“C’est banana! Hahaha! Miam miam!” – Minions
Everyone knows that bananas are healthy. They’re a tremendous source of nutrients, and one of the best sources of potassium. Most people that have eaten a banana can also say that they’re pretty tasty too! Containing an essential mix of nutrients, vitamins and fibers, a banana is one of the healthiest fruits at the supermarket. So, what are the benefits of eating this yellow-skinned treat?
Here are 25 health benefits of a banana, and why you should eat one daily:
1. Bananas help with depression. Someone with depression usually has a chemical imbalance of serotonin in the brain. Containing a high level of tryptophan, which is converted into serotonin, bananas can help alleviate symptoms of depression.
2. Boosts energy. Bananas contain three natural sugars – fructose, glucose and sucrose, and are a good dose of fiber. This potent combination provides an instant and sustained boost of energy. Just two bananas provide enough energy for a 90-minute workout!
3. Help you lose weight. At just 100 calories a serving, bananas are a good option for people trying to lose a few pounds. They also contain three grams of fiber, helping us feel more full and keep cravings at bay.
4. They’re a great brain food. Bananas release energy slowly, which helps the brain stay alert for a longer period of time. The high potassium levels keep us more alert and the magnesium helps the brain to focus.
5. Boosts libido. Containing a high level of potassium and B6 vitamins, bananas are a good source of nutrients necessary for hormone production.
6. Relieves heartburn. The high potassium level of bananas helps reduce the stomach’s acidity, while the fiber helps aid digestion; both of which are essential to alleviating heartburn.
7. Lowers blood pressure. Research has shown that eating two bananas a day can lower blood pressure by 10%. For those with blood pressure issues, bananas contain low sodium and high potassium, making them a great dietary choice.
8. They’re good for our blood. Containing a good amount of iron, bananas are great in keeping the blood healthy and lowing the risk of anemia. Containing high levels of B-6, bananas also aid with the production of white blood cells.
9. They’re good for our bones. The nutrients in bananas helps build and sustain strong bones by increasing calcium absorption.
10. Protects against illness. Bananas contain a high level of antioxidants, providing cell protection against free radicals that cause illnesses such as heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and muscular and tissue degeneration.
11. Help you quit smoking. While potentially a contentious claim, it needn’t be. Bananas contain a potent mix of potassium, magnesium and vitamin B6. Together, these nutrients are known to reduce nicotine withdrawal, which is crucial to kicking the habit.
12. Treats stomach ulcers. While doctors in India have been proclaiming the benefits of bananas to treat peptic ulcers for generations, it wasn’t until recently that doctors in England discovered the same thing: bananas contain sitoindosides (sigh-toe-in-doe-sides), which prevents and heals ulcers.
13. Helps with hangovers. By containing high levels of electrolytes, bananas are good food choice for somebody that had one-too-many. They’re great for regulating electrolyte levels and getting the body back to a healthy state.
14. Helps with constipation. Okay, so perhaps not the most pleasant thing to discuss, but we’re all adults here, right? That said, bananas are high in fiber, and fiber aids in the normalization of bowel movements. Not really a surprise, as we’ve already discussed bananas and their positive effect on digestion.
15. Protects against brain disorders. Rich in magnesium, bananas aid in the conversion of fatty acids into DHA, an important Omega-3. Scientists have discovered an important link between DHA deficiency and neurological disorders such as ADHD and Alzheimer’s disease. Containing a high level of B-vitamins, bananas also assist in preventing Parkinson’s disease.
16. Improves memory. Technically, this should have been filed under #4, but since so many people are worried about their memory it deserves its own number. Yes, bananas can help improve and sustain memory because of high levels of tryptophan, potassium and magnesium.
17. Promotes heart health. Not really a surprise here, given the banana’s high levels of nutrients and vitamins. Increasing potassium intake and decreasing the intake of sodium is probably the most important thing someone can do to protect their heart, and the banana is a high-potassium, low-sodium food. The fiber, vitamin C and B6 ingredients in the banana also promotes health and reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease.
18. Reduces the risk of asthma. Imperial College of London conducted a study in which researchers found that children who ate at least one banana a day had a 34% less chance of developing asthma.
Impressive. Anything we can do with the peel? Well…
19. Can shine your shoes(?) Apparently rubbing the inside of a banana peel on a leather shoe and then polishing it with a dry cloth can produce a nice, quick shine.
20. Whitens the teeth. Another interesting use for a banana peel: rubbing the inside of the peel on the teeth for a quick whitening job! Some ingredients in a banana, including magnesium, manganese and potassium, aids with whitening tooth enamel. Interesting.
21. Soothes itches. Banana peels can help relieve the itchiness caused by bug bites, such as those caused by mosquitos. Also, the properties of banana peels can relieve the effects of contact with poison ivy.
22. Removes splinters (!) Woodworkers and clumsy people, unite! Just tape a piece of banana peel to a splinter and within ten minutes, the enzymes will remove the wood shrapnel.
23. Relieves burns and cuts. Okay, now…parents unite! If the little one falls and cuts themselves or burns something, grab a banana peel and let the little guy or girl rub it on their boo-boo. That pain will be gone pretty quickly.
24. Meat tenderizer. Adding a banana peel to a roast can add enough moisture to prevent the meat from becoming dry.
25. Helps with the garden. Banana peels provide a versatile gardening by-product in performing a variety of functions, including: tomato plant fertilization, aphid and pest control, and can be suitable food for roses.