Published: 08/29/2015 - Updated: 03/08/2020
Author: Dra. Loredana Lunadei, PhD
Bananas are fruit that are complete, energy providing, rich in fiber and so many other nutrients that the body needs to function properly.
They are rich in tryptophan, which is according to studies, what makes them useful in treating depression. Tryptophan is a natural anti-depressant, as it regulates serotonin levels in the brain, improving moods.
Bananas also have potassium, which is useful for preventing muscle cramps. These are just a few examples as to why you should eat them.
The meat of the fruit is the edible part. It’s botanical name is “Musa sapientum”, and they grow on banana trees. These trees generally grow in warm climates that average about 27 degrees C, providing the ideal growing climate.
This fruit can be eaten cooked or raw, as soon as it is harvested.
Bananas are rich in carbohydrates, which is why it is considered to provide energy. This makes bananas ideal for athletes, and for individuals that perform physically exerting activities.
In addition to providing energy, they are also a great source of vitamins like vitamin A, vitamin C, folic acid, B complex vitamins, and vitamin E.
In regards to minerals, they provide potassium, iron and magnesium.
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What are bananas good for?
Bananas have gotten a bad rap because they contain so many carbohydrates. They’ve been accused of causing obesity, but this isn’t necessarily true. Just the opposite, eating appropriate amounts of bananas can be beneficial, and even useful, in preventing and treating some disorders.
- Anemia: This fruit is rich in iron, which makes it an excellent component in an anemia-fighting diet.
- Depression: They’re a source of tryptophan, an essential amino acid that turns into serotonin. This substance helps to relax the body, making us feel better. One recent study showed that habitually consuming bananas could help overcome depression.
- Blood pressure: Their low sodium content, and ample amounts of potassium make this the perfect fruit for individuals with hypertension. They help control blood pressure.
- Insomnia: Eating a banana at night will help promote regenerative sleep, thanks to the tryptophan it has. Only eat bananas once they are ripe.
- Fights fatigue: Including bananas in your baking helps keep glucose levels healthy, thereby preventing fatigue or tirednes.
- Constipation: Bananas are rich in fiber, which helps correct intestinal functioning without needing to rely on laxatives.
- Headaches: Drinking banana smoothies can help relieve a minor headache, especially if it’s made with milk and a tablespoon of honey. This will rehydrate the body and will provide a good source of glucose.
- Fight stress: Thanks to their potassium content, bananas help regulate heart rate, fighting the effects of stress and aiding in relaxation.
- Controls the anxiety to eat: Because they are rich in fiber, eating a piece of banana could calm anxiety to eat. They’re also a good source of B complex vitamins, helping to control nervousness.
The recommended portion depends on the variety of banana you’re eating, as sizes change. Half of one common banana is recommended as one serving of fruit, which has approximately 60 calories. One whole banana has about 120 calories, which can be consumed without being afraid of gaining weight, if you’re eating a balanced diet.
When eating a variety that is small, you can consume the entire banana and consider this to be one serving of fruit.
Benefits of eating bananas
Not only are bananas nourishing, but they are also great for digestion. Eating a cooked banana before each meal will help neutralize gastric acid, prevent stomach pain, and prevent or reduce burning from heartburn.
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Eating bananas also helps heal stomach ulcers. Habitually eating bananas could be useful in treating colitis and hemorrhoids.
They’re also advisable for improving premenstrual cramps.
And last but not least, bananas are rich in potassium and magnesium, two minerals that lead to good bone health.
Recommendations for how to eat bananas
Bananas can be difficult to digest if they’re green, which is why we recommend letting it ripen before you eat it. We also recommend removing the fibrous strands on the banana, and chewing it well.
You can also cook bananas, making them a delicious addition to your meals.
If you are diabetic, we recommend consuming them in moderation. Just eat one serving a day, combined with some source of protein, like milk or yogurt.
So now you know the benefits of eating bananas…so go out there and get some!
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