Consuming ample fruits and vegetables is one of the most important things you can do for your health. After all, numerous health authorities recommend having at least five servings of fruits and vegetables daily in order to fulfill your healthy lifestyle. While each individual fruit and are good for health, it is important to mix up what you eat from time to time in order to maximize the vitamins and minerals you take into your body. A banana is one of the most nutritious fruits you can have and they are also one of the most common around. Let’s take a look at 12 health benefits you can expect from bananas.
One of the most important nutrients daily diets need to contain is high amounts of fiber. The majority of U.S. adults do not consume the proper amount of fiber daily, which can increase the risk of colon and stomach cancers. It is recommended to consume at least 25 grams of fiber every single day to help gain this health benefit, among others. A single serving of bananas, or about a medium sized banana, contains about three grams of fiber for only 100 calories. Many snacks are packaged as 100 calorie snack packs, which makes the banana a natural option for snacking throughout the day. Consider having a banana every day to help increase your fiber consumption.
2. Control Mood and Emotions.
Depression is a serious condition among many individuals in the world and this condition can present varying symptoms depending on where you live in the U.S. Consider taking natural options for anti-depressants if you suffer from this condition, then consider a banana as your natural option for fighting off the disease. Bananas are loaded with vitamins and nutrients that help to fight depression by increasing enzymes that improve brain functioning. Some studies suggest a link between depression and a decrease in the enzymes that improve brain functioning, which could be a direct link to depression. Consider eating a banana every day to help fight off depression.
3. Improve your Sleep Patterns.
One of the healthiest ways to improve your immune system and remain strong throughout the day is to sleep more often. Sleep is the body’s natural way for boosting white blood cells in the body, which are protective against germs, infections, and many other organisms that can harm your body. Bananas are a fruit that can help to improve your sleep quality and duration. One of the main ingredients, tryptophan, is loaded in bananas and this amino acid is a precursor protein for melatonin. You may know melatonin as being the hormones that are released in the blood to signal to your brain and body that it is time for sleep. Consider having a banana as a snack before bed and wait for the restful night of sleep ahead.
4. Increase your Energy Levels.
Staying energized throughout the day is important for a variety of reasons. For one, keeping up on your energy levels can help you to perform better at work and help you to focus much easier. In addition, bananas can increase your energy levels so that you can be boosted for the gym or for that afternoon jog outdoors. Remaining physically active is one of the most important and one of the healthiest things you can do for your body and for your health. Consider consuming a banana early in the morning with peanut butter or as part of a midday snack.
5. Protect and Nourish the Heart.
Being heart healthy is a great way to lead a healthy lifestyle and it all starts with your diet. A heart healthy diet often includes a reduction of sodium and an increase in potassium. Sodium is a salt that draws water with it in the body which tends to cause your body to retain water. When this happens, the heart is more stressed and it can be at risk for disease. Bananas are loaded with potassium and most medium sized bananas contain about a sixth of your day’s potassium levels. Many adults currently do not meet the daily recommended needs for potassium, so it is of great importance to start increasing your consumption as much as possible.
6. Fight the Symptoms of Diabetes.
Diabetes is a lifestyle condition that affects your body’s ability to store glucose. When you eat a food or consume a beverage, your body must store the excess sugar into cells for future use. When the glucoses concentration grows to a high level, this is often termed hyperglycemia, which is what leads to diabetes. One way to fight high blood sugar levels, it is important to consume foods rich in fiber and low in added sugars, which describes the banana. Consider consuming a banana rather than potato chips or a cookie for lunch to help improve your dietary habits and fight hyperglycemia.
7. Protect your Eyesight.
You may wear sunglasses throughout the day to help protect your eyes and you may even frequently visit the eye doctor. These are great ways to stay on top of your eye health, but if you want to help further protect your eye health then consider eating a banana more often. Bananas are great sources of protein, but they also offer high amounts of vitamin A. Vitamin A has been shown to be an important vitamin for protecting the eyes, vision, and the retinas. A medium sized banana typically has ample amounts of vitamin A and when it is mixed with pumpkin or potatoes in meals throughout the day (not mixed together that is) then it is a given that you will meet your daily needs for vitamin A.
8. Fight Muscle Cramps.
If you grew up as an active child or young adult and had a cramp, chances are you became quickly aware that they can be quite bothersome. A muscle cramp is your body’s way of telling you that you may have exerted your body beyond it means and it could also indicate that you are low in some vitamins and minerals. Muscle cramps are fairly common in the athletic population as well as in older adults and if you experience muscle cramps then consider consuming a banana with some water to help alleviate the symptoms. You can blend a banana in your smoothie for best results.
9. Help Alleviate some Symptoms of a Hangover.
Let’s face it, there is a good chance that you have been around some of your friends and started to party a little harder than you should have. Many people experience to start every new year and while a hangover is a way for your body to tell you that you drank too much, it is also a way to communicate that you are lacking in some vital nutrients. Bananas have been known to help alleviate some of the symptoms that accompany a hangover, including the headache portion. While a banana is not a cure and a reason for you to continue to drink in high amounts, it can be a beneficial way to help bring your body back to its normal state.
10. Burn Fat.
There is a reason that you place a banana or two in your daily smoothie protein mix and while taste may have something to do with it, there is a chance that at some point, you were told bananas help to burn fat. The primary reason for this is due to choline, which is a well-known vitamin that helps to shred fat storage in the abdominal area. Bananas contain up to 12 milligrams of choline in a medium sized serving, which is more than enough to elicit this effect every single day. Consider eating a banana every day to help shred some fat from the body.
11. Help Improve your Satiety Following a Meal.
In addition to shredding fat from your abdominal area of your body, it is essential that you start to eat food in moderation, which means that those late night ice cream trips will need to stop. A banana can help to fight some food cravings that you may get or help you to cut down on the amount of food you eat with each meal. How does this happen? The protein in the banana will help you to feel full for a long period of time and it can help to keep your blood sugar levels stable throughout the day so you do not binge.
12. Help Recover Faster from a Workout.
If you are living a healthy lifestyle, then you may be a pretty active individual. One thing that exercise causes you to do is sweat, which helps you to burn calories and fat, and help you to get lean and in shape. A side effect of exercising is being a little dehydrated and sore, which can be resolved in a fast manner. Bananas are the ideal choice when it comes to recovering the body following a workout mainly because it contains a great mix of vitamins, minerals, and water; all of which are essential to recovering the muscles in your body. Consider eating a banana or two following that difficult day at the gym for best results.