organ and optimizing their functionality.
Menstrual problems: Cooked banana flowers help in providing relief from painful and excessively bleeding during the menstrual cycle as well as other menstrual disorders.
Also read – Nutritional Value of Banana