Bananas are one of the most popular fruits in the world
Bananas have a distinct form and a firm but creamy flesh within a thick, unpalatable peel. People normally consider bananas as having yellow skin however, their color changes from green (under-ripe) to yellow (ripe) to brown (overripe).
Although it looks like a tree, the banana is actually a plant. The banana plant grows up to 15 metres. Bananas grow in clusters of 50-150, with individual bananas grouped in bunches known as ‘hands’ of 10-20 at a time.
Most people know bananas and that they’re a healthy snack however, this fruit does much more than just provide a tasty snack.
Average Nutrient Content in a Single Banana
Potassium: 9% of the Recommended Daily Intake
Vitamin B6: 33% of the RDI
Vitamin C: 11% of the RDI
Magnesium: 8% of the RDI
Copper: 10% of the RDI
Manganese: 14% of the RDI
Net carbs: 24 grams
Fiber: 3.1 grams
Protein: 1.3 grams
Fat: 0.4 grams
Here are some of the benefits to bananas you might not know about
An Exercise Booster
Bananas are often referred to as the perfect food for athletes mainly due to their contents and easily digested carbs. Bananas provide an excellent nutrition before, during and after exercise
Eating bananas may help reduce exercise-related muscle cramps and soreness, which affects most of the population. The reason for the cramps is largely unknown, but a popular theory points towards a mixture of dehydration and electrolyte imbalance
It is widely known that bananas are a great source of potassium. Because potassium is an electrolyte it can aid in muscle recovery and strengthen muscle allowing you to recover faster for you next workout
If after a workout you feel like your muscles are more sore than normal or that your muscles are not strengthening, you may not have enough magnesium in your diet. Bananas are a great source of magnesium and can help with muscle relaxation as well as protein synthesis which can lead to an increase in lean muscle mass.
Do you constantly feel bloated or gassy after eating? Bananas can help with your digestion since they’re a great source of prebiotics, nondigestible carbohydrates that act as food for the good gut bacteria also known as probiotics. They can improve digestion and lead to better gastrointestinal health
Helps Regulate Blood pressure
People should consider lowering their sodium intake since it can increase your blood pressure and lead to an increased risk of heart disease. Bananas are high in potassium and low in sodium, potassium helps manage blood pressure which reduces the strain on the cardiovascular system. A medium-sized banana will provide around 320-400 mg of potassium, which meets about 8-10% of your daily potassium needs
Weight Loss Aide
Bananas have several attributes that can make them a weight-loss-friendly-food.
Furthermore, unripe bananas are packed with resistant starch, so they tend to be very filling and may reduce your appetite
Prior to ripening, bananas are rich in something called resistant starch, which, as the name suggests, literally resists the digestion process. This feeds healthy gut bacteria, which suppresses the appetite and leads to more efficient fat oxidation. Since under ripe bananas are a bit bitter, we suggest adding them into weight loss smoothies with other fruits and veggies to mask the taste
Bananas have relatively few calories. An average banana has just over 100 calories — yet it is also very nutritious and filling. Eating more fiber from vegetables and fruits like bananas has repeatedly been linked to lower body weight and weight loss
A Healthy Source of Energy
There’s a reason marathoners grab a banana before (and during, and after) the race: Bananas are rich in glucose, the most easily digestible source of sugar that will provide optimal energy for your run, power lift or Soul Cycle class. Eating one post workout helps to quickly replenish energy stores that are depleted during a tough sweat session.
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