Bananas are a wonderful fruit bowl staple. Not only are they affordable but they can be eaten in a number of ways – as a snack, with your breakfast, on toast or even as part of a smoothie. Bananas are also fantastic for a healthy diet, with a number of benefits for your health. The following reasons could encourage you to add more bananas to your diet and enjoy their fantastic health benefits.
Health benefits of bananas
1. They are rich in potassium
Potassium is vital for helping to maintain your blood pressure as well as heart function. By eating bananas which are rich in potassium, you can counter the effects of salt which can raise your blood pressure, leading to a higher risk of heart disease and heart attacks. Potassium can also help to keep your bones and kidney health, by suppressing how much calcium is released in the urine, lowering the risk of kidney stones.
2. They make wonderful energy boosters
It’s not uncommon to see athletes eating bananas before they take part in sports, whilst long distance runners will even eat them during a race. For any sport that requires endurance, bananas are a natural energy booster. They’re light in calories and have natural sugar and fibre content which means they burn energy slowly, releasing it steadily as you exercise. They can even help you to get you through a particularly gruelling afternoon at work too!
3. They boost digestion
Bananas are an excellent source of fibre. This can help regulate your digestion, as well as relieve constipation, so instead of reaching for a laxative, try eating a banana instead. They also contain a prebiotic, which means they help to boost the healthy bacteria that aid digestion too.
4. They can relieve heartburn
If you suffer from a bout of heartburn, try eating a banana. By levelling your body’s PH balance, they can facilitate the passage of food through your digestive tract and help to prevent acid reflux. Eating bananas regularly can also help you to avoid stomach ulcers by neutralising the stomach acids that can cause them.
5. They can boost your mood
The serotonin hormone which is responsible for boosting your mood and relieving stress, is converted from tryptophan, which is an amino acid found in bananas. Eating bananas can therefore help to boost your mood and help you to sleep better at night too.
Making the most of your bananas
Bananas are an easy food to let go to waste, but this doesn’t have to be the case. Peel and chop up your bananas and freeze them in batches to store them away for when you need them for smoothies and so on. You can also freeze them for a couple of hours before blending with other frozen fruit to make a sweet, tasty ice cream alternative (perfect for vegan diets!). Adding banana to your porridge or cereal bowl can give you that much needed energy boost in the morning and will add a sweet element without having to reach for the sugar.
Bananas are a great food for those looking to enjoy a healthier diet and whilst they’re a natural remedy for many conditions, you should always seek advice from your GP if you’re concerned about your health. If you need urgent care out of hours, remember you can visit our out of hours service, which you can find here.