11 Evidence-Based Health Benefits of Bananas


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Bananas are extremely healthy, handy, scrumptious, and one of probably the most cheap fresh fruits you should purchase. This makes them a superb selection for anybody in eating healthy.

While they’re native to Southeast Asia, they develop ubiquitously in many heat climates, making them out there worldwide. The Cavendish selection, the commonest kind discovered in grocery shops, begins out agency and green but turns yellow, gentle, and sweet because it ripens.

Bananas comprise many important nutrients and might profit weight loss, digestion, and heart health.

Here are 11 science-based health advantages of bananas.

1. Rich in nutrients

Bananas comprise a good amount of fiber and a number of antioxidants. One regular-sized banana (126 grams) additionally boasts (1Trusted Source):

  • Calories: 112
  • Fat: 0 grams
  • Protein: 1 gram
  • Carbs: 29 grams
  • Fiber: 3 grams
  • Vitamin C: 12% of the Daily Value (DV)
  • Riboflavin: 7% of the DV
  • Folate: 6% of the DV
  • Niacin: 5% of the DV
  • Copper: 11% of the DV
  • Potassium: 10% of the DV
  • Magnesium: 8% of the DV

One banana gives about 112 calories and consists virtually completely of water and carbs. They maintain little protein and no fats.

The carbs in green, unripe bananas are mostly in the shape of starch and resistant starch — a kind of indigestible fiber we’ll get to shortly. As the fruit ripens, its taste turns into sweeter whereas its fiber content material drops (2Trusted Source3Trusted Source).

2. May improve blood sugar levels

Bananas are rich in soluble fiber. During digestion, soluble fiber dissolves in liquid to type a gel. It’s additionally what provides bananas their sponge-like texture (3Trusted Source).

Unripe bananas additionally comprise resistant starch, which isn’t digested by your body (2Trusted Source).

Together, these two types of fiber might moderate your blood sugar levels after meals. Plus, they could assist regulate your urge for food by slowing the emptying of your abdomen (4Trusted Source).

This implies that regardless of their larger carb content material, bananas gained’t trigger main spikes in blood sugar levels in healthy people. However, whereas people with diabetes can take pleasure in bananas, it’s not beneficial to take pleasure in a large portion in one sitting.

3. May assist digestive health

Dietary fiber has been linked to many health advantages, together with improved digestion. One medium-sized banana gives about 3 grams of fiber (1Trusted Source).

Resistant starch, the kind of fiber discovered in unripe bananas, is a prebiotic. Prebiotics escape digestion and find yourself in your large gut, the place they develop into meals for the beneficial bacteria in your gut (2Trusted Source5Trusted Source).

What’s extra, pectin — a fiber discovered in each ripe and unripe bananas — might assist stop constipation and soften stools (3Trusted Source6Trusted Source).

Some test-tube research even suggest that pectin might assist defend towards colon most cancers, though analysis in people is still wanted to verify this profit (7Trusted Source8Trusted Source).

4. May help weight loss

No research has immediately examined bananas’ results on weight loss. However, this in style fruit does have a number of attributes that would make it a weight-loss-friendly food.

First, bananas have comparatively few calories. The common banana has simply over 100 calories, but it’s nutritious and filling (1Trusted Source).

Eating extra fiber from vegetables and fruits has repeatedly been linked to decrease body weight and weight loss (4Trusted Source9Trusted Source10Trusted Source).

Furthermore, unripe bananas are filled with resistant starch, in order that they are usually filling and reduce your urge for food. If you’d wish to include unripe bananas in your diet, attempt utilizing them as you’d use plantains (2Trusted Source11Trusted Source).

5. May assist heart health

Potassium is a mineral that’s very important for heart health, particularly blood pressure management. Despite its significance, few people get enough potassium in their diet (12Trusted Source).

Conveniently, bananas are an excellent supply of potassium, with a medium-sized banana (126 grams) offering 10% of the DV (1Trusted Source).

A potassium-rich diet can assist decrease your blood pressure. Plus, in response to older analysis and animal research, people who eat loads of potassium have as much as a 27% decrease danger of heart disease (13Trusted Source14Trusted Source).

What’smore, bananas comprise 8% of the DV for magnesium, one other mineral that’s necessary for heart health (1Trusted Source15Trusted Source).

Magnesium deficiency could also be linked to an increased danger of heart disease, elevated blood pressure, and excessive levels of fat in the blood. As such, it’s important that you just get sufficient of the mineral out of your diet or dietary supplements (14Trusted Source).

6. Full of antioxidants

Fruits and vegetables are excellent sources of dietary antioxidants, and bananas are not any exception.

They comprise a number of types of potent antioxidants, together with flavonoids and amines (3Trusted Source).

These antioxidants are linked to many health advantages, akin to a reduced danger of heart disease and degenerative sicknesses ((*11*), 17Trusted Source).

They assist stop oxidative injury to your cells brought on by free radicals. Without antioxidants, free radicals can construct up over time and trigger hurt if their levels develop into excessive sufficient in your body ((*11*), 17Trusted Source).

7. May make it easier to really feel fuller

The soluble fiber in bananas might assist maintain you full by including bulk to your digestive system and slowing digestion (16Trusted Source).

Additionally, bananas are comparatively low in calories for his or her size (1Trusted Source).

Combined, the low calorie and excessive fiber contents of bananas make them a extra filling snack than different foods like processed or sugary boxed snacks (17Trusted Source).

Protein can be filling, but bananas are low in this macronutrient. So, for a hunger-fighting snack, attempt eating a sliced banana with protein-rich foods like Greek yogurt, or mix a banana right into a protein shake (16Trusted Source).

8. May improve insulin sensitivity when unripe

Insulin resistance is a major danger issue for a number of power diseases, together with kind 2 diabetes.

Several research reveal that recurrently eating resistant starch — for instance, by having fun with unripe bananas — might improve insulin sensitivity. This might make your body extra conscious of this blood-sugar-regulating hormone (2Trusted Source4Trusted Source18Trusted Source).

However, extra analysis investigating how the resistant starch in bananas may have an effect on insulin sensitivity is required.

9. May improve kidney health

Potassium is significant for healthy kidney operate and blood pressure regulation (19Trusted Source).

As nice dietary sources of potassium, bananas could possibly be particularly useful in the case of protecting your kidneys healthy.

One research together with over 5,000 people with early stage power kidney disease linked potassium to decrease blood pressure and a slower development of kidney disease (19Trusted Source).

On the opposite hand, some people with late stage kidney disease or who’re on dialysis want to limit their potassium intake. If you fall into one of these classes, communicate along with your healthcare staff earlier than growing your potassium intake (19Trusted Source).

10. May assist exercise restoration

Bananas are typically known as the proper meals for athletes. This is basically resulting from their content material of simply digested carbs, in addition to the minerals potassium and magnesium, each of which act as electrolytes (20Trusted Source).

You lose electrolytes through your sweat throughout vigorous exercise. Resupplying your body with potassium and magnesium after sweating, for instance by eating a banana, might reduce exercise-related muscle cramps and soreness (20Trusted Source).

However, particular analysis on the results of bananas on exercise efficiency, cramping, and exercise restoration is missing.

Nevertheless, bananas present glorious nutrition earlier than, throughout, and after exercise.

11. Easy so as to add to your diet

Bananas will not be solely extremely healthy but additionally one of probably the most handy snack foods round.

They make an excellent addition to yogurt, cereal, and smoothies, and they work a deal with as a topping on entire grain toast with peanut butter. You may even use them in place of sugar in your baking and cooking.

Bananas are likewise extremely easy to eat and transport. They’re normally properly tolerated and simply digested. All it’s essential do is peel them, and you’re good to go.

The bottom line

Bananas are a preferred fruit with many potential health advantages.

They might boost your digestion and heart health because of their fiber and antioxidant contents. Plus, they could assist weight loss as a result of they’re comparatively low in calories, nutrient dense, and filling.

Both ripe, yellow bananas and unripe, green bananas can fulfill your sweet tooth and assist maintain you healthy.

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