Originally native to South Asia, bananas are now grown in more than 100 countries around the world. Whether you eat them plain, on your oatmeal, or in smoothies, bananas have plenty of health benefits. Banana health benefits include aiding in weight loss, relieving constipation, improving heart health, and more.
Banana Health Benefits
1. Moderate Blood Sugar Levels
Banana health benefits include the ability to naturally manage blood sugar levels, thanks to a fiber they contain, called pectin. Bananas also rank low on the glycemic index and help prevent spikes in blood sugar levels. (1)
2. Improve Digestive Health
Banana health benefits include the ability to improve digestion. A medium-sized banana contain around 3 grams of fiber, which helps ensure that things run smoothly in the digestive system.
3. Aid in Weight Loss
Bananas are considered a weight-loss friendly food. The fiber they contain help keep you feeling fuller longer. They are low in calories and high in nutrients, making them a great addition to a weight loss plan. (2)
4. Support Heart Health
Banana health benefits include a healthy heart. Bananas contain potassium, a mineral that plays an essential role in heart health. Potassium helps control blood pressure levels to reduce the risk of heart disease.
5. Provide the Body with Antioxidants
Fruits and vegetables, including bananas, provide the body with antioxidants. Banana health benefits include a reduced risk of heart disease and degenerative diseases thanks to the dopamine and catechins they contain.
6. Help You Feel Full
Banana health benefits include the ability to help you feel fuller, longer. They contain both pectin and resistant starch, which have been shown that help reduce appetite and increase feelings of fullness after meals.
7. Improve Insulin Sensitivity
Banana health benefits include the ability to help improve insulin sensitivity. Insulin resistance is a major risk factor for type 2 diabetes. Studies have shown that bananas, especially unripe bananas, can help improve insulin sensitivity and reduce the risk of diabetes. (3)
8. Improve Kidney Health
Thanks to the potassium they contain, banana health benefits include improved kidney health. One study found that women who ate bananas 2-3 times per week over a period of 13 years were 33% less likely to develop kidney disease, compared to those who did not eat bananas. (4)
9. Benefit Exercise
Banana health benefits include aiding in exercise recovery. Studies have shown that eating bananas may help reduce muscle cramps and soreness caused by exercise, thanks to the potassium and other nutrients they contain.
10. Provide the Body with Important Nutrients
Bananas are a highly nutritious fruit. They aren’t just loaded with antioxidants. They also contain potassium, magnesium, copper, Vitamin B and other nutrients that work together to keep the body healthy and strong. A medium-sized banana contains: (5)
- Potassium: 9% of the RDI
- Vitamin B6: 33% of the RDI
- Vitamin C: 11% of the RDI
- Magnesium: 8% of the RDI
- Copper: 10% of the RDI
- Manganese: 14% of the RDI