One of nature’s most underrated fruits, the bananas are one of the most popular foods in the world because of their perfect portion size, natural protective wrap and cheap price. But did you know that bananas can provide you with some amazing health benefits? Eating 2 bananas a day can help you control your blood pressure, keep your bowels healthy, lose more weight and protect your eyesight.
Bananas contain the natural sugars sucrose and fructose which give them their sweet flavor, but are also packed with vitamins, minerals and fiber which makes them a healthy addition to your lunch. In particular, bananas offer a decent amount of vitamin B6, vitamin C, manganese and potassium. The average banana contains 467 milligrams of potassium and only 1 milligram of sodium, which can protect against atherosclerosis. Besides the cardiovascular benefits, the potassium found in bananas helps promote bone health by decreasing the amount of calcium excreted through urine and preventing the bones from thinning out at a fast rate.
As with any other fruit, the nutrient content of bananas changes as they ripen. In this case, as a banana ripens and turns dark yellow, its levels of antioxidants that protect your body against heart diseases and cancer increase. And according to recent studies conducted in Japan, the full ripe bananas with dark patches on their skin produce the largest quantity of TNF (Tumor Necrosis Factor), a cytokine that fights abnormal tumor cells in the body by stimulating the production of white blood cells and assisting their communication.
So, the riper the banana the better it’s immunity-boosting and anti-cancer properties – in fact, bananas with dark spots are 8 times more effective in improving the function of white blood cells than green bananas. Research done on ripening bananas confirmed that TNF prevents tumor cells from growing and spreading. So instead of throwing away bananas that have developed dark spots with the assumption they’re rotten, eat them to get a nice boost of nutrients that can protect your health from various serious diseases.
But that’s not all that bananas have to offer to your health. Here’s a list of 6 more proven health-enhancing benefits of the tasty yellow fruit:
As an alkaline fruit, bananas are incredibly powerful for providing instant relief from acid reflux and heartburn. Eating bananas regularly will neutralize the acid in the stomach and help you get rid of acid reflux completely.
The potassium found in bananas protects your muscles from cramps, while the carbs provide you enough energy to endure a strenuous workout. Bananas release energy slowly, so they will keep you energized for longer than other popular sweet foods.
Bananas are high in iron, so they can help those with anemia by stimulating the production of hemoglobin. Increasing the red blood cell count also contributes to increased circulation of blood to all parts of the body.
Bananas are maybe the only raw fruit that’s able to reduce the acids of ulcers by coating the stomach lining and protecting it against irritation. Bananas also contain protease inhibitors, which eliminate the harmful bacteria that have been linked to the development of stomach ulcers.
The fiber in bananas will help remove the stool in the intestinal tract and restore healthy and regular bowel movements.
6. Stress and anxiety
Bananas contain tryptophan, a compound needed by our bodies in order to make serotonin. Furthermore, the potassium in it helps improve brain function by sending more oxygen to the brain cells, while the B vitamins calm the nervous system and contribute to an improved mood.