1. Supports Healthy Blood Sugar Levels
Banana is based on carbohydrates, including fiber. One of its types – pectin – gives the pulp a spongy shape. The other, starch, is responsible for the dense consistency. As the banana ripens, the starch breaks down into monosaccharides and disaccharides, so the fruit becomes softer and sweeter.
Both pectin and starch (which is especially abundant in unripe bananas) lower blood sugar levels after a meal, preventing sudden changes in blood sugar. This means that such a treat serves as a kind of prevention of hyperglycemia.
2. Helps stay full longer
All the same pectin and starch slow down gastric emptying. Food is digested in a better quality and measured way, and a person feels full longer.
3. Improves the health of the digestive system
The starch is not digested in the upper digestive system and reaches the large intestine. Here it becomes food for beneficial bacteria, that is, it improves the condition of the intestinal microflora.
And pectin, in turn, may protect against colon cancer. At least this is supported by several in vitro studies.
4. May help you lose weight
To date, there are no studies that would unequivocally report that if you eat a banana every day, you can lose weight. But indirect evidence is optimistic. Thus, it is known that regular consumption of fruits and vegetables, which contain a lot of fiber, is associated with weight loss.
There are other factors as well. For example, a medium-sized banana has only about 105 kcal. This is about the same as 2.5% fat in a glass of kefir. At the same time, a banana is very satisfying: by eating it, you will be able to do without harmful and high-calorie snacks for longer.
5. Strengthens the heart
Potassium is a mineral that is essential for normal heart function. A potassium-rich diet is known to normalize blood pressure and reduce the risk of stroke. But often people don’t get enough of this substance.
Eating bananas daily is a way to avoid potassium deficiency.
In addition, bananas are high in magnesium, which also plays an important role in the normal functioning of the cardiovascular system.
6. Reduces the risk of kidney disease
In one 13-year study, scientists found that women who ate bananas 2-3 times a week had kidney disease 33% less often than those who no ate these fruits.
Another study found that eating bananas 4-6 times a week reduced the risk of kidney disease by 50%.
7. Helps Maintain Youth and Brain Health
Bananas contain several types of antioxidant substances, including dopamine and catechins. These compounds fight free radicals that damage organ and tissue molecules.
Modern medicine believes that free radicals (more precisely, the oxidative stress caused by them) often cause early aging and such dangerous diseases as cancer, dementia and other brain dysfunctions, cardiovascular and autoimmune disorders.
When you eat a banana, you reduce the damage that oxidative stress does to your body.
What nutrients are found in bananas
Eating one large banana (about 200 g) will give you:
- vitamin B6 – 41% of the required daily value;
- vitamin C – 33%;
- manganese – 30%;
- potassium – 23%;
- magnesium – 15%;
- folate (vitamin B9, its synthetic form is folic acid) – 11%;
- riboflavin (vitamin B2) – 10%.
In addition, banana contains other B vitamins, vitamins A, E and K, as well as copper, phosphorus, zinc, and iron.
How and to whom bananas can harm
Most often, bananas are completely safe. The exception is people who are allergic to this fruit. Curiously, it is often cross-linked: an unhealthy reaction to a banana is observed in those who suffer from latex allergies.
In extremely rare cases, bananas can cause:
- a soft chair;
- nausea and vomiting.
To avoid these side effects, it is enough not to overeat bananas. One or two fruits a day is enough to get only the benefit and not the slightest harm.
Eating banana it’s a delicious way to keep your heart healthy and youthful.