It goes without saying that including fruit in your diet is always a good idea. These days, we’re always on the go so it can be tough to incorporate fruit in your daily diet. I mean, who has time to sit and peel an orange, cut up a watermelon or wash down a batch of strawberries? In this day and age, time is of the essence and, as a result, our diet often suffers. However, there is a fruit that is easily consumed on the go and comes conveniently wrapped in its own biodegradable packaging. Bananas. These curvy yellow berries are the most produced and consumed fruits in the world. However, bananas bring much more to the table (pun) than just convenience, they have a ton of health benefits. Here’s why this amazing fruit needs to be a part of your daily routine.
Bananas sometimes get a bad rap because they are higher in carbohydrates and sugars than most fruits. But, your body needs carbs to survive. Carbs are not the enemy, and neither are bananas. Besides, if you exercise regularly (highly recommended) you’ll need more carbohydrates in your diet. There’s a reason why bananas are found in abundance at 5Ks or similar athletic events. Bananas are an instant energy booster and make a great pre or post workout snack.
Potassium and Electrolytes
Bananas are notoriously rich in potassium. A regular-sized banana contains about 420 milligrams of potassium. The potent levels of potassium in this yellow fruit help to regulate electrolyte levels, lower blood pressure, and alleviate muscle cramps. Cramps are a common side effect of strenuous workouts, but they are not exclusive to athletes. If you find yourself suffering from muscle cramps, eat some bananas.
If you need to satisfy your sweet tooth, reach for a banana instead of a candy bar. This tasty fruit has a wonderfully sweet favor and, unlike processed sweet treats, a banana’s naturally occurring sugars are accompanied by vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. These antioxidants help to eliminate free radicals, making you look and feel younger. An incredibly healthy food that tastes like candy and makes you look younger? Sign me up.
A common misconception is that the high levels of carbohydrates in bananas are bad for you and promote fat storage. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Nobody gets fat by eating bananas, in fact, it’s just the opposite. You’re going to get a good dose of fiber by consuming this wonderful fruit. Fiber will leave you feeling full for longer periods of time, helping with weight loss and blood sugar regulation. Bananas also contain a fat-blasting B vitamin known as choline which inhibits fat storage in the abdomen.
Numerous studies have shown that bananas have a positive impact on mental health. The high amounts of potassium help carry oxygen to the brain making you more alert, while the B vitamins will help to calm the nervous system. When you’re stressed, your metabolic rate rises and potassium levels plummet. Eating a banana or two will help lower your blood pressure and reduce anxiety. Also, one banana contains about 12 milligrams each of tyrosine and tryptophan, which are used to create serotonin and dopamine. These neurotransmitters elevate mood, alleviate stress, and reduce anxiety and depression.
Vitamins and Minerals
You’ve undoubtedly heard the saying “an apple a day keeps the doctor away”. While apples are obviously great for you, bananas have even higher amounts of some vitamins and minerals. Bananas contain three times as much phosphorus and five times as much Vitamin A and iron than apples. High levels of vitamin B-6 are also present in bananas. This crucial B vitamin protects against type II diabetes, helps with the production of white blood cells, prevents cognitive decline and is vital to the central nervous system. Consuming just one banana will give you about 20% of the recommended daily dose of vitamin C, helping your body fight off diseases by strengthening your immune system. The entire scope of vitamins and minerals in bananas are too numerous to list here, but it’s safe to say that this fruit is a nutritional powerhouse.
The benefits of bananas extend far beyond their nutritional punch. They’re perfect to eat on the go, taste great, and are probably the most affordable super food in existence. Honestly, who doesn’t love bananas? I make it a point to eat at least one a day. When you take into account the versatility, affordability, convenience and tastiness of bananas, its easy to see why many consider bananas to be the perfect fruit.