Banana health benefits are the goodness in bananas. Besides being rich in vitamin B6, bananas are a good source of vitamin C, dietary fiber, and manganese. What do these mean for your health? They are full of antioxidants and also aid weight loss and support overall heart health. Read on as I educate you on 6 reasons you should consume bananas daily!
BANANAS are not only rich in vitamins and fiber but are also fat-free and cholesterol-free.
Ever wondered what goodness is in a banana? Besides being rich in vitamin B6, bananas are a good source of vitamin C, dietary fiber, and manganese. Bananas are also fat-free, cholesterol-free, and virtually sodium-free. So what do these mean for your health?
Ms. Peggy Tan, Dietitian, Tiong Bahru Community Health Centre, a member of the SingHealth group, explains why bananas are good for you and when you should eat them.
Some Banana Health Benefits
1. Bananas are one of the best fruit sources of vitamin B6
Vitamin B6 from bananas is readily absorbed by your body and a medium-sized banana can provide about a quarter of your daily vitamin B6 needs.
Banana health benefits, Vitamin B6 supports your body in the following ways:
- generate red blood cells,
- metabolize carbohydrates and fats, converting them into energy,
- metabolize amino acids,
- eliminate toxic chemicals from your liver and kidneys, and
- strengthen a healthy nervous system.
Vitamin B6 is also good for pregnant women as it supports their baby’s development needs.
- 2. Bananas are respectable sources of vitamin C
You may not associate bananas with vitamin C but a medium-sized banana will provide about 10% of your daily vitamin C needs.
Vitamin C helps:
- protect your body against cell and tissue damage,
your body absorbs iron better,
- Your body produces collagen – the protein which holds your skin, bones, and body together, and
support brain health by producing serotonin, a hormone that affects our sleep cycle, moods, and experiences of stress and pain.
- Manganese in bananas is good for your skin
One medium-sized banana gives approximately 13% of your daily manganese needs. Manganese helps your body make collagen and protects your skin and other cells against free radical damage.
- Potassium in bananas is healthy for your heart health and blood pressure
A medium-sized banana will provide around 320-400 mg of potassium, which meets about 10% of your daily potassium needs.
Potassium helps your body maintain a healthy heart and blood pressure. In addition, bananas are low in sodium. The low sodium and high potassium combination help to control high blood pressure.
- Bananas can aid digestion and help beat gastrointestinal issues.
A medium banana will provide about 10-12% of your daily fiber needs. Singapore’s Health Promotion Board recommends a daily dietary fiber intake of 20g for women and 26g for men.
Soluble and insoluble fibers play an essential role in your health. Soluble fiber helps your body control your blood sugar level and get rid of fatty substances such as cholesterol. Insoluble fiber adds weight and softness to stools, making it easier for you to have regular bowel movements. This helps to keep your gut healthy and safe from harmful bacteria.
Bananas, especially newly-ripened ones, contain starch that does not digest (resistant starch) in your small intestine and is able to pass into the large intestine. Such bananas help you manage your weight better as you stay full for longer.
That explained, bananas can enable you to defeat gastrointestinal issues such as:
- stomach ulcers, and
- Bananas provide you with energy and good stamina.
Apart from the fats and cholesterol in bananas, it also contains three natural sugars: sucrose, fructose, and glucose, providing you with fat and cholesterol-free source of energy in your body. As uncommonly, bananas are suitable, especially for children and athletes, for breakfast, as a midday snack, or before and after sports.