Fruits are nature’s little gifts to us. They are tasty and portable nutrient bombs filled with vitamins and minerals that have minimal fat and low calorie. One of these gifts is the magnificent and extremely versatile banana.
Bananas are easily one of the most popular fruits in the world. It makes it way into desserts, baked goods, sauces and compotes, salads, smoothies, cereals, and even entrées.
Bananas come in different varieties. The most common one sold in stores is the Cavendish (named after William Cavendish, 6th Duke of Devonshire). One medium sized banana (118 g) contains 9% of the RDI of Potassium, 33% of the RDI of Vitamin B6, 11% of the RDI of Vitamin C, 8% of the RDI of Magnesium, 10% of the RDI of Copper, and 14% of the RDI of Manganese. It has almost zero fat (0.4g), 3.1 g of fibre, and is only 105 calories.
Here are 5 benefits of bananas:
The high fibre content of bananas can greatly improve digestive health and ease symptoms of IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome). Bananas have 2 main fibers: pectin and resistant starch. The later escapes digestion and ends up in your large intestine, where it becomes food for the friendly bacteria in your gut while the former can help protect you against colon cancer.
Athletes are often told to eat a banana in order to reduce the occurrence of exercise related muscle cramps. This may be an old wives home remedy but the fact of the matter is that the nutritional content of bananas make it ideal for replenishing electrolytes, provide potassium to abate muscle cramps, and provide fuel for energy because of their natural sugars.
Bananas are a potassium powerhouse. Potassium helps in regulating heartbeat, blood pressure, and keeps the brain alert. One medium sized banana can provide 9% of the RDI for potassium. It is also a heavyweight when it comes to nutrition. It is loaded with vitamins and minerals like: potassium, calcium, manganese, magnesium, iron, folate, niacin, riboflavin, and B6.
The potassium and magnesium content of bananas make it especially beneficial for supporting heart health. These two nutrients, after all, are essential for controlling blood pressure. A potassium rich diet can help reduce the risk of heart disease by about 27%.
Bananas are one of the most common fruits you’ll ever find on the market. It’s so convenient, even convenience stores have them! It’s portable. You can throw one in your bag (just don’t forget it’s there) and eat it on your way to work (don’t make eye contact while eating it, that’s just weird). It’s incredibly versatile. You can add it to your cereals, your smoothies, or your yoghurt. You can bake with it, make sauces with it, cook with it, and even grill it.
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