I was a big fan of bananas long before I knew all of the benefits of bananas, but now that I know just how good for us they are, I love them even more! Not only are they a tasty sweet treat, they’re my favorite pre-run snack and mid-afternoon energy boost. If you’re still not entirely ready to jump on the banana bandwagon, keep reading. Here are just 7 of the benefits of bananas.
1 Lower Your Blood Pressure
If you suffer from high blood pressure, and are reluctant to add another pill to your personal pharmacy, consider trying a food-based alternative to lowering your blood pressure. That’s right: one of the most amazing benefits of bananas is that eating two of them a day has been proven to lower your blood pressure. Scientists believe it’s got something to do with the potassium in bananas, but for whatever the reason, bananas really are a super-food!
2 Prevent Cancer
According to a study from the University of Tokyo, ripe bananas contain a natural chemical that can help prevent various forms of cancer. The riper the banana, the better, because the cancer-preventing chemical content increases as the banana ripens.
Need to relax and unwind? Then have a banana! They contain tryptophan, a protein your body converts into serotonin, to help you relax and de-stress. Who knew?
4 They’re so Sweet
I have an insatiable sweet tooth, and I don’t eat junk, so you might think my snack options are a little limited. But actually, bananas are one of my favorite sweet treats! About half of a banana's calories come from sugar, but since it’s natural sugar, not processed added sugar, and because bananas are loaded with other nutrients, it’s a guilt-free sweet treat.
5 Vegan-friendly Source of B6
The USDA recommends adult women get about 1.3 milligrams of pyroxidine, or Vitamin B6, each day, for healthy nerve tissue. But most sources of B6 are from animal proteins, so what’s a vegan girl to do? No worries – bananas are a very good source of B6, and they’re entirely vegan friendly.
6 Easy on the Tummy
There’s a reason bananas are included in the pediatrician-recommended “tummy trouble” BRAT diet: they’re remarkably easy to digest. They’re loaded with electrolytes, which may be depleted if you’re suffering from a range of tummy troubles, and they even help with nausea, vomiting, constipation, and diarrhea. Eww, but yay!
7 Workout Fuel
Bananas are quite possibly the perfect pre-run or pre-workout fuel source, because they’re loaded with potassium to prevent muscle cramps, but also because they provide all the energy you’ll need to get across the finish line or to push through the last 5 minutes of Zumba class. The carbs in bananas are both the slow-burning and long-burning type, so before your next workout or run, try a banana!
8 They’re Cheap!
Why is it that junk food is cheap, but healthy food seems pricey? Bananas prove that myth plain untrue! Most times, a single banana costs mere pennies. Compare that to chips (one serving is about 25 cents), and suddenly, the healthy snack choice makes even more sense… or cents!
Now that you’ve got the scoop on all the benefits of bananas, will you start adding them to your grocery cart? If you’re already a fan, why do you like bananas?