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4 Reasons Why Bananas are Good For You
Bananas are a favorite fruit among Americans, with our country consuming over 100 million bananas each year. That is roughly 27 pounds per person!1
Bananas are a versatile fruit that can be enjoyed with any meal. A few ways Americans eat bananas are in salads, cereal, muffins, and cakes. Bananas are also widely available in many grocery stores throughout the US, with our nation importing roughly 10,292.47 pounds each year.2
But what are the health benefits of bananas? Here are 4 reasons why bananas are good for you, as well as some ways you can incorporate more bananas into your diet.
Health Benefits of Bananas
Maintain Heart Health and Blood Pressure
Bananas are a great source of potassium, a mineral that helps regulate your body’s fluids, muscle contraction, heartbeat, and nutrients going through the digestive system.3 A medium sized banana contains 422 milligrams of potassium, making this yellow fruit a great source of this mineral.4
One health benefit of consuming enough potassium is the fact that it can help your body manage high blood pressure.5 Potassium helps the body process excess sodium. Over time, potassium can help lower the tension in your blood vessels, resulting in lower blood pressure.
Maintaining your blood pressure is important for preventing strokes, heart attacks, and kidney failure.
While bananas alone probably won’t be able to regulate blood pressure, they are a key food to helping you maintain your heart health. Enjoy some bananas today to help keep your heart healthy!
Bananas are a food that can help aid your digestive process. One reason for this is because bananas contain carbohydrates that the body can easily break down. Bananas also have good gut bacteria called fructooligosaccharides, which helps promote digestion.6
Bananas also contain pectin, a type of fiber, as well as starch, a fiber that is soluble and aids in digestion. Both of these help your stomach feel satiated by slowing down the rate you digest food, which makes you feel fuller for longer.7
By eating bananas, you won’t feel hungry as well as have more energy from the food you consume.
Bananas Might Improve Your Brain Function
Bananas contain 33% of the RDI for vitamin B6, which aids in brain development, regulates the nervous system, and keeps the immune system healthy.8
Vitamin B6 aids in the creation of neurotransmitters, which are chemical messengers that help your brain send messages throughout the body. Some research shows that a lack of vitamin B6 correlates to cognitive decline, so it is important to make sure your diet contains enough vitamin B6 to maintain brain health.9
Furthermore, vitamin B6 can help regulate homocysteine, which is an amino acid linked to dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Vitamin B6 aids in maintaining the body’s levels of homocysteine, which can reduce your risk of developing these conditions over time.10
Keeping your brain healthy with vitamin B6 is just one reason why bananas are good for you.
Bananas Help Your Skin Stay Healthy
Bananas contain vitamin C like many other fruits, and a medium-sized banana will give you 10% of the vitamin C you need for the day.11
There are many health benefits of vitamin C, with one being the fact that it promotes the growth of collagen. Collagen is a protein that helps build your skin, bones, and tissues.12
Collagen makes up about a third of all protein in the body, and there are roughly 28 different types of collagen within our bodies.13
As we age, we lose the amount of collagen we naturally produce. However, having optimal vitamin C levels can help aid your body in replenishing its collagen levels and keep your skin healthy for years to come.
Having enough vitamin C can help keep your skin youthful for years to come.
How to Add More Bananas into Your Diet
Now that you know why bananas are good for you, you might be wondering how you can incorporate this tasty fruit into your diet.
Here are a few ways you can start eating more bananas in your everyday life:
- Add bananas into your cereal in the morning
- Pack bananas as a snack for the afternoon
- Make a smoothie and have bananas as one of the main ingredients
- Add bananas into your fruit salad
- Enjoy a yogurt parfait and make bananas one of the main ingredients
- Have bananas with toast and peanut butter
- Make banana pancakes for the family
- Bake your own banana bread or muffins at home
- Have banana s’mores next time you’re at the campfire
- Enjoy bananas with your ice cream
Enjoy some Bananas Today
Enjoy some of the health benefits of bananas by picking some up from your local grocery store today!
Here at Saber Healthcare, our dietary teams work to provide our residents meals that meet all of their nutritional needs. To learn more about our company and our approach to specialized care, click here.
Saber Healthcare is an organization dedicated to providing consultant services to long term care providers. This article is for informational purposes and is not meant to be seen as professional advice. Please consult with a medical expert before relying on the information provided.
- Dorfner, Micah. “Go bananas for…bananas.” Mayo Clinic, News Network. Published April 4th, 2017. Accessed May 25th, 2021. Link: https://newsnetwork.mayoclinic.org/discussion/go-bananas-forbananas/#:~:text=More%20than%20100%20billion%20bananas,about%2090%20bananas%20a%20year.
- “Fresh banana imports to the United States from 2010 to 2020 (in million pounds)*.” Statista, statisa.com. Accessed May 26th, 2021. Link: https://www.statista.com/statistics/1024795/us-fresh-bananas-imports/
- “Potassium.” U.S. National Library of Medicine, MedlinePlus. Last updated April 6th, 2021. Accessed May 25th, 2021. Link: https://medlineplus.gov/potassium.html#:~:text=Potassium%20is%20a%20mineral%20that,waste%20products%20out%20of%20cells.
- Ware, Megan. Warwick, Kathy, ed. “Benefits and Health Risks of Bananas.” Healthline Media, MedicalNewsToday. Published January 13th, 2021. Acessed May 25th, 2021. Link: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/271157#benefits
- “How Potassium Can Help Control High Blood Pressure.” The American Heart Association, heart.org. Last updated October 31st, 2016. Accessed May 25th, 2021. Link: https://www.heart.org/en/health-topics/high-blood-pressure/changes-you-can-make-to-manage-high-blood-pressure/how-potassium-can-help-control-high-blood-pressure#:~:text=Understanding%20the%20heart%2Dhealthy%20benefits%20of%20potassium&text=Potassium%20also%20helps%20to%20ease,80%20who%20are%20otherwise%20healthy.
- “Help Your Digestive System with These 5 Foods.” UPMC HealthBeat, share.upmc.com. Published September 3rd, 2014. Accessed May 25th, 2021. Link: https://share.upmc.com/2014/09/help-digestive-system-5-foods/#:~:text=Bananas%20are%20one%20of%20the,electrolytes%20back%20into%20the%20body
- Bjarnadottir, Adda. “11 Evidence-Based Health Benefits of Bananas.” Red Ventures, Healthline Media. Published October 2018. Accessed May 25th Link: https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/11-proven-benefits-of-bananas
- “Vitamin B-6.” Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, mayoclinic.org. February 3rd, 2021. Accessed May 25th, 2021. Link: https://www.mayoclinic.org/drugs-supplements-vitamin-b6/art-20363468
- Braizer, Yvette. Hodgson, Lisa, ed. “The benefits and food sources of vitamin B6.” Healthline Media, MedicalNewsToday. December 17th, 2021. Accessed May 25th, 2021. Link: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/219662#daily-needs
- “Health Benefits of Vitamin B6.” WebMD, Nourish. Accessed May 25th, 2021. Link: https://www.webmd.com/diet/health-benefits-vitamin-b6#1
- “6 Good Reasons to Eat a Banana Today.” Healthsing, healthxchange.sg. Accessed May 25th, 2021. Link: https://www.healthxchange.sg/food-nutrition/food-tips/good-reasons-eat-banana-today
- “5 Scientifically Proven Benefits of Vitamin C.” Saber Healthcare Group, saberhealth.com. Published September 4th, 2020. Accessed September 4th, 2020. Link: https://www.saberhealth.com/news/blog/5-vitamin-c-benefits
- Ross, Rachel. “What is Collagen?” Future US, Live Science. Accessed May 25th, 2021. Link: https://www.livescience.com/collagen.html