How healthy is banana? Read all the benefits here

Bananas are eaten a lot around the world. This is because this type of fruit has a good taste, a high nutritional value and a low calorie content. It is even possible that the banana has been the first fruit in the world, as archaeologists have found evidence of banana cultivation in new Guinea from the year 8000 BC [1].

How healthy is bananas?

Bananas are mainly grown in countries with a warm climate, such as Africa, Asia, the Canary Islands, Australia and America. India is also engaged in banana cultivation and 23% of total production is the world’s largest producer [1].

In Total, an average of 720 million bananas are eaten per year. Maybe you ask yourself: How healthy is bananas?

This article answers this question and learn about the health benefits of bananas, such as a reduced risk of cancer, lowering blood pressure, promoting your heart rhythm and improving your mental health.

At the end of the article you will find out if eating bananas can help you when you want to lose 5 or 10 kilos.

How healthy is banana?

Lowering blood pressure: From a study published in America, it has been shown that bananas can protect you from high blood pressure. The eating of bananas is antihypertensive because of the high potassium content and the low sodium content [2].

Promotes heart function: Bananas are very good for your heart. The large amount of potassium that contains this type of fruit ensures that electrical signals are kept in your body. This ensures that the heart continues to beat [1].

Improves mental health: Bananas can be helpful for people trying to get rid of depression. Bananas are rich in the amino acid tryptophan, which is converted by the body into serotonin. Serotonin is a “feel good” neurotransmitter that occurs in the brain and improves your mood, suppresses your appetite, and even soothes pain stimuli.

Bananas also ensure that you can relax yourself better, as they contain vitamin B6 and magnesium. Vitamin B6 lets you sleep better and magnesium lets your muscles come to rest.

Helps prevent diabetes: bananas contain a lot of vitamin B6 and are rich in fiber. This combination will make you less likely to have diabetes type 2.

Improves eyesight: By eating bananas, your vision will improve because bananas contain vitamin A. The vitamin A compounds ensure the preservation of the membranes around your eyes. In addition, vitamin A is an element in the proteins that leave light through the corneas [3].

Strengthens the bones: according to an article in the Journal of Physiology and biochemistry, bananas contain an abundance of Fructo-oligosaccharides. These promote the ability of the body to absorb more calcium, which can make the bones stronger [5].

Reduces the likelihood of kidney cancer: In 2005, a Swedish study found that women who eat four to six bananas per week have a lesser chance of developing kidney cancer [4]. This has to do with the high antioxidant content of this type of fruit.

Nutritional value of a banana

A banana weighs on average 136 grams and has the following nutritional value:

  • 110 calories
  • 30 grams of carbohydrates
  • 1 gram Protein
  • 0 grams of fat

Bananas contain the following vitamins and minerals [6]:

  • Vitamin A – 81 mcg
  • Vitamin B2 – 0.1 mg
  • Vitamin B3 – 0.8 mg
  • Vitamin B6 – 0.5 mg
  • Vitamin B11 (Folic acid) – 25 mg
  • Vitamin C – 9 mg
  • Potassium – 450 mg
  • Magnesium – 34 mg
  • Manganese 0.3 mg

By eating a banana you get a lot of the daily recommended amount of vitamins and minerals inside, which makes eating a banana a healthy choice.

Bananas and lose weight

Bananas contain a wide variety of vitamins, minerals and fibers, and provide your body with the necessary nutrients. A banana thus promotes your overall health, but eating too much fruit can make you thicken.

Although bananas are healthy, it is important to know that they contain fructose (fruit sugar). Fructose is a type of sugar that can slow down or even completely prevent loss of weight.

Therefore, it is advisable not to eat more than 2 pieces of fruit per day while losing weight.

By eating other healthy foods in addition to bananas that contain healthy fats, proteins and complex carbohydrates, healthy weight loss is much easier.

Source: 

[1] Szalay, J. (2014). Bananas: Health Benefits, Risks & Nutrition Facts. Geraadpleegd op 16 september 2015, van http://www.livescience.com/45005-banana-nutrition-facts.html. 
[2] U.S. Food and Drug Administration. (Z.D.). Sodium in Your Diet: Using the Nutrition Facts Label to Reduce Your Intake. Geraadpleegd op 29 september 2014, van http://www.fda.gov/Food/ResourcesForYou/Consumers/ucm315393.htm. 

[3] MedlinePlus. (2013). Vitamin A. Geraadpleegd op 29 september 2014, van https://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/002400.htm. 

[4] Lindblad, Rashidkhani & Wolk. (2005). Fruits, vegetables and risk of renal cell carcinoma: a prospective study of Swedish women. Geraadpleegd op 29 september 2014, van http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15455348. 

[5] Largu é, Sabater-Molina, Torrella & Zamora. (2009). Dietary fructooligosaccharides and potential benefits on health. Geraadpleegd op 29 september 2014, van http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20119826. 

[6] Almond, H. (Z.D.). Top Ten Health Benefits of Bananas. Geraadpleegd op 16 september 2015, van http://www.livestrong.com/article/505406-top-ten-health-benefits-of-bananas/. 

[7] Voedingscentrum (2015. Banaan. Geraadpleegd op 22 september 2015, van http://www.voedingscentrum.nl/encyclopedie/banaan.aspx

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