The banana is one of nature’s candy bars, full of sugar and conveniently wrapped in its yellow package. But the sugar found in bananas is primarily naturally-occurring fructose, which is unlikely to cause any health problems – when health organizations recommend cutting back on sugar, they mean added sugars, not the naturally occurring one found in fruits like bananas. This makes bananas are a great way to satisfy your sweet tooth without consuming empty calories and dangerous amounts of hidden sugars. And unlike a real candy bar, bananas won’t cause a sugar crash and leave you drained and craving even more sugar.
In addition, there’s a good reason why bananas are named as nature’s healthiest snack – they have a very unique nutritional structure. Besides the healthy sugar, they pack a bundle of essential vitamins and minerals, including fiber, potassium and vitamin C, which are important nutrients for maintaining optimal health, fighting disease and improving mental and physical performance, which means that almost anyone on the planet can benefit from consuming more bananas. If you’re still not sure whether bananas are the perfect match for your health and fitness goals, here are 20 ways on which this amazing fruit boosts your well-being:
1. Thanks to their ability to increase serotonin production, bananas have awesome mood-lifting powers and can even reduce PMS symptoms by relieving stress and anxiety.
2. Bananas help cleanse the whole body from toxins by eliminating waste and heavy metals from the organs.
3. Being an alkaline fruit, bananas help neutralize the acid in the stomach, thereby acting as a natural antacid and eliminating acid reflux, heartburn and GERD quickly and efficiently.
4. Bananas are a wonderful source of vitamin B6, which helps reduce swelling, decrease the risk of type II diabetes, support weight loss and nurture the health of your nervous system.
5. The high amounts of magnesium and vitamins B6 and B12 found in bananas can help you quit smoking by lessening withdrawal symptoms and helping your body heal itself faster.
6. Bananas are rich with iron and have the ability to stimulate hemoglobin production in the blood, which makes them a great tool for treating blood disorders such as anemia.
7. Because of their high potassium content, bananas can boost cognitive functioning and make you more alert, so eating a banana or two before taking an exam can improve your performance.
8. Bananas are rich with antioxidants, which protect against oxidative stress and the damaging influence of free radicals.
9. Eating bananas is a natural way to lower blood pressure. Studies have shown that consuming two bananas a day can reduce high blood pressure by 10%.
10. Bananas can improve digestion by acting as a prebiotic and stimulating the growth of friendly bacteria in the bowel. In addition, they produce digestive enzymes that enhance nutrient absorption.
11. The high fiber content in bananas supports healthy and regular bowel movements, relieving constipation, while their ability to restore lost electrolytes help treat diarrhea.
12. Bananas are the best friends of bone health – they help your body absorb calcium and other vital nutrients that promote bone density and prevent calcium loss during urination.
13. Bananas can alleviate the symptoms of depression with the help of their high levels of tryptophan, which gets converted into serotonin in the body.
14. Eating a banana can lower body temperature and cool you down during a fever, while also replenishing depleted potassium levels in the body.
15. The antibacterial compounds in bananas inhibit the growth of ulcer-causing H. pylori and wipe out the acidity of gastric juices, which helps reduce inflammation and strengthen the stomach lining.
16. Studies have shown that regular consumption of bananas can help prevent kidney cancer and protect the eyes against macular degeneration.
17. Rubbing a bug bite with the inside of a banana peel will help relieve itching and irritation.
18. The high amount of potassium found in bananas can help you prevent muscle cramps during a strenuous workout.
19. Bananas are a great pre-workout snack because they provide a great energy boost while maintaining stable blood sugar levels
20. The banana peel is a great natural cure for plantar, flat or common warts. Just cut a piece of banana peel and place the inside of it over the wart before going to bed.