Home Cellular science 12 Science-Based Health Benefits of Bananas, According to a Dietitian

12 Science-Based Health Benefits of Bananas, According to a Dietitian


Whether you’re sinking into banana bread during quarantine or tossing them into your morning smoothies, you’re probably pretty familiar with bananas. They’re an easy staple fruit to keep on your counter (right next to apples and oranges, of course), and they taste great whether you eat them on their own or add them to your favorite recipes. like those breakfast yogurt bowls.

But buying the perfect band can create headaches. How to choose the most mature? Some people prefer to buy them when they are green and leave them to ripen at home, while others go straight for the already spotted ones.

“If it’s something you want to eat right away, definitely get something that’s perfectly yellow,” she says. Rebecca Boova, MS, RD, LDN. But, she adds, there’s no harm in choosing a slightly green or slightly brown bouquet — it all depends on how you prefer to eat them.

Green bananas have a higher starch content. As they brown, these starches turn into sugar, Boova explains. So the browner they are, the sweeter they will be. No matter how you prefer them, they all pack a nutritional punch.

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You already know they’re packed with potassium, but there are a dozen (literally!) reasons why cracking that yellow skin is a great idea. Here are all the surprising health benefits of bananas and the research behind them, according to a registered dietitian.

How does the nutrition of a banana compare?

A medium banana is packed with protein, carbs, and more. Here are the highlights, according to the USDA.

  • calories: 105
  • Fat: 0.39g
  • Saturated fat: 0.04g
  • Carbohydrates: 27g
  • Sodium: 1mg
  • Sugar: 14g
  • Fiber: 3g
  • Protein: 1g

      So what are the health benefits of bananas?

      You already know that fruits like bananas are great to add to a healthy diet. But there are more than a few reasons why bananas are a cut above the rest:

      1. Their potassium can reduce the risk of stroke.

        Most people need about 4,700 milligrams of potassium per day, says Valerie Agyeman, RD. A banana contains about 10% of the recommended daily intake, or about 470 milligrams. Potassium is a multifunctional mineral, but one of its superpowers is the ability to reduce the risk of stroke, she adds. Potassium improves blood flow and makes arteries less stiff, which can reduce the risk of stroke by up to 20% in women who don’t have high blood pressure, a study in the study has found. Stroke Diary after tracking the potassium intake of more than 90,000 women over the age of 11.

        2. Potassium can also help lower blood pressure.

        The potassium in bananas can help keep your blood pressure low, says Boova. It relaxes the walls of your blood vessels, which lowers your blood pressure (and that peak, aka systolic, number), according to Harvard Medical School. As a reminder, your blood pressure reading consists of two numbers. The systolic measures the pressure in your arteries when your heart is beating, and the diastolic (bottom number) measures your blood pressure when your heart is resting.

        3. The fiber in bananas can help relieve constipation and diarrhea.

        Bananas can help you stay regular. The fiber in the fruit, along with resistant starch (a type of carbohydrate), is known for its ability to remedy both constipation and diarrhea by making your stool firmer and moving it along your bowels. .

        4. Fiber also regulates your gut health.

        Even if your toilet habits are normal, the fiber in bananas is still great for your gut health, says Boova. A study review within the review Cell host and microbe found that fiber replenishes your gut microbiome with all the microbes you need to keep everything going, so peel it off.

        5. The prebiotics in bananas also stimulate your gut.

        You’ve heard of probiotics, but prebiotics are just as important. “It’s like food for the probiotics to help it thrive,” says Agyeman. Prebiotics feed the bacteria in your digestive system, while probiotics are a kind of those bacteria. All of this contributes to a super healthy gut microbiome.

        6. Their vitamin C can help fight disease and improve skin health.

        You can support immunity and take care of your skin when you get into a banana, Agyeman says. Your body needs vitamin C to generate collagen, which helps heal wounds and protects against aging, according to the National Institutes of Health. It’s also a game-changer for your immune system, as vitamin C plays a role in keeping your white blood cells working efficiently.

        7. Their antioxidants and phytonutrients decrease your risk of contracting chronic diseases.

        Fortunately, bananas contain both. “They’ll promote wellness, help you avoid getting sick, and also help lower your risk of different chronic diseases, like heart disease, kidney disease, and diabetes,” Boova said. Both prevent cell damage, which can completely mess up your body and lead to disease.

        8. Carbohydrates make bananas a good source of energy.

        You need energy to function and your body needs carbohydrates to produce energy. Their high carb content makes bananas a great source of energy, even if you fry them, a study found in the Journal of Human Nutrition and Food Science. So if you’re feeling lazy, try snacking on a banana at midday and adding a handful of nuts for a well-balanced snack, Agyeman recommends.

        9. Their vitamin B6 content can help relieve stress and anxiety.

        Bananas are high in vitamin B6, which can help regulate or even boost your mood. “It can help increase those feel-good hormones,” Agyeman says, such as serotonin. The vitamin is actually involved in the creation of several neurotransmitters, like serotonin and dopamine.

        10. Their vitamin A content may support healthy skin and other bodily processes.

        Bananas are also high in vitamin A, which is great for skin health. In case you didn’t know, vitamin A is also known as retinol, which you probably know from your skincare products. Vitamin A helps fight sun damage, which can break down collagen. It is also involved in creating the lining of several mucous membranes, including your gastrointestinal tract, according to the University of Rochester.

        11. Bananas are rich in iron, which can fight anemia.

        Research also shows that bananas contain a lot of iron. This makes it an excellent choice for anyone with low iron levels, including people with anemia, a mineral your body needs to grow, develop and properly produce hemoglobin which carries oxygen in your body. the whole body.

        12. And it’s the perfect post-workout snack.

        Since they’re so full of electrolytes, including potassium, Agyeman says bananas are ideal post-workout. “Enjoying it as a post-workout snack will aid recovery by restoring the body’s muscle glycogen stores,” she explains. “The potassium it provides will help replenish what has been lost through sweating.”

        Basically, there is no reason do not throw a bunch in your shopping cart the next time you go grocery shopping.

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