Bananas are good for you in 12 ways.

Here’s a look at what research says about the health benefits of bananas.

1. Bananas might give you more energy.

Could you use a banana instead of your favorite sports drink? Maybe. One study from 2012 found that bananas are just as good for giving you more energy as sports drinks. They even seem to be better than sports drinks in other ways.

The study found that bananas had just as much energy as sports drinks, but they had more antioxidants and were a better source of fiber and potassium. Also, bananas have less sugar than most sports drinks.

2. It could be good for your digestive health.

Bananas could also be good for your stomach. Resistant starch, a type of fiber, is found in bananas that aren’t ripe yet. Starches that are hard to digest pass through your gut without being broken down. They make their way to your large intestine, where they can help good bacteria grow.

Bananas may also help reduce gas in the stomach. One study from 2011 looked at women who added a banana to their normal diet every day. These women felt much less bloated than the women in the control group.

Pectin, which is found in bananas, can help stop diarrhea. Some test-tube studies have also found that pectin might slow the growth of colon cancer cells, but this research is far from conclusive.

3. It may be good for the heart.

The potassium in bananas can help keep your heart healthy. Studies show that eating a lot of potassium may lower your risk of heart disease and stroke.

Bananas also have magnesium and catechin in them. Catechin is a flavonoid antioxidant that has been linked to a lower risk of getting heart disease. Studies from the past show that magnesium is also important for keeping the heart healthy.

4. Take care of your bones

The prebiotic in bananas is called fructooligosaccharides (say that five times fast). In 2003, this prebiotic was studied in postmenopausal women. It was found that as this prebiotic ferments in your gut, it makes it easier for your body to absorb calcium.

In 2017, researchers looked at how eating more fruits and vegetables, like bananas, affects bone health in men and women in their 50s and 60s. According to the research, eating more fruit is linked to a lower risk of osteoporosis in general.

A different study done in 2017 also found a link between getting enough potassium and having stronger bones. This is probably because your body is better at absorbing calcium.

5. Keep vitamins on hand that may help with PMS.

If you have painful cramps because of premenstrual syndrome (PMS), you might want to eat more bananas. Why? This fruit contains about an average amount of vitamin B6. When taken with magnesium, which is a vitamin that may help reduce PMS symptoms, (Don’t forget that bananas also have magnesium.)

Researchers in 2019 looked at how university students’ diets affected their moods when they had PMS. Scientists found that bananas may also make you feel better when you have your period. How could that be? Bananas have a lot of tryptophan, which increases the “happy hormone” serotonin.

6. could aid in weight loss

Eating bananas won’t help you lose weight directly. But eating some ‘nanners is still a good way to eat if you are trying to lose weight.

Bananas are healthy and will help you feel full because they are low in calories and have a good amount of fiber. Studies have shown that eating more fiber from fruits and vegetables is linked to weight loss and a lower body weight.

Pectin can also be found in bananas. Researchers have found that pectin can limit how much fat your cells can take in. But the pectin content of a banana goes down as it gets older.

7. They have nutrients that can help control blood sugar.

Both pectin and resistant starch are found in lots of unripe bananas. Both of these play a role in keeping blood sugar levels steady. An earlier study discovered that unripe bananas contain more starch than ripe bananas.Since the body can’t break down starches as easily, eating a less ripe banana makes your blood sugar rise more slowly and steadily.

Studies have also shown that eating foods with fiber in them can help keep blood sugar levels stable and prevent blood sugar spikes. Another time when the fiber in bananas comes in handy.

The glycemic index for bananas is also good. (The glycemic index, or GI, is a number from 0 to 100 that shows how quickly foods raise blood sugar levels.) Bananas are low to medium on the list, so they shouldn’t cause big spikes in blood sugar in most adults.

8. It could help make insulin more sensitive.

Bananas that aren’t quite ripe have a lot of resistant starch, which has another benefit. It might make insulin work better. Some studies have found that eating 15 to 30 grams of resistant starch every day could improve insulin sensitivity by as much as 50% in just 4 weeks.

In 2010, researchers found that adults with type 2 diabetes who ate 24 grams of native banana starch every day for 4 weeks lost a lot of weight and became more sensitive to insulin. Still, it’s important to say that this topic needs more research.

9. They have chemicals that might help ease aching muscles.

If you work out often and have sore, achy muscles all the time, you might want to add bananas to your diet. Bananas have a lot of magnesium in them, and research has shown that magnesium can help reduce muscle pain by a lot.

Dopamine and polyphenols are also good for you, and bananas have them too. Studies show that when these compounds are taken with carbs, they may help stop the inflammation that can happen after exercise. This could help you heal faster and with less pain.

10. could be good for kidney health.

Do you need another reason to love bananas’ potassium? It’s important for keeping the kidneys healthy. In 2005, a study found that women who ate bananas twice or three times a week were 33% less likely to get kidney disease.

If you don’t eat enough potassium, your urine can also have more calcium. If your urine has a lot of calcium, you might be more likely to get kidney stones.

11. Contains ingredients that may help lower cholesterol.

Eating bananas might help if your cholesterol is too high. There are chemicals called phytosterols in the fruit. One study suggests that these may help lower your levels of “bad” LDL cholesterol.

And the banana’s fiber is also important. A review done in 2017 found that people who eat a lot of fiber have a lower risk of heart disease and lower levels of LDL cholesterol.

12. could help keep bowel movements regular.

Just when you thought fiber couldn’t get any better, it does. Bananas have insoluble fiber in them, which may help you go to the bathroom more often. The resistant starch in bananas also helps healthy bacteria grow in your large intestine and acts like soluble fiber, which may help with constipation.

Keep in mind that the pectin in unripe bananas may also help stop diarrhea. Bananas are part of the BRAT diet because of this. That’s a way of eating that’s often suggested if you’re feeling sick, throwing up, or having diarrhea.



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