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. What exactly can eating 2 bananas a day do for your health?
One banana contains only about 100 calories and it mostly consists water and carbs, with very little protein and almost zero fat. No wonder they are one of the most popular fruits on the planet and are now grown in many parts of the world besides their native Southeast Asia.
Bananas are essentially nature’s healthy candy, so instead of trying to defeat your sugar cravings with sheer willpower, eat more bananas to tone them down and maintain better overall health as well.
Bananas are not only a delicious snack that comes in a convenient natural package, they also contain plenty of nutrients that are essential to human health and support better digestion, promote heart health and even aid weight loss. That being said, 2 bananas a day would likely be considered a moderate intake for most healthy people.
What can eating 2 bananas a day do for your health ?
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.
Other health benefits of bananas
That’s not all that bananas have to offer to your health. They can provide you with a few other amazing health benefits as well.
In case you need a few reasons more to enjoy a banana every day, here’s a list of 11 more proven health-enhancing benefits of the tasty yellow fruit :
1. Heartburn relief
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.
2. Bananas help prevent asthma
2 bananas a day could keep asthma away. A new study at the Imperial College of London found that children who ate one banana per day experienced 30% less asthmatic symptoms compared to children who ate one banana per month. The high amount of fiber in bananas can help prevent many respiratory conditions from developing, or alleviate their symptoms at the very least.
3. Energy – bananas are the perfect pre-workout snack
The potassium found in bananas protects your muscles from cramps, while the carbs provide you enough energy to endure a strenuous workout. These yellow fruits are often viewed as the perfect food for athletes because they contain plenty of slow-digesting carbs and important vitamins and minerals. Bananas release energy slowly, so they will keep you energized for longer than other popular sweet foods. Studies have shown that bananas are an excellent snack choice when eaten before, during and after endurance exercise, largely due to their ability to fuel the muscles, prevent dehydration and reduce muscle cramps and soreness.
4. Bananas help control blood sugar levels
Some of the nutrients found in bananas, such as the fiber called pectin, help regulate blood sugar levels after meals and keep you feeling full for longer by slowing down the emptying of the stomach. In other words, not only that bananas don’t cause major spikes in blood levels of sugar and insulin, but their abundance of potassium actually lowers blood pressure very effectively.
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.
6. Bananas support bone health
Bananas will help you build stronger bones, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center. Regular consumption of foods rich in potassium can help prevent osteoporosis and reduce bone loss, since potassium is an extremely important mineral for increasing and maintaining bone density. In addition, bananas also contain manganese, which is another vital nutrient to a successful prevention of osteoporosis.
7. Bananas promote heart health
Potassium is also essential for heart health, especially in terms of blood pressure control and prevention against heart attack and stroke, according to the FDA. Numerous studies have shown that people who regularly consume potassium-rich foods have up to a 27% lower risk of heart disease.
8. Bananas improve digestion
Bananas provide food for the friendly gut bacteria, which are a crucial part of a healthy digestive system. In addition, according to some studies, the pectin found in bananas may help protect against colon cancer. Finally, bananas slow down digestion, which can be of great help for people looking to reduce their calorie intake.
9. Reduce irritation from ulcers
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. They 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.
11. 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.
Does eating 2 bananas a day really help lose weight?
Weight loss happens when the body is in caloric deficit, and eating bananas does not directly lead to weight loss. However, adding a banana or two a day may help in appetite control, cravings control, reduce bloating, and help a person reduce the overall daily calorie intake by replacing refined sugars.