Do any of these sound familiar?
“Have a picky kid that won’t eat? Give them a banana.” “Need to eat something quick before a meeting? Have a banana.” “Grocery budget getting a little tight? Load up on bananas; they’re affordable.”
We say things like this all the time, but is any of this good advice? In a word, yes!
Bananas have the benefits of being affordable, convenient (they’re individually wrapped, after all), delicious, and healthy. How healthy? Well, you might be surprised to learn…
Bananas May Lower Blood Pressure
One of the ways to lower blood pressure is to increase your intake of potassium. Many people struggle to get the recommended daily allowance of 4700mg. A single banana has about 422mg of potassium – or about 9%. Combining potassium rich foods such as bananas, beans, dark leafy greens, avocados and fish with regular exercise can help bring your blood pressure down to healthier levels.
Bananas are a Workout Superfood
Bananas are full of simple carbohydrates, which are easiest for the body to breakdown during a workout. Eating a banana before going for a run, or hitting the gym can provide you with the energy you need to get the most out of your exercise. Bananas also have the added benefit of being a relatively light food, so athletes don’t have to worry about feeling “over-carbed,” the way some people do after eating heavier breads or pasta prior to a workout.
Bananas Aid Digestive Health
Each banana has about 3g of fiber, meaning they can help to aid regularity when eaten as part of a high fiber diet. Of course, you may have also heard your doctor recommend bananas to help alleviate diarrhea. This is also true. Bananas are very easily digested, and are packed with nutrients. Because your body loses so many vitamins and minerals during a stomach bug, bananas are a great way to replenish those nutrients, and help you feel better faster.
Bananas are Packed With Vitamins and Minerals
You will hear the word “potassium” thrown around when people talk about bananas, but did you know they are also a great source of lots of other essential vitamins and minerals? Each banana contains the following:
- Vitamin B6 – 33% RDI
- Manganese – 14% RDI
- Vitamin C – 11% RDI
- Copper – 10% RDI
- Magnesium – 8% RDI
Yes, you are getting your potassium, but you are also getting so much more!
Bananas are a Healthy Way to Curb Sugar Cravings
Human beings have been programmed to crave sugar for thousands of years, but our systems didn’t exactly have candy bars in mind while evolving this trait – they were thinking more along the lines of fruit. Bananas are a naturally sweet fruit, so they can satisfy a sweet tooth in a much healthier way than a vending machine can.
So go ahead and stock up on bananas the next time you’re at the grocery store. You’re doing your system and your wallet a favor.