Did you know that a banana can cheer you up? Or that it can help you focus on your next assignment? You’ve probably been eating bananas your whole life without realising the multitude of health benefits they provide. Read on to learn more about the world’s most ubiquitous fruit.
1. Provide fuel for your day
Need a boost of energy in-between meetings and throughout pivotal moments in your day? Do as the professionals do – athletic professionals, that is. Tennis players like Rafael Nadal, one of the highest-ranked tennis players in the world, are constantly spotted eating a banana during quick game breaks. Why? Bananas instantly boost your energy and keeps you going at a steady and consistent level, unlike many other snacks that will have you feeling low after an initial boost.
This is because bananas contain sucrose, fructose, and glucose, which are all natural sugars that provide a fat and cholesterol free source of fuel. Do yourself a favour next time you’re feeling that energy lag at work and grab a banana, which can be handily stored at your desk and devoured in seconds.
2. Keep things moving along
You know what they say: a banana a day keeps constipation at bay! Wait…what? Yes, eating at least one banana a day as part of your diet will help improve your digestion as these fruits are loaded with dietary fibre. One medium-size banana contains roughly 4 grams of fibre, providing approximately 10-12 per cent of your daily fibre needs.
Both soluble and insoluble fibre are found in bananas which act together as a powerful team to help regulate your bowel movements and keep your gut healthy and safe from harmful bacteria.
3. Heart appeal
While many of these nutritional facts may have been novel to you, you probably have heard on occasion how bananas are rich in potassium. This essential mineral is, well, essential to maintaining normal blood pressure and one medium-sized banana contains a whopping 400mg of potassium! Bananas are also low in sodium. This high potassium and low sodium mishmash helps reduce your risk of stroke and heart attack by maintaining water balance and detoxifying your body.
4. Boost Your immune system
Vitamin B6 is part of nearly 200 biochemical reactions in the body and is critical in how your immune system operates. Can you guess which uber-convenient, delicious, and affordable fruit is high in Vitamin B6? That’s right: Bananas. They contain 30 per cent of the recommended daily intake of vitamin B6 and help produce many of the antibodies you require to fight off disease and illness. Bonus points for pregnant women, as Vitamin B6 will help meet your baby’s development needs.
5. An unexpected source of Vitamin C
Oranges and other citrus fruit are often promoted as the ultimate sources for Vitamin C, but a medium-sized banana provides 15 per cent of your daily requirement getting you well on your way to meeting this quota! Vitamin C supports the production of collagen, found in your skin, and used to hold you cartilage, ligaments and tendons together. It also supports your immune system and according to new research can even kill cancer cells making bananas the ultimate superhero fruit!