Who doesn’t love bananas? Subtly sweet, readily available, and great in just about anything – did you know that they’re good for you too? If you’ve been avoiding bananas lately, here are a few reasons to reconsider:
1. Low-Calorie Snack
At about 105 calories each, bananas are a terrific snack when you feel the need for something a little sweet. Rather than a chunk of chocolate, grab a banana and get some important vitamins and nutrients at the same time. Additionally, the 3.1 grams of fiber will help you feel full for longer, so you don’t reach for more food before your next meal.
2. Manage Blood Sugar
Depending on ripeness, bananas have a glycemic index of about 51. Whether watching your weight (or food cravings) or managing a more serious affliction a banana can be a great match. The pectin found in bananas also helps to slow digestion, for more even blood sugar levels throughout the day.
3. Digestive Health
Pectin and high fiber are great for your body when it comes to digestive health. Bananas that are slightly less ripe have higher pectin levels, as well as resistant starch (fiber) which can help your body develop healthy gut bacteria and may help to reduce the risk of prostate cancer.
4. Potassium Punch
One banana contains about 9% of your daily value of potassium. Since most people do not get enough potassium in their diets, adding a banana a day could make a difference. Bananas also contain magnesium, which together improves heart health and can lower the risk of heart disease.
Potassium in bananas has also been linked to a decrease in the risk of kidney disease. Studies have shown that consuming 2-3 bananas per week could reduce the risk of disease by 33% while consuming 4-5 bananas per week could cut the risk to 50% - that’s huge!
5. Important for Athletes
Whether a weekend runner or an every day workout warrior, bananas are a great mainstay when it comes to workout recovery. Bananas provide quick carbs to replenish energy levels after a workout, but that’s not all. The potassium levels in bananas are important to help your body replace electrolytes to reduce muscle fatigue and cramping.
Bananas are one of the easiest foods to eat – just peel and enjoy! You can also add bananas to any food that needs a touch of sweetness, such as oatmeal, green smoothies, baked goods, etc. Go bananas!