There are so many reasons to love bananas. They're always available, they're affordable and, most of all, they taste great. Since bananas are a fruit, we assume they're probably a healthy food choice. That's a no-brainer. But in reality, bananas are one of the healthiest foods out there, and you don't have to go to a special health food store to get them. Bananas are easy to find at any local market, and their numerous health benefits provide more than enough reasons to add them to your cart on your next grocery shopping trip. Here are eight great reasons why you should be adding more bananas to your diet.
1. Healthier Stomach
Bananas are high in fiber, a carbohydrate that helps regulate your
digestive system. That means that eating bananas will help you maintain
regular, healthy bowel movements. Bananas also contain pectin, which
helps to improve overall digestion and prevents constipation. Not only
that, but bananas also have an antacid effect, which helps prevent
ulcers and ulcer damage in the stomach. In fact, eating bananas may even
reduce your risk for stomach cancer. If you tend to have stomach troubles, then try adding bananas to your diet to see if it improves your digestion.
2. Excellent Source of Potassium
In general, most people associate bananas with their rich levels of
potassium. We all need potassium to function, and eating a banana is one
of the easiest ways to get it. Plus, the potassium in bananas can
actually help you feel better when you're stressed. High stress levels
tend to deplete our bodies' potassium, so eating a banana can help
balance you out when your body exhausted due to stress, allowing you to
bounce back faster.
3. Improve Kidney Function
The potassium found in bananas has one side effect that comes as
great news for your kidneys. When you get enough potassium, your body is
less likely to lose calcium in your urine. That keeps your kidneys
functioning at their prime while also reducing the risk of kidney
stones. In general, eating fruits can be extremely beneficial when it
comes to preventing kidney cancer. The reason? Bananas (along with many
root vegetables) have high levels of antioxidant phenolic compounds,
which help protect the kidneys.
4. Strengthen Bones
You may have never heard of a prebiotic called fructooligosaccharide,
but bananas are actually a great source of it. Fructooligosaccharide
make it possible for our bodies to absorb nutrients more easily. That
means that eating bananas will help your body absorb calcium,
thereby providing you with stronger bones. Furthermore, a banana's
potassium can help prevent calcium loss, meaning that you'll be less
likely to develop osteoporosis later in life.
5. Lower Blood Pressure
Doctors often encourage patients with high blood pressure to add more
bananas to their diet. Why? Because the high potassium levels and low
sodium levels in bananas are a great combination for preventing high
blood pressure. It's been proven in a number of studies and is actually a
recommendation straight from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
Furthermore, eating this great high-potassium and low-sodium food can
also reduce your risk of stroke, giving you just one more reason to love this health-fortifying fruit.
6. Boost Energy
Bananas have a healthy level of carbohydrates that are perfect for a
much-needed energy boost. Eating a banana for breakfast or after a tough
workout can be a great way to up your energy without sugary drinks or
energy bars. Bananas tend to be a favorite among athletes for their
energy-boosting effects. If you tend to feel groggy in the morning or
extra tired after a workout, then keep bananas on hand so you can stay
on your game.
7. Better Eyesight
Eating bananas every day can be great for your eyesight. That's
because eating at least three servings of fruit per day can lower your
risk for age-related macular degeneration. Actually, those who eat three
or more servings of fruit per day are 36 percent less likely to suffer
from macular degeneration than are those who consume less than 1.5
servings a day. In fact, several studies have debunked the age-old myth
that carrots improve your eyesight. Even if you're already in your
senior years, it's never too late to start using bananas to prevent
further eyesight loss.
8. Good Moods
Bananas have tryptophan, an amino acid that helps to body produce serotonin. This neurotransmitter helps you to feel calm and stabilizes your moods naturally. The next time you're feeling down, grab a banana and focus on those good feelings.
As always, consider your own special dietary or health needs concerning these health benefits of bananas. Bananas alone shouldn't be used as a treatment for any of the conditions listed above. If you have any questions or concerns about adding more bananas to your diet, ask your physician or a licensed health professional.