6 Health Advantages of Banana

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Before discussing the health benefits of bananas, here is some nutritional information on a piece of banana (source - these numbers may vary slightly when obtained from a different source):
Serving Size = 1 medium banana mature enough [about 7" in length and 126 grams (0.28 pounds) weight]
Fat = 0 g Cholesterol 0 = g = 110 calories
Potassium = 400 mg (10% of the recommended daily value)
Dietary fiber = 4 g (16% of the recommended daily value)
Sugar = 14.8 g Protein 1 g = (2% of the recommended daily value)
Vitamin C = 16% of the recommended daily
Vitamin B6 = 20% of the recommended daily
These nutritional information on the background work through the incredible health benefits of this fruit in their daily lives. I just try and list concrete data with references where possible. I am particularly concerned about this, because there have been some unsubstantiated claims (items) about the extraordinary benefits of bananas floating around on the internet (see example below).
First, Bananas are good for your heart and nerves: Bananas contain a high dose of potassium - a key ingredient to keep your heart and nervous system in good shape. Potassium is important for proper muscle contraction and plays an important role in muscle-inspired activities, including: normal rhythmic pumping of the heart, digestive, muscular movements, etc., some studies have also linked low intake potassium, high blood pressure and an increased risk of stroke. Most Americans do not get enough potassium in their diet (recommended dose is about 4 g per day) - the blame on fast food culture. Including a banana (or two) in your diet every day you step closer to getting your recommended daily dose of potassium (reference: American Heart Association, the University of Maryland Medical Center, Colorado State University).

Second, Bananas are good for your kidneys and bones: Benefits to the kidneys and bones are again due to the high potassium content in bananas. A normal potassium suppresses calcium excretion and minimizes the risk of kidney stones. Also, for the same reason (to remove the calcium in the urine), minimizes the loss of calcium by the body and reduces the risk of osteoporosis (references: University of Maryland Medical Center, University of Kansas Medical Center).

Third, Bananas can act as a mild sedative or mood enhancers: bananas contain tryptophan (although not a major source, the medium still contains about 10.6 mg of tryptophan). Tryptophan is one of the 20 amino acids are the building blocks of proteins (by the way, an incredible number of articles on tryptophan via the Internet, as a "state of mind for improvement of protein", and that is not technically correct). Tryptophan helps the body produce serotonin - a calming effect on the brain (to create a stable state of mind), and acts as a mild sedative. It should be noted that the only way our body can be the dose of tryptophan in the diet - does not produce tryptophan, of course, bananas are one of the easiest ways to do this (references: Nutritiondata.com, daily chemical, Stanford Linear Accelerator Center , NIH MedlinePlus).

Fourth, Bananas are good for the blood: Bananas are one of the highest sources of naturally available vitamin B6: Vitamin B6 plays an important role in the conversion of tryptophan to serotonin (see # 3 above), and also helps the body to produce hemoglobin - a key ingredient in the blood. Vitamin B6 is also essential for the production of antibodies, and maintain a healthy immune response. It also helps to convert carbohydrates into glucose, while maintaining adequate levels of blood sugar. Bananas medium can handle 1/5th the recommended daily intake of vitamin B6 and is one of the easiest (and cheapest) ways to increase your intake of vitamin (references: NIH office of dietary supplements).

Fifth, Bananas are good for children: Let me quote the NIH Medical Encyclopedia -

Bananas are part of the BRAT diet, a diet many physicians and nurses recommend for children under gastrointestinal problems, especially diarrhea. BRAT stands for the different components that make up the diet: bananas, rice cereal, applesauce, toast. These are foods that are binding on the hard stools.

Sixth, Bananas are a good source of fiber: one serving (one medium sized bananas), contains 16% of the recommended daily intake of dietary fiber of a normal adult - which is important portion of food. Fiber improves evacuation (bowel fluid motion). High fiber diet has also been linked with a lower risk of coronary heart disease and type 2 diabetes. See also these data, taking into consideration the following points (references: Health.gov, NIH PubMed - quite abstract):

Current recommendations suggest that adults consume 20-35 grams of dietary fiber per day. Children over age 2 should consume an amount equal to or greater than their age plus 5 grams per day. But the average American eats only 14-15 grams of fiber per day. Source: Harvard School of Public Health

Availability is the best part: Bananas are very affordable at about 35 to 40 cents a pound (on average - in the U.S.) and generally are available in almost any grocery store, there is no need for cooking washing (unless you want to eat the outer skin) and what is ideal as a substitute for fast food. Consider the banana as a supplement and great food at affordable prices.

Do you have sugar issues: People worry a lot of carbohydrates (especially sugar part) on bananas. To that end, here are some quotes from some reliable sources:

Banana is a glycemic index of 52 and 24 grams of available carbohydrate. This gives a glycemic load of 12 For comparison, an Apple with a glycemic index of 38 and 15 grams of available carbohydrate is the glycemic load for 6 ... While Apple may have a slightly better selection of snacks, eating a banana is not bad, either due to loads and low glycemic foods boys below are the ones who should be selected as part of a balanced diet. (Source: USDA.gov)

Despite erroneously called "fattening" and too much sugar, a small banana only contains about 100 calories, which is not much of a medium apple. It should also not increase the level of blood sugar is too high. (Source: American Diabetes Association)

As always, things are done in moderation and it should be noted that all these health benefits are "general observations" - and there must be, for sure, exceptions to general comments. If you have specific health problems associated with all nutritional constituents of the banana, you should consult your doctor before you go bananas for bananas.

If you have additional information (or even folklore:)) on bananas, you are invited to share with us through your comments.


Post a Comment

Copyright © Healthy Living Tips | Privacy Policy | RSS Feeds
Blogger Theme by Blogger Designed and Optimized by Tipseo