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Bananas 12 Proven Health Benefits & Nutritional Facts

Bananas 12 Proven Health Benefits & Nutritional Facts

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Banana is extremely healthy, delicious and one of the most widely consumed fruits in the world and very cost-effective. 
Considering the nutritional facts of banana fruit, it is one of the world’s leading food crops with an abundance of vitamins, minerals, flavonoids, phenolic compounds, carbohydrates and so on. 

Botanical Name: Musa acuminate  It means “fruit of the wise men”.

There are over 1000 different varieties of bananas growing around the world, subdivided into 50 groups. Some are sweet, like the Cavendish variety, which is the most common and most widely exported. It is named after Musa Cavendishii and was first grown at Chatsworth House in the UK in 1830. 

The banana is eaten directly when ripe or is included in fruit salads, juices, and shakes and also, good toppings for breakfast cereal or as a snack for a quick burst of energy. A banana tree is the largest flowering herbaceous plant grows from a bulk of rhizome in the world. It grows in humid, tropical areas and is the world’s largest herb. It can be found in different colors, including red, yellow and green. They grow in large hanging bunches. The fiber from banana plants can be used to make clothes.

Banana leaves are huge and flexible and are used as eco-friendly, disposable “plates” or food containers. Banana flower is used as a vegetable in Asian cuisine and consumed either raw or steamed or used in curries. The tender stem or inner core of the banana tree trunk is also used to make healthy salads or eaten as a lightly cooked curry in Indian cuisine. The inner part of the banana peel can be recycled to clean and polish leather shoes. Bananas are slightly radioactive but the level of radiation is not high enough to cause harm.

Nutritional Profile


Health Benefits


For strong bone and muscle

Bananas contain fructooligosaccharide, which is a probiotic and is a beneficial bacteria in our digestive tract that boosts the intake of minerals and nutrients by the body. 

Specifically, bananas are linked to increased absorption of calcium. Higher mineral content and easily digested carbohydrates in Banana may help reduce exercise-related muscle cramps and soreness, which affect up to 95% of the general population. 

Some Researchers say bananas are helpful in muscle cramps, while others find not effective. 

Bananas provide excellent nutrition, during and after endurance exercise. 

MAIN THING: Banana helps in mineral absorption, provides you strong bones and muscles 


Support heart health and control blood pressure

Bananas are rich sources of potassium, is essential for heart health, especially blood pressure control. People who eat plenty of potassium have up to a 27% lower risk of heart disease. 

Bananas contain a decent amount of magnesium, which is also important for heart health. 

Banana several types of potent antioxidants, including dopamine and catechins. These antioxidants reduced risk of heart disease and degenerative diseases. 

The fiber in bananas also scrapes excess cholesterol from the arteries and blood vessels and further reduces stress on the cardiovascular system. 

Scientific research has identified that the banana has a very high angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitory activity. 

Angiotensin converting enzyme is an enzyme that raises the blood pressure by causing the blood vessels to constrict. In other words, bananas reduces the activity of this enzyme and prevents an increase in blood pressure. 

Studies have shown that bananas may reduce the blood pressure, which is associated with cold stress. In addition to this, banana has also shown to reduce a rise in both systolic and diastolic blood pressure at rest.

MAIN THINGBananas contain nutrients that are essential for heart health and reduce risk of Heart diseases. 


Improve digestive health

Bananas contain Pectin and Resistant starch. Resistant starch bypasses the stomach and reach the large intestine, where it becomes food for the beneficial gut bacteria. 

Bananas contain important amounts of dietary fiber and therefore help in smooth bowel movements. Fiber is able to bulk up the stool and help stimulate the body’s peristaltic motion, which facilitates bowel movements through the intestinal tract. This can help reduce unhealthy digestive conditions, as well as colorectal cancer. 
Some studies say that pectin may help protect against colon cancer. 

MAIN THING: Bananas are fairly rich in fiber and resistant starch, which may feed the friendly gut bacteria, it reduces Constipation and treating piles and helps protect against colon cancer. 


Prevents kidney disorders

As a good dietary source of potassium, bananas may be especially beneficial for maintaining healthy kidneys. Potassium helps regulate the fluid balance in the body and can ease the strain on the kidneys and encourage urination. The presence of potassium, nitrate and magnesium in the banana plant extract have shown to reduce the size of kidney stones. Furthermore, magnesium also inhibits the formation of kidney stones and thus, plays a protective role. 

One study showed that 2-3 bananas consume per week were 33% less likely to develop kidney disease and those who eat bananas 4–6 times a week are around 50% less likely to develop kidney disease, compared to people who don't eat bananas. 

MAIN THING: Eating a banana several times a week may reduce the risk of kidney disease by up to 50%. 

Weight loss

Medium size banana contains only 90 calories. It contains higher amount of resistant starch and lots of pectin fibers, but not any fats.

Resistant starch is a type of indigestible carbohydrate found in unripe bananas, which functions sort of like soluble fiber in the body. Both pectin and resistant starch have been shown to have appetite-reducing effects and increase the feeling of fullness after meals. This will reduce overeating, keeping the person healthy, and also helping them lose weight naturally. 

MAIN THING: Banana include in diet shown appetite-reducing effects and increase the feeling of fullness helps naturally in weight loss. 


Promotes weight gain

Banana consumed with milk, increase weight rapidly. Milk provides the necessary proteins and bananas provide the sugars. 

MAIN THING: Eating a banana with Milk which rapidly increases the Body weight 

Moderate blood sugar levels

Bananas rank low to medium on the glycemic index, which is a measure (from 0–100) of how quickly foods boost blood sugar levels. The glycemic value of unripe bananas is about 30, while ripe bananas rank at about 60. The average value of all bananas is 51. This means that bananas should not cause spikes in blood sugar levels in healthy individuals. 

MAIN THING: Bananas contain nutrients that can help moderate blood sugar levels after meals.


Improve insulin sensitivity

Including type- 2 diabetes, Insulin resistance is a major risk factor for many of the world's most serious diseases. Scientific studies show that 15–30 grams of resistant starch per day may improve insulin sensitivity by 33–50%, in as little as 4 weeks. 

Due to rich sources of resistant starch in unripe bananas, it helps to improve insulin sensitivity. However, these effects are not well understood, and not all studies agree on the matter. 

MAIN THING: Unripe bananas are a rich source of resistant starch, which may improve insulin sensitivity. 


Improve sleep

Insomnia or improper sleep is a very common disorder. Banana contains tryptophan amino acid and used in the production serotonin and melatonin neurotransmitters. These two neurotransmitters regulate the sleep cycle. Therefore, individuals with insomnia or other sleep disorders can consume a banana before going to bed. 

MAIN THING: Banana contains tryptophan, which induces sleepiness. 


Improves vision

Bananas are a rich source of antioxidant compounds and carotenoids, as well as a proper mix of minerals that can improve eye health.

Macular degeneration, night blindness, cataracts, and glaucoma have all been shown to decrease with normal intake of bananas and other similar fruits. 

MAIN THING: Due to Antioxidants, carotenoids and Minerals are present in Banana can improve your vision.


Anemia

Anemia is a disorder, a condition in deficiency of red cells or of haemoglobin in the blood, resulting in pallor and weariness. which is very common in females. 

The study on the banana that the results showed an increase in the hemoglobin levels, packed cell volume (PCV), red blood cell count (RBC), and platelet after banana was consumed.  

MAIN THING: Banana used in the treatment of anemia and can raise the hemoglobin levels. 


Cancer

The banana has been classified as one of the antioxidative foods. The antioxidant compounds identified in Musa acuminata include ascorbic acid, tocopherol, beta carotene, phenolic groups, dopamine and gallocatechin. The antioxidants that counteract the harmful free radicals. It has further shown to reduce the growth of cancer cells. Besides this, banana is a great source of energy and other vital nutrients, which may be required by cancer patients as their body is in a state of negative energy balance. Such a healthy nutrient composition makes banana a perfect fruit for individuals with cancer.

MAIN THING: Banana prevents the spread of cancer to other parts of the body 


Safety Profile


Warnings & precautions

Migraine: Avoid alcohol consume with banana Type 2 diabetes mellitus: one small ripe banana per day will not cause any harm, but Unripe banana may cause the plasma glucose levels spike. 

Sleepiness: Banana contains tryptophan, which induces sleepiness. Eating banana during work hours may influence the brain activity and lead to sleepiness.

Hyperkalemia: blood potassium levels increases beyond the normal range in Hyperkalemia. Research showed that consuming large amounts of bananas per day may increase the blood potassium levels and may lead to hyperkalemia. 


Interaction


Warfarin: Warfarin and banana (in any form) should not be consumed together.  
Potassium Binder: Potassium binders are medications that prevent the absorption of potassium in the gastrointestinal system. Banana and potassium binders should never be given together. 

Anti-hypertensive or blood pressure lowering drugs: It is very well known that banana helps in lowering the blood pressure. When banana and blood pressure lowering drugs are appropriated together without maintaining an adequate time gap, blood pressure may fall below the normal levels. 


Selection and Storage


Selection

The best color stage to buy bananas is when they are right in the middle of the spectrum-mostly yellow with a small amount of green at both ends. 
Pick bananas that are bright in color, full and plump, avoiding those with bruises--depressed, moist, and dark areas on the skin usually signal the fruit inside is bruised. A dull, gray color indicates they have been either chilled or overheated during storage. 

The fullest flavor is derived from bananas that begin to develop tiny dark specks, known as sugar spikes. 


Storage

Bananas should be stored at room temperature away from direct heat and sunlight. You may also want to keep them by themselves as they will hasten the ripening of other fruits in their vicinity. In the summer bananas may ripen more quickly, while their ripening is slower in the winter time. There are ways to speed up and slow down the ripening process. 

Once ripened, bananas will keep a maximum of two days before they begin to decay.
Here are some tips to store bananas and keep them fresh for a longer period: 
You should never store bananas in plastic bags. Plastic bags hold a lot of moisture that may spoil the bananas. 

If you have purchased unripe bananas store them at room temperature till they ripen. Storing unripe bananas at low temperature, that is, in the refrigerator may affect the process of ripening. 

Do not keep the bananas in a deep freezer. Storing bananas at low temperature may lead to chilling injury. Always store bananas at room temperature in a paper bag. 
Fully ripe bananas can be stored in the refrigerator. 

Sliced banana turns brown when they are exposed to air (oxygen). However, you can prevent such a browning reaction by covering the banana slices with pineapple juice or lemon juice.
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