BlogFood & Nutrition

Bananas, Not Just for Minions

banana minion

When Minions love Bananas, how can we associate Bananas with calories, high sugar, fat etc? Is this because Bananas contain a high amount of carbohydrates and no protein or healthy fats? However, rich and readily available vitamins and minerals in a banana have always been overlooked by many people.

Banana is one of the cheapest fruits and is easily available in almost all countries.  Should we include the banana in our daily diet or not, and what are the health benefits of this fruit.

Weight loss

Did you know Bananas are excellent for weight loss? Yes, pectin and resistant starch present in a banana are known to keep you full for longer. Thus, avoid binge eating. The Dietary fibre present in banana also promotes gut health by improving gut bacteria. 

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Energy booster

Bananas are a great snack and it can be used before and after exercise/sports as well. During exercise carbohydrates and stored glycogen in the body get converted into ATP (adenosine triphosphate, i.e. energy). Therefore, depending on the type of exercise or  sport, banana can be used as pre-work out meal filling up your glycogen stores. This provides excellent source of energy to perform during work outs or sports.

After exercise, the body uses carbohydrates to repair muscle fibers that have been broken down. Banana is a good combination of fructose, sucrose, and glucose, and hence is able to reach the muscle tissues especially fast. This helps restore glucose reserves quickly, which is essential to build muscle and strength.

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Improve digestive health

Bananas are a very good source of fiber. They help prevent constipation and prevent bloating. The soluble fiber and resistant starch in bananas help remove waste and toxins from the body. They also reduce inflammation in the digestive tract, if any. Since they are easy to digest they do not put unnecessary load on the digestive tract.

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Boost mood

Tryptophan an amino acid present in bananas help in secretion of hormones called serotonin. Serotonin is also called a happy hormone as it boosts mood. This hormone is also important to overcoming anxiety and depression.

Improve skin and bone health

Bananas are a good source of manganese and vitamin C. These boost collagen production which is required for a supple and smooth skin. Manganese is anti-inflammatory and acts as a good antioxidant, thus helps to keep the skeletal structure strong.

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Wonder foods for kids

Bananas are very easy on the stomach and this is the main reason it is a safe fruit for children. Bananas contain resistant starch which can increase the good bacteria in the intestine of kids. It also increases the production of short-chain fatty acids like butyrate, thus helping with improved gut health.

This nutritionally packed fruit is also one of the wholesome foods for babies. Introduce this from the age of 6 months. Children should eat a banana every day for their overall well-being as it contains vitamin B6 and antioxidants. This vitamin boosts the brain by improving cognitive performance.

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Other Nutrients in a Banana

Potassium: Bananas have rich sources of potassium. One banana contains approximately 500 mg of potassium. Potassium helps maintain blood pressure and is thus an ideal snack for high blood pressure patients. It counteracts the effect of sodium which is the main culprit for high blood pressure. Potassium also promotes blood circulation, helps in the management of blood flow and transportation of oxygen to cells.

Vitamin B6: Bananas are an excellent source of vitamin B6-pyridoxine. Pyridoxine helps healthy brain functioning as it helps in the generation of neurotransmitters which carry information from cell to cell. Vitamin B6 present in bananas is also necessary for healthy eyes and to prevent rheumatoid arthritis.

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Antioxidants: Bananas contain several antioxidants like beta-carotenelutein etc. Hence regular intake may help to prevent cancer and other muscular degenerative diseases. Antioxidants also protect the brains cells from oxidative damage caused by the free radicles, thus improving mental skills.

Again, Bananas are available nearly everywhere and in all seasons. They are totally affordable when compared to exotic imported fruits. They also contain several other vitamins and minerals like iron, calcium, phosphorus vitamins A, E, folate, and choline. Thus, this fruit acts as a great snack with several health benefits.

Learn more about how to include this super fruit in your daily diet from our health experts at BucketList Dream.

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-Aruna, Sonia

Consultants, Nutrition