As I juice more than I make smoothies I only get to eat bananas when I am having a fruit and nut snack/day. I eat them together with almonds and walnuts.
I am not a huge fan of walnuts but eating them with a banana makes them palatable for me.
I love them, which is why I wanted to write about the fact that bananas are not the devil you may think they are…
Health benefits of bananas – are they good for you?
Yes they are, my online research taught me that bananas are great as a pre-workout snack. They help sustain blood sugar and protect against muscle cramps.
Because of the B6 vitamin available in bananas they strengthen our nervous system, help us produce white blood cells and reduce swelling.
If you happen to be unfortunate enough to be suffering with diarrhoea bananas will soothe your digestive tract and help to restore lost electrolytes. If you are constipated the fibre in bananas is great to help get you going again.
They contain high levels of vitamin B6, vitamin C, manganese, along with magnesium and potassium, which helps to regulate blood pressure and is good for our bones.
Here’s a run-down of what you will find inside every one you eat:
- Vitamin B6 .5 mg
- Manganese .3 mp
- Vitamin C 9 mg
- Potassium 450 mg
- Dietary Fibre 3g
- Magnesium 34mg
- Folate 25.0 mcg
- Niacin .8mg
- Vitamin A 81 iU
- Iron .3mg
Bananas are a source of tryptophan, a chemical that converts into the feel good hormone serotonin when released into our blood stream.
It is important to have good levels of Serotonin because it helps our stress levels and overall mood. So if you have been called a moody cow a lot recently maybe a banana can help you with that.
Even the banana skin can be used for anything from cleaning your leather shoes to providing treatment for problem skin and hair.
Here’s something you may not know (and I have no idea if it is true because I have never tried it) if you rub banana skin on your teeth for a couple of minutes before your nightly brush it will whiten your teeth. You have to wait a few weeks to see a noticeable difference but at least it is a natural way to improve their whiteness.
Best stage to eat a banana – ripe or unripe?
It is better to eat a ripe banana rather than an unripe one. Firstly, they taste better but also because it makes them easier to digest and they have higher levels of antioxidants as they ripen.
So, next time you see ripen bananas being sold off cheap in the supermarket grab them.
This isn’t so great if you have Type 2 diabetes though because a ripen banana has a high sugar content.
Unripe bananas can actually be eaten. I wouldn’t eat one if you paid me! The sugar content of an unripe banana is lower and they contain probiotic bacteria, which helps your colon health.
Only downside is they have a high resistant starch content so they may cause bloating and farting.
More good work done thanks to the humble banana peel.