Bananas are creamy, sweet and are certainly good for us. Athletes love them as they provide plenty of energy when needed most. They are well-known for their potassium content and they provide for many other benefits. Here are a few reasons to add them to your grocery list.
Bananas lower blood pressure
The potassium content of bananas is essential for keeping your blood pressure within normal levels. This is very important for maintaining a healthy cardiovascular system. An average sized banana contains 467 mg of potassium, which is a daily amount is considered enough to protect you from the dangers of atherosclerosis.
Several studies have shown that eating bananas and other potassium rich foods are effective in lowering blood pressure. A group of researchers were tasked with monitoring thousands of American male health professionals for four years. More than 40,000 participants were monitored in order to determine how one´s daily diet impacts their blood pressure levels.
The results concluded that those who follow a potassium-rich diet and eat foods that are also rich in magnesium and fibre (fiber) were found to have lowered risks of stroke.
Bananas prevent heart disease
Bananas are not only rich sources of potassium; they are also full of fibre which helps prevent and alleviate many symptoms of heart disease.
Another study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine revealed that those who eat plenty of fibre-rich foods, such as bananas, have a significantly lowered risk of coronary heart disease, by as much as 12%.
Therefore eating a banana a day can help reduce your chances of heart disease.
Bananas strengthen bones
The potassium content of bananas is also beneficial for keeping the bones healthy and strong. Potassium helps prevent the fast-thinning of bones by protecting them against urinary calcium loss, which occurs to people who eat a high-sodium diet.
Bananas prevent stomach problems
Bananas also provide antacid effects that help protect people from ulcers. Another study proved that mixing banana and milk can suppress acid secretion in the stomach. The protective effects of bananas work in two ways.
First, bananas contain active substances that allow proper functioning of the cells found in the stomach lining in order for them to produce a thick mucus barrier that prevents excessive stomach acid secretion.
The second protective effect of bananas is made possible through the help of protease inhibitors that are helpful in eradicating ulcer-causing bacteria inside the stomach.
Those who suffer from diarrhoea (diarrhea) may also find eating bananas very beneficial. Diarrhoea can cause a rapid loss of electrolytes but eating bananas will help you to replenish those lost electrolytes. Potassium functions as one very important electrolyte that not only regulates heart function but also helps an individual maintain fluid balance in the body.
Another protective effect of bananas come from its soluble fibre called pectin which plays a role in normalizing the movement through the digestive tract to provide relief from constipation.
Keep in mind that consuming fruits such as bananas are one integral part of a healthy, balanced diet. This must be coupled with exercise and other healthy lifestyle habits for you to fully achieve optimal health.
Categories of My Research Blogs
I have compiled the links below for more reading on research done on health benefits of bananas. Some of it might be of an academic nature.