Bananas are generally great fruit.
When you think about how versatile, portable, affordable and tasty they are, they simply make sense to enjoy as often as possible. The problem comes in when many people think they’re too high in carbohydrates (they’re higher in carbs and sugar than many other fruits, sure) but it’s easy to forget that your body actually needs carbohydrates for fuel. We have 10 reasons why you should be eating a banana every day.
One medium banana contains 422mg of potassium, or about 12% of your daily value of the mineral. Your body needs plenty of potassium to operate normally. This electrolyte helps your muscles contract, nerves function, move nutrients into cells (and waste out of them), regulate your heartbeat, and regulate sodium in your body. Not getting enough potassium can mean an increase in blood pressure and kidney stone risk, feeling tired and weak, and even muscle cramps.
Potassium plays a large part here by helping to regulate the balance of fluids in your body, especially the electrolytes you lose (like sodium, magnesium, calcium, and yes – potassium!) after a sweaty workout.
3) Gut health
One medium banana contains 3mg of filling fibre, approximately 10% of your daily intake. Bananas are also rich in prebiotics – a type of fermentable fibre that assists the good bacteria in your gut.
4) Pre-workout fuel
Natural sugars are ideal for before a workout as they offer a lot of energy, and bananas are full of natural sugars. They are also not too harsh on your stomach making it a great pre-workout snack.
5) Post-workout fuel
Bananas are doubly great for workouts as they’re excellent for post-workouts too. Certain compounds and phytochemicals in bananas have been found to reduce inflammation after an endurance workout.
6) Heart health
Potassium is vital for heart health as it has been linked to significantly lower blood pressure levels, and lower risk of a stroke. Potassium helps flush excess heart-stressing sodium from your body through your urine, reducing the potential damage it may have on your heart.
7) Sugar replacement
The naturally sweet taste and soft texture is a great reason to use bananas as an artificial sweetener in baked goods.
8) Vitamin B6
Bananas contain nearly one third of your daily value of vitamin B6, which is important for brain development during pregnancy and enzyme reactions involved in metabolism.
9) Curb your appetite
Bananas contain a type of fibre called resistant starch, which seems to help people eat fewer calories and manage their appetite One medium banana only has 100 calories, but because of its high fibre content, makes one feel fuller for longer.
10) Kidney health
Bananas have the highest concentration of phenolics – compounds with antioxidant effects. This can help lower your risk of developing renal cell carcinoma, the most common type of kidney cancer.
Read more from our Your Plate blogs.