How is banana a healthy food
7 reasons: why bananas are healthy!
Table of Contents
- Where does the banana come from?
- Bananas contain good nutrients
- Bananas can help you lose weight
- Bananas can regulate blood sugar levels
- Bananas ensure healthy digestion
- Bananas are good for the heart and kidneys
- Bananas contain important anti-oxidants
- Green bananas lower insulin sensitivity
- Frequently asked questions - we provide answers!
- Knowledge to take away
Where does the banana come from?
Bananas are one of the most popular types of fruit among Germans. No wonder, because they are not only delicious, but also super practical as a healthy snack!
Bananas originally come from Asia, but now they are primarily imported from South and Central America and Africa.
We have summarized for you what makes bananas healthy.
Delicious porridge with banana, chocolate and peanuts here in the video:
1. Bananas contain good nutrients
Bananas can be of different colors, shapes, and sizes. The most common type of banana that can be bought is the dessert banana "Cavendish". This banana is green when unripe and yellow when ripe. In Africa, on the other hand, many people cook with the plantain.
You can find them here Nutritional valuesof 100 grams of bananas. The average banana weighs around 120 grams (1).
|Nutritional values of bananas per 100 grams|
|Vitamin A||0 µg|
|Vitamin E.||0.27 mg|
|vitamin C||11 mg|
|Folic acid||14 µg|
A banana therefore has around 100 kilocalories and consists primarily of water and carbohydrates, it contains little protein and almost no fat.
In green bananas, the carbohydrates are almost exclusively starch and resistant starch, but this starch is then converted into sugar (glucose, fructose and sucrose) during the ripening process.
The nutritional table makes it clear how rich in vitamins and minerals bananas are. In addition to potassium and magnesium, bananas also contain significant amounts of folic acid, iron, copper and beta-carotene.
2. Bananas can help you lose weight
Bananas contain an average of 100 calories - but at the same time the fruit is very filling and provides important nutrients. Consuming fiber through fruits and vegetables has repeatedly been shown in studies to be a factor in healthy weight and weight loss (2).
Unripe, green bananas also contain a lot of resistant starch - they are very filling and can reduce appetite. Bananas are resistant granules of starch, one of three types of resistant starch. Due to the arrangement of its starch chains and starch granules, it cannot be broken down and, in addition to green bananas, is also found in raw potatoes and raw corn, for example.
During digestion, only about ten percent of the starch ingested reaches the colon unchanged, which means that the body automatically absorbs fewer calories (3).
One study also showed that 24 grams of the starch from bananas per day resulted in a weight loss of 1.2 kilograms after four weeks (4).
3. Bananas can regulate blood sugar levels
What also makes bananas healthy are the pectins they contain: water-soluble fiber that swells in the intestines and thus slows down digestion. In combination with the resistant starch, this regulates the blood sugar level and suppresses the appetite (5).
Bananas also have a low glycemic index (GI) - this ranks foods from 0 to 100 according to how much the blood sugar level rises after consuming a food. Unripe bananas have a GI of 30 and ripe bananas a GI of 60. The average GI of bananas is 52 (6).
In healthy people, eating a banana does not cause the blood sugar level to rise suddenly. However, it is not recommended that people with type 2 diabetes consume many ripe bananas. If bananas are eaten anyway, attention should be paid to the blood sugar level afterwards.
Low carb tip: The green bananas contain more starch than sugar and can therefore also be integrated into a low carb diet.
4. Bananas ensure healthy digestion
Dietary fiber has many benefits and makes bananas healthy too. Bananas are not one of the most fiber-rich fruits, but they contain 3 grams of fiber per 100 grams, mainly the fiber pectin and resistant starch.
Resistant starch passes through the small intestine undigested and is broken down (fermented) in the large intestine by intestinal bacteria and with the exclusion of oxygen. The short-chain fatty acids propionate, acetate and butyrate are formed in the process. The latter is considered to be the main source of energy for the cells of the colon mucosa (7).
As a healthy snack, bananas can also help with diarrhea, as the pectins they contain delay bowel evacuation. It is then best to process the banana into a pulp with a fork before consuming it. Some studies have also shown that pectins can prevent colon cancer. (8th).
You can see which foods contain digestive fiber in this video:
5. Bananas are healthy for the heart and kidneys
The minerals they contain also make bananas healthy: the mineral potassium is important for the heart and blood pressure. However, according to one study, many people do not get enough potassium from their diet. Bananas are a great source of potassium; an average fruit covers around nine percent of the daily requirement (9).
A diet rich in potassium can lower blood pressure, some studies have shown: People who consumed a lot of potassium had a 27 percent lower risk of heart disease (10).
Magnesium also ensures a healthy heart. After all, bananas contain 30 milligrams of magnesium per 100 grams. A magnesium deficiency, on the other hand, can increase the risk of heart failure or stroke (11).
Potassium also ensures a healthy kidney. A long-term study showed that the risk of kidney disease in women who ate a banana two to three times a week was 33 percent lower than in the comparison group. Further studies even showed a 50 percent lower risk when eating bananas four to six times (12).
Interesting too: This is how you can recognize and prevent a magnesium deficiency.
6. Bananas contain important anti-oxidants
Fruits and vegetables are great sources of antioxidants - so is the banana. It contains various antioxidants, including dopamine and catechins. These can lower the risk of heart disease or degenerative disease (13).
Dopamine is considered to be a good mood agent - however, the dopamine from bananas does not get into the brain, but only acts as a powerful antioxidant. The high serotonin content, on the other hand, puts you in a good mood, and the high fructose content also stimulates the body's own production of the "happiness hormone" (14).
7. Green bananas lower insulin sensitivity
Green bananas are also healthy. Insulin sensitivity is one of the main risk factors for developing type 2 diabetes. Research shows that 15 to 30 grams of resistant starch daily can improve insulin sensitivity by 33 to 50 percent in just four weeks (15).
So eating green bananas can be beneficial for insulin sensitivity. However, there are also studies that are controversial against this claim. More research needs to be done to make a clear statement (16).
So these seven reasons clearly show that Bananas healthy and bring many benefits to the body in a balanced diet.
frequently asked Questions
Can bananas be unhealthy too?
In principle, bananas are healthy! However, those who are allergic to latex can also be allergic to bananas. One study showed that 30 to 50 percent of latex allergy sufferers also had a banana allergy (17).
Some people are also sensitive to the substance tyramine, which is found in bananas. This is where symptoms such as headache, high blood pressure or even migraines occur.
Even those who take certain antidepressants, so-called MAO inhibitors, should avoid bananas, as this can cause too much tyramine to accumulate in the body.
In this video you can see our tips for a Diet for migraines:
Do bananas make you tired?
Getting enough sleep is important and healthy - bananas can help. Falling asleep and staying asleep is not always easy for children. If the insomnia is a permanent condition, it is advisable to see a pediatrician. In all other cases, food can help.
Bananas, for example, are one of the top bedtime foods. Tryptophan, an amino acid, is converted by the body into the happiness hormone serotonin and finally into melatonin. And it is precisely this hormone that promotes sleep because it can have a relaxing and calming effect. The combination of fructose and serotonin is sure to make children tired too.
Milk with honey is also a great sleeping aid: Milk contains the sleep hormone melatonin. Milk also contains tryptophan - with the help of honey, the brain uses it to produce the messenger substance serotonin, which regulates sleep. In addition to bananas, nuts, pumpkin seeds, and dark chocolate types are good sources of tryptophan.
Do bananas make you fat?
Too much fruit makes you fat, no matter which fruit - the devil usually hides in fructose, which is just as bad for the figure as household sugar. Bananas also contain a lot of it, an average of 27 grams of sugar per banana.
However, when eaten in moderation as a small snack, bananas are healthy, after all, the yellow fruits provide many B vitamins, a little vitamin C, potassium and an important portion of magnesium. They are definitely healthier than any chocolate or granola bar.
Important: The sticky texture and high sugar content are not good for your teeth. Therefore, children in particular should not eat too many bananas.
Do bananas help against cramps?
Bananas are also healthy for athletes! The trigger for cramps is not always clear; it is often a combination of water and magnesium deficiency. Profuse sweating, extreme physical exertion, constant stress, unbalanced nutrition and insufficient fluid intake can lead to such a deficiency.
Magnesium is considered an effective remedy for cramps - however, bananas only contain about 35 milligrams of magnesium per 100 grams. The German Nutrition Society (DGE) recommends a daily requirement of around 350 milligrams of magnesium.
A banana cannot cover this daily requirement and therefore cannot prevent a deficiency. Athletes and those who are stressed should therefore include other magnesium-rich foods, such as whole grain products, oatmeal, green vegetables, nuts, seeds, beans and peas, in their diet.
Sufficient fluids are also important to prevent cramps, as mineral water also contains magnesium.
Can you eat green bananas?
Green bananas contain a lot of resistant starch, but they are immature. But the bananas are still digestible and healthy. Initially, only the degree of ripeness and sugar content can be recognized by the color of the skin.
Bananas continue to ripen after they are harvested, you probably know that from green bananas from the supermarket. Of course, this also changes the taste and composition of the fruit.
Green bananas contain a relatively large amount of starch - so they satiate for a long time and have a positive effect on blood sugar levels. During the ripening process, the starch is converted into simple sugars and the banana becomes sweeter. However, the calorie content remains the same.
Should you keep bananas warm?
Bananas prefer it warm. Like all tropical fruits that are not used to cool temperatures, they are best stored at room temperature.
Otherwise there is a risk of cold shock: The cell tissue of the fruit is damaged, the bananas get brown spots and spoil more quickly. The optimal storage temperature for tropical fruit is around 13 degrees.
If you want to let bananas ripen, put apples or tomatoes in the fruit bowl - they give off the ripening gas ethylene. And if the bananas are too ripe, they can still be saved.
Knowledge to take away
Bananas are a healthy fruit that should not be missing in a balanced diet. As a source of potassium and magnesium, it ensures good heart and kidney health.
Due to the resistant starch in green bananas, the yellow fruit is also good for the intestines and can help with weight loss. They also help regulate blood sugar levels and can have a positive effect on insulin sensitivity.
But as with everything: enjoy in moderation! Bananas are healthy, but still contain a lot of fructose.
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