Bananas: Health Benefits


Bananas are grown in at least 107 countries and are ranked fourth among the world’s food crops in monetary value. Americans consume more bananas than apples and oranges combined

Health Benefits

1) Blood pressure

Potassium helps in lowering blood pressure, because of its vasodilation effects. Banana is a good source of Potassium

2) Cancer
Banana is a good source of vitamin C, and help combat the formation of free radicals known to cause cancer. High fiber intakes from fruits and vegetables like bananas are considered to lower risk of colorectal cancer.

4) Heart health
An increase in potassium intake along with a decrease in sodium intake is a known fact to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. The fiber, potassium, vitamin C and B6 content in bananas are good for heart. High potassium intakes are also associated with a reduced risk of stroke, protection against loss of muscle mass, preservation of bone mineral density and reduction in the formation of kidney stones.

5) Diabetes
Studies have shown that type 1 diabetics who consume high-fiber diets have lower blood glucose levels and type 2 diabetics may have improved blood sugar, lipids and insulin levels. One medium banana provides about 3 grams of fiber.

6) Treating diarrhea
Bland foods such as apple sauce and bananas are good for diarrhea treatment. Electrolytes like potassium are lost in large quantities during bouts of diarrhea and may make those affected feel weak.

7) Preserving memory and boosting mood
Bananas also contain tryptophan, an amino acid that studies suggest plays a role in preserving memory and boosting your mood.

Maintaining a low sodium intake is essential to lowering blood pressure, however increasing potassium intake may be just as important because of its vasodilation effects. According to the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, fewer than 2% of US adults meet the daily 4700 mg recommendation.

Nutritional profile of bananas
One medium banana (about 126 grams) is considered to be one serving. One serving of banana contains 110 calories, 30 grams of carbohydrate and 1 gram of protein. Bananas are naturally free of fat, cholesterol and sodium.2
Bananas provide a variety of vitamins and minerals:
 Vitamin B6 – .5 mg
 Manganese – .3 mg
 Vitamin C – 9 mg
 Potassium – 450 mg
 Dietary Fiber – 3g
 Protein – 1 g
 Magnesium – 34 mg
 Folate – 25.0 mcg
 Riboflavin – .1 mg
 Niacin – .8 mg
 Vitamin A – 81 IU
 Iron – .3 mg
The recommended intake of potassium for adults is 4700 milligrams per day.

Beta-blockers, a type of medication most commonly prescribed for heart disease, can cause potassium levels to increase in the blood. High potassium foods such as bananas should be consumed in moderation when taking beta-blockers.
Consuming too much potassium can be harmful for those whose kidneys are not fully functional. If your kidneys are unable to remove excess potassium from the blood, it could be fatal.

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