5 scientifically proven benefits of bananas
They contain various essential nutrients and provide a number of benefits for digestion, heart health and weight loss.
In addition to being very nutritious, it is also a very convenient snack.
- Bananas contain nutrients that lower blood sugar levels
Bananas are rich in pectin, a type of fiber that gives the peel its shape.
Wild bananas contain durable starch, which acts as a soluble fiber.
Both pectin and resistant starch can lower blood sugar levels after meals and reduce appetite by slowing your stomach empty.
In addition, bananas are at a low to moderate level in the glycemic index (GI), which is a measure - from 0-100 - of how fast foods raise blood sugar levels.
The GI value of wild bananas is about 30, while ripe bananas are about 60. The average value of all bananas is 51.
This means that bananas do not significantly increase blood sugar levels in healthy individuals.
However, this may not be the case for people with 2 diabetes who will probably have to avoid eating a lot of ripe bananas.
- Bananas can improve digestive health
Fiber has been linked to many health benefits, including improved digestion.
A medium sized banana has about 3 grams of fiber, making bananas a good source of fiber.
Bananas contain two main types of fiber:
- Pectin: Decreases as the banana matures.
- Durable starch: It is found in unripe bananas.
Durable starch escapes digestion and ends up in the large intestine, where it feeds on the beneficial bacteria in the intestine.
- Bananas can help in weight loss
No studies have directly examined the effects of bananas on weight loss. However, bananas have many properties that make them a food friendly to anyone who wants to lose weight.
Bananas have relatively few calories. An average banana has just over 100 calories - but it is also very nutritious and gives it a fullness.
Eating more fiber from vegetables and fruits such as bananas has been repeatedly linked to lower body weight as well as weight loss.
In addition, wild bananas are packed with durable starch, so they tend to make us feel full and reduce appetite.
- Bananas contain powerful antioxidants
Fruits and vegetables are excellent sources of dietary antioxidants and bananas are no exception.
They contain various types of powerful antioxidants, such as dopamine and catechins.
These antioxidants are associated with many health benefits, such as a reduced risk of heart disease and degenerative diseases.
However, it is a common misconception that dopamine from bananas works as a good chemical in your brain.
In fact, dopamine from bananas does not cross the blood-brain barrier. It simply works as a powerful antioxidant and does not alter your hormones or mood.
- Bananas can help you feel fuller
Durable starch is a type of carbohydrate found in wild bananas and other foods that acts as a soluble fiber for your body.
Generally, you can keep in mind that a green banana, the greener the more starch content it has.
On the other hand, yellow, ripe bananas contain smaller amounts of starch and total fibers - but proportionally higher amounts of soluble fiber.
Both pectin and durable starch offer an appetite-reducing effect and increase the sense of fullness after meals.