A tropical and delicious fruit, banana is one of the most consumed fruits in the world. Being one of the most preferred fruits due to its availability, durability, sweet aroma and satiety in almost every season, banana is one of the exemplary fruits in terms of nutritional value and health benefits. There is a lot to say about the benefits of banana. Are you ready to unravel the secret of this delicious herb?
Banana is one of the fruits that is a source of potassium. Apart from potassium, it also contains magnesium, manganese and phosphorus minerals. Bananas also contain high amounts of vitamins A and C, and lower amounts of group B vitamins.
Nutritional Value of Banana
The energy value of a medium banana is on average 105 calories and contains 27 grams of carbohydrates. However, it contains 1 gram of protein, 0.5 grams of fat, and 3.5 grams of dietary fiber. For this reason, it would not be wrong to say that almost all of the energy content consists of carbohydrates. The carbohydrate found in an immature banana; It is in the form of resistant starch that is partially difficult to digest, but as the banana ripens the starch is converted into fructose and the fruit sugar, glucose. Thus, while the banana is sweetened, it is also easier to digest.
The table below shows the value of each nutrient in a medium banana. It also shows how much an adult needs each nutrient, according to the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. Requirements vary based on the individual’s gender and age.
|Nutrient||Amount in one medium banana||Daily adult requirement|
|Carbohydrate in grams (g)||27, including 14.4 g of sugar||130|
|Selenium in micrograms (mcg)||1.9||55|
|Vitamin C (mg)||10.3||75–90|
|Folate (mcg DFE)||23.6||400|
|Beta carotene (mcg)||30.7||No data|
|Alpha carotene (mcg)||29.5||No data|
Benefits of Eating Bananas
- The pectin substance and not fully digestible starch contained in the banana reduce appetite and give a feeling of satiety. The immature the banana, the higher its starch content. The high fiber it contains is also effective in suppressing hunger and prolonging satiety. For this reason, it should be preferred especially as a snack in slimming diets.
- In terms of energy per serving, one of the fruits with the highest value is bananas. It can be consumed to meet the energy need in a short time. It is very important for people who work in a physically intensive job or who are very active during the day to consume one banana every day to maintain energy levels.
- Since ripe banana is easy to digest, it can be easily consumed even by people with stomach problems. It can help heal stomach ulcer wounds.
- Thanks to the fiber it contains, it provides the regulation of bowel movements. Unripe banana with high starch content helps to relieve constipation.
- In diseases with vomiting and diarrhea and electrolyte loss, it increases potassium and facilitates digestion, regulates the intestines and decreases the severity of symptoms.
- Bananas are one of the best fruits for vitamin B6. Vitamin B6 found in bananas is easily absorbed by your body, and a medium-sized banana can provide about a quarter of your daily vitamin B6 needs.
- Manganese in bananas is beneficial for your skin. A medium banana consumption meets about 13% of your daily manganese requirement. Manganese helps your body make collagen and protects your skin and other cells from free radical damage.
- Thanks to its easily digested carbohydrate and mineral content, it is an important food source for athletes and highly preferred in sports nutrition. Banana consumption before training ensures that the blood sugar remains in balance throughout the training and minimizes the mineral loss due to perspiration. In this way, it prevents cramps and muscle pain complaints after training.
- In the regulation of blood pressure thanks to its high potassium content; It is very effective in protecting heart health by improving heart muscles.
- Potassium is also involved in regulating kidney activities. It prevents the formation of kidney stones. That’s why bananas are considered a kidney-protecting food.
- Thanks to the tryptophan amino acid it contains, it increases the hormones that make you happy and helps to improve the mood. This effect of banana should be taken advantage of in dealing with depression and stress.
- Vitamins and minerals contained in banana accelerate cell renewal and make hair and skin tissues look vibrant and shiny.
- It is very effective in reducing menstrual period pain, relieving swelling and relaxing the abdominal area.
Bananas Help Your Muscles Heal Faster
Since bananas are an electrolyte that contains a major source of potassium, potassium helps your muscles recover faster after a workout, strengthens growth and provides more energy for you to exercise.
This fast and effective source of carbohydrates helps rebuild damaged muscles and restore the body’s glycogen levels. Potassium is necessary for our muscles to work, an adult who does sports needs at least 4,700 milligrams of potassium daily. Since all the stress is on our muscles during exercise, potassium is used and needs to be replenished after training. This is one of the reasons why bananas are a pre and post workout snack, as they contain a lot of potassium.
Correct Amount of Consumption
Too much banana can be harmful! Although bananas have many beneficial effects due to the high energy and starch it contains, as the amount consumed increases, unlike its benefits, it has some harm to the body. The first of these is the disruption of bowel order. Depending on whether it is a raw or ripe banana, it causes symptoms such as diarrhea or constipation, indigestion, and bloating. Especially if a large portion of bananas are consumed immediately after a meal containing carbohydrates, a sudden rise and imbalance in blood sugar will occur. In addition, continuous high consumption of this high-energy fruit can cause weight gain in the long term. In order to make the most of the nutritional value and benefits of bananas, daily consumption should be limited to 1-2, depending on the daily diet of the person, and it is recommended to be consumed before sports and during snacks during the day. It should not be consumed after dinner.