Bananas are a humble fruit that you can find year-round. They are available on virtually any store shelf at any given time. So why aren’t you eating more of them? It turns out this simple and affordable fruit has a wealth of health benefits that make it a no-brainer when it comes to choosing healthy foods.
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The best way to enjoy a banana is to peel it and eat it, but you can also use the fruit in a range of recipes, allowing you to reap the benefits of a banana while also trying new things.
Read on for everything you ever needed to know about bananas.
Big On Potassium
Potassium is a nutrient you need to regulate your blood pressure. A deficiency isn’t common, but when it happens, it can cause irregular heartbeat and can even lead to a heart attack.
One banana contains nearly 400 milligrams of the nutrient, making it a great way to help you meet your daily intake goals.
Do You Have Enough Vitamin A?
Bananas probably aren’t the first fruit you’d think of when it comes to boosting your vitamin A intake. While it’s true that they don’t contain as much of the nutrient as other fruits, you can still contribute to your daily quota by adding a banana to your meal plan.
One medium banana contains 144 IU of this important vitamin, reports the United States Department of Agriculture.
Antioxidants Are Plentiful
Antioxidants are plant compounds that help fight free radical damage. Free radicals come from a range of things, including a poor diet, environmental toxins and chemicals you’re exposed to elsewhere, such as through cigarettes.
When they get into or on your body, they can alter cellular structure, leading to cancer and other health issues. Bananas, as well as all other fruits and vegetables, help fight this damage, cutting your risk of many illnesses and diseases.
Healthy Carbs Are A Good Choice
Many people shy away from carbohydrates when they want to lose weight or prevent weight gain. The truth is that your body needs some carbs for energy, but you must choose the healthy kind.
Bananas are a great source of the good kind of carbs, and your body will convert them into usable energy while also reaping the benefits of the other nutrients in them.
What Other Nutrients Are In Bananas?
Bananas are also a trace source of several B vitamins, whose primary job is to garner the energy from the foods you eat so that your body can use it. There is also a small amount of vitamin C in your banana, which helps boost your immune system and fight off a whole host of illnesses and diseases.
You also get a small dose of calcium and magnesium, two nutrients that promote strong and healthy bones.
Research reported in Medical News Today says that including bananas regularly in your meal plan is an easy way to fight high blood pressure, lower the risk of asthma, prevent heart disease, control Type 1 diabetes, boost memory, increase happy moods and help quell diarrhea. This is due to the many nutrients that bananas contain.
It’s clear that eating them has a positive effect on your overall health.
How To Eat Bananas
There are recipes from many sources that let you make good use of bananas. Not all of them are conducive to a healthy diet or weight loss, so pay attention to the nutrient facts for a given recipe.
Eating Well magazine suggests using bananas to make a healthy relish for fish, covering them in a small amount of melted chocolate and freezing them for dessert or piling sliced bananas on a yogurt parfait.
They also make a great substitution for jam or jelly in peanut butter sandwiches and add a unique and distinctive flavor to fruit salad. You can also add sweetness to pancakes and waffles with diced bananas.
Bananas are also perfect for low-calorie sweet breads and muffins or grilled and sprinkled with cinnamon for a healthy dessert, according to Cooking Light magazine.
No matter how you eat them, bananas are an obvious choice for a healthy diet. They are easy to find and never cost too much, making them perfect for any person’s budget.
By including bananas in your meal plan, you provide your body with a range of vitamins and minerals that it needs to stay healthy and strong. You’ll never regret tossing some bananas in your grocery cart.