Bananas are among the most delicious fruits. They are also nutritious, and possess high antioxidant and fiber content. But, a number of people have doubts about this fruit because of its high amount of carbs and sugars.
– This Fruit Possesses Many Important Nutrients
Nearly 90% of the calories present in this fruit come from carbs. As it ripens, its starch content turns into sugar. As a result of this, green or unripe bananas abound in starch and resistant starch, whereas yellow or ripe bananas possess mostly sugar.
In addition, thus fruit is very low in fat and protein and possesses a decent amount of fiber. A medium-sized banana (about 118 g) has around 105 calories.
The following nutrients are also found in a medium-sized banana:
- 3.1 g of fiber
- 14% of the recommended daily intake of manganese
- 10% of the recommended daily allowance of copper
- 8% of the recommended daily amount of magnesium
- 11% of the recommended daily intake of Vitamin C
- 33% of the recommended daily allowance of Vitamin B6
- 9% of the recommended daily amount of potassium
What’s more, bananas are also packed with other useful plant compounds and antioxidant agents, including catechin and dopamine.
– Bananas Abound in Potassium
This fruit is one of the richest dietary sources of potassium. As mentioned above, a medium-sized banana possesses about 0.4 g or 9% of the recommended daily allowance of this mineral.
Potassium is a mineral, which plays a vital role in the regulation of kidney function and blood pressure.
Research has shown that following a potassium-rich diet could help positively affect heart health and regulate blood pressure. The regular consumption of potassium-rich foods has been associated with a lower risk of heart disease.
– Bananas Are Rich in Resistant Starch and Fiber
Fiber refers to carbohydrates, which cannot be digested in your upper digestive system. Many studies have proven that the regular consumption of high-fiber foods could lead to numerous health benefits. As mentioned above, a medium-sized banana possesses 3 grams of fiber, making it a good source of fiber.
Unripe bananas contain resistant starch, which is a form of indigestible carbohydrate that acts as fiber. In fact, if the banana is greener, it contains a higher amount of resistant starch.
Eating foods high in resistant starch has been associated with the following health benefits:
- Lowered blood sugar levels after meals
- Decreased insulin resistance
- Feeling of fullness after meals
- Enhanced colon health
Bananas are also an excellent source of another form of dietary fiber known as pectin. Additionally, this kind of fiber provides structural form to bananas, which helps them maintain their shape.
When this fruit becomes overripe, enzymes start breaking down the pectin, thus making the fruit mushy and soft.
That’s not all, pectin could also decrease your appetite and balance your blood sugar levels after having a meal. They could also help reduce your risk of developing colon cancer.
– This Fruit Is a Good Source of Magnesium
A medium-sized banana contains 8% of the recommended daily allowance of magnesium. Moreover, magnesium is a crucial mineral found in your body that plays significant a role in the regulation of many different processes.
Increasing your magnesium levels could reduce your risk of many chronic conditions, such as type-2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease. This mineral also plays an important role in keeping optimal bone health.
– Eating Bananas Can Improve Digestive Health
Unripe bananas are packed with pectin and resistant starch that work as prebiotic nutrients. Prebiotics have an ability to feed the beneficial bacteria found in the digestive system.
Additionally, the beneficial bacteria present in your colon help ferment these nutrients, thus producing butyrate. It is actually a short-chain fatty acid, which helps improve your digestive health and lower your likelihood of colon cancer.
– Consuming This Fruit May Help Promote Weight Loss
A study that included obese, diabetic patients examined the effects of unripe bananas (rich in resistant starch) on insulin sensitivity and body weight.
The results showed that taking 24 g of banana starch daily for one month led to weight loss of 1.2 kg or 2.6 lbs, and improved insulin sensitivity.
In addition, research has also confirmed that the regular consumption of high-fiber fruits could lead to weight loss. Also, resistant starch has been found to be a weight loss friendly ingredient because it could result in weight loss by decreasing appetite and elevating fullness. This can help you consume fewer calories throughout the day.
This means that the high carb content of this fruit makes it unsuitable for low-carb diets.
Caution: Experts have different opinions about whether this fruit is safe or not for diabetics because it abounds in sugar and starch. But, it still ranks low to medium on the glycemic index. The glycemic index measures the effect of different foods on the increase in blood sugar levels after a meal.
Depending on their ripeness, bananas have a glycemic index value of 42–62. Eating moderate amounts of this fruit should be safe for diabetics, but they should avoid consuming large amounts of ripe bananas.
Also, diabetics need to monitor their blood sugar levels after consuming foods high in sugar and carbs.
Even though bananas don’t appear to have any serious side effects, people that are allergic to latex could experience an allergic reaction to bananas. Research has proven that about 30–50% of those who are allergic to latex are also sensitive to certain plant foods.
- Pistoia, Marilena. ”The Complete Book of Fruits and Vegetables”;
- LaGrande, Jack. ˮHealth Benefits and Healing Power of Fruits and Vegetables: Inflammation, Anti-aging, High Blood Pressure and Much More…ˮ;