This Post Will Make You Go BANANAS!
Today, let us talk about wonderful bananas! Bananas are a great addition to have in a healthy diet. They are packed full of good nutrients, antioxidants, fiber, and the nutrition facts do not look too bad either. Green or yellow, they provide great nutrients no matter their color (and bananas are a must for my protein pancakes!). Keep reading to learn why bananas are an important part of a healthy diet!
A medium size banana (roughly 118g) has:
|Copper||10% of *RDI|
|Magnesium||8% of RDI|
|Manganese||14% of RDI|
|Potassium||9% of RDI|
|Vitamin B6||33% of RDI|
|Vitamin C||11% of RDI|
Moderate Blood Sugar Levels and Help Insulin Resistance
The different fiber found in bananas work to moderate blood sugar levels in the body. The two types of fiber are pectin and resistance starch. Greener bananas are high in resistance starch, while riper bananas are higher in pectin. As the banana ripens, resistance starch breaks down into sugars, making the banana taste sweeter. The increase in sugar should not cause any issues with insulin spikes for those that are healthy.
High blood sugar levels are the results of insulin sensitivity. Insulin sensitivity is a risk factor in many different diseases, including type 2 diabetes. Both types of fiber can help to moderate blood sugar levels after eating by slowing digestion. This is achieved by slowly releasing food from the stomach during digestion, which also results in feeling fuller longer. The higher levels of resistance starch can help to improve insulin sensitivity as well. More research is needed to further support how bananas aid insulin sensitivity; however, they are a great addition to one’s diet to support overall health.
Improve Digestive Health
Being such a great source of fiber, bananas are also great for digestive health. Pectin is a great type of fiber to support overall health, including digestion. Resistance starch also supports digestion by feeding the probiotics (the good bacteria) that are found in the large intestine.
Aid in Weight Loss
There is nothing that directly reflects the aid in weight loss, however…
Bananas are weight loss friendly for many different reasons. Not only are bananas full of essential vitamins and miners, but there are little calories for a medium sized banana, they are filling, and are a great source of fiber.
Not only are bananas a great source of fiber, but they are also loaded with potassium. Potassium is essential for heart health and controlling blood pressure.
Not enough Americans eat enough potassium. Diets that do get enough potassium have a lower risk of developing heart disease by up to 27%. The magnesium found in bananas is also important for heart health.
Potassium is also important for kidney health. Based on research, those that eat bananas 4-6 times a week have a 50% decrease in developing kidney disease.
Here on Bits of Fitness we love antioxidants. All fruits and vegetables are great sources of all kinds of antioxidants to support overall, long-term health. Dopamine and catechins are just two of the many antioxidants found in bananas.
The dopamine found in bananas does not affect behavior or emotions in the same way that dopamine produced by the brain does. It never travels that far to the brain to have the same effects. Instead, the dopamine acts as an antioxidant that protects the body from oxidative stress and free radicals.
Were you aware of the great health benefits bananas provide? Let me know in the comments down below!
Related: The Power of Antioxidants