Did you know that Bananas can be so much more than sweet fruits?
Living everyday can be tough and challenging. It can be unusually frustrating and every once in a while, it might seem necessary to step down all that tension with sweetness.
Bananas offer you a multidimensional range of sweetness. From being a great way to end a meal, to being a good snack to help lift your mood, to being just the right food that offers all the missing vitamins and minerals your body needs.
Bananas are a huge commercial investment. In 2015, about 18million tons of Bananas were exported world wide. The numbers have been on a steady rise since then. Wow!
Beyond their refreshing sweet taste, Bananas are nature’s hub of major vitamins and minerals. According to Laura Flores, a San Diego-based nutritionist, Bananas are high in potassium and pectin, a form of fibre, and can also be a good way to get magnesium and vitamins C and B6.
Minerals and vitamins content of Bananas
Each banana contains about 105 calories and consists almost exclusively of water and carbs. Bananas hold very little protein and almost no fat. The carbs in green, unripe bananas consist mostly of starch and resistant starch, but as the banana ripens, the starch turns into sugar (glucose, fructose and sucrose).
Bananas are good for your heart. They are dense with potassium, a compound that helps your heart beat better, thus promoting healthy blood flow. Their low sodium content also mean they protect your heart from High Blood Pressure.
Bananas improve your gut health. Their high production of resistant fibre makes them ideal for gut health by increasing the production of short chain fatty acids in the gut. They also help reduce blood sugar.
Bananas contain about 10% of your daily fibre content. This makes them ideal dessert options. Their high carb content, coupled with their sweetness makes them filling and satisfying, thus reducing hunger pangs and helping to induce weight loss.
Besides helping maintain a great heart function, the potassium content of Bananas helps with kidney function. Kidneys are tasked with an enormous amount of maintaining the fluid content of our body, and regular inclusion of Bananas in one’s diet can help reduce the risks of kidney diseases.
As a football fan, I’ve noticed Bananas being given to the players during breaks of knock treatments. I often wondered why? Bananas are more effective in replenishing energy and electrolytes than sports drinks. Bananas contain a great deal of minerals and easily digested carbs. Muscle cramps and soreness are common among athletes, and while there are no clear causes of these, it is believed to be as a result of dehydration and an imbalance of the body’s electrolytes. Thus, Bananas are good palliative before, during and after strenuous exercises.
Athletes take Bananas instead of sports drinks to replenish lost energy.
Carrots have long been in the spotlight for their eyes sight improvement abilities, but bananas do their share as well. Containing a small but significant amount of vitamin A, Bananas have proved to be an essential part of our diet because they make for protecting your eyes, maintaining normal vision and improving vision at night, according to the National Institutes of Health. Vitamin A contains compounds that preserve the membranes around your eyes and are an element in the proteins that bring light to your corneas. Like Avocado, bananas can help prevent macular degeneration, an incurable condition, which blurs central vision.
Bananas may not be dense with calcium, but they play and all too important role in keeping bones strong. According to a 2009 article in the Journal of Physiology and Biochemistry, bananas contain an abundance of fructooligosaccharides. These are non digestive carbohydrates that encourage digestive-friendly probiotics and enhance the body’s ability to absorb calcium.
Are there risks to eating Bananas?
Eaten with frugality, bananas offer no harmful effects on the body. However, according to Laura Flores, eating the fruits in excess may trigger headaches and sleepiness. She said that such headaches are caused by “the amino acids in bananas that dilate blood vessels.”
Overripe bananas contain more of these amino acids than other bananas. “Bananas can also contribute to sleepiness when eaten in excess due to the high amount of tryptophan found in them,” she said.
Excessive eating of Bananas can cause tooth decay, especially when one doesn’t have a good dental health routine. Also, Bananas are not a healthy meal as they do not contain proper proteins, neither are they an effective post workout snack. Always eat them as part of a two course meal at least.
There are reports stating that potassium overconsumption can lead to hyperkalemia, which is characterized by muscle weakness, temporary paralysis and an irregular heartbeat. This can be a dangerous thing for someone that consumes Bananas way too much. Magnesium also relaxes the muscles — another sometimes-benefit, sometimes-risk.
The crux of the matter?
Bananas are a popular fruit that happens to provide numerous health benefits.
Benefits of Bananas
Among other things, they may boost digestive and heart health due to their fiber and antioxidant content.
They may even aid weight loss, as they’re relatively low-calorie and nutrient-dense.
Ripe bananas are a great way to satisfy your sweet tooth. What’s more, both yellow and green bananas can keep you healthy and feeling full.
Ezeani Uchechukwu, AKA Saddam Ninhor, currently undergoing B. TECH programme in Microbiology at Federal University of Technology, Owerri. Despite his science roots, he loves to dabble with words in short stories, poems and also shares knowledge of household and relationship efficiency.
He sets simple goals, working at his own pace to achieve them. This is greatly inspired by the words of Zig Ziglar; "go as far as you can see, when you get there, you will see further."
Social media: Saddam Ninhor(Facebook).