Home > Health & Fitness > Health and Nutrition: The Banana Benefits

Health and Nutrition: The Banana Benefits

July 1, 2010

In order to have a full, well balanced diet, it involves getting an appropriate amount of different food types, each day, one of which comes from the fruit family.  The banana is an excellent fruit with many positive aspects that will help you in more ways than you probably knew.

A typical 7-8” long banana has around 110 calories, which off the bat makes it a low calorie snack-type food, that’ll fill you up in weight (120 grams), but not in fat.  In fact, bananas are virtually non-existent in fat and when it comes to sugar, it’s a pure, easily digestible one, that the body easily absorbs and transfers into energy, quickly.  Carbohydrates are where a banana is plentiful, and since carbohydrates are the body’s main source of energy, eating a banana before engaging in an activity such as martial arts, football, basketball, working out, etc., will give you that bit of natural pep you need.

A Bundle of Bananas
Here’s a typical bundle of bananas.

Bananas are also a wonderful source of potassium (giving you a nice 420mg worth which is 12% of your daily requirement in just a few bites) which helps regulate blood pressure and is an essential tool when it comes to helping muscles properly contract during your exercise and reduces the chances of cramping up.  You could even take a banana after a cramp has already started, and be amazed at how quickly it goes away.

One of the other good things about bananas is that they’re a good post-workout food, too.  Since during your physical activity, you loose a lot of vitamins and minerals, having a banana afterwards is a decent boost in refilling your body.

A banana ripening chart
Here’s a look at how bananas ripen, as photographed by Don Edwards.

If you’re wondering what color banana you should consume, that depends a little on what kind of taste and what kind of effect you want.  The greener the banana, the harder the texture, less sweet, and less sugar-filled it will be.  As a banana ripens and goes into the yellow/brownish faze, the starches inside will actually turn into sugar and the fruit itself will soften up.

As with all fruits and vegetables, there have been links to them being good as a heart disease and cancer reducer.  In my own studies, however, I’ve discovered that bananas are good for people with gout.  Gout is a type of arthritis that occurs when too much uric acid builds up in the body.  It can be painful and oftentimes causes stiffness in joints and swelling.  Pop in a banana and more often than not some of your pain will be immediately lifted.

The good thing for you is that bananas are plentiful and you can buy them at the grocery store during any time of the year. Companies including Chiquita, Dole, and Del Monte are the world’s three largest banana companies and with those names backing the fruit up, you know the fruits will be around whenever you want one.  They’re cheap, they’re easily storable (room temperature of refrigerator), and can be mixed in with smoothies, in cereal, or with a little bit of peanut butter for a tasty homogenous mixture.  Eat one today and feel like Donkey Kong tomorrow.

There's a reason why Donkey Kong is so strong...he eats bananas
There’s a reason why Donkey Kong is so strong and that’s because he eats bananas.

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Anna Maria July 31, 2010 at 11:08 am

I like bananas very much!
I am happy that they are healthy. 😉

Paul Gale July 31, 2010 at 5:03 pm

Well I’m glad that my article gave you some more insight on bananas. They sure are healthy, so enjoy them! Thanks for coming by and if you have any questions, just ask and I’ll get back to you.

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