Did you know that the banana is actually a berry? Native to Southeast Asia and grown in many warm parts of the world, there are several different types of banana, which vary in shape, size, colour, taste and texture; the most common type is the classic fruit bowl yellow banana. Being one of the most popular fruits on the planet and a very convenient on-the-go nibble, it’s often overlooked how nutritious and healthy they really are. Continue reading to discover the Top 5 Health Benefits of Bananas!
1. Digestive health
An average banana contains about 3g of fibre, which is an essential nutrient for your digestive system. It helps keep your bowels healthy, makes you feel fuller for longer and helps to prevent digestive problems by making everything run smoothly.
2. Potassium power!
Bananas are rich in potassium, which is essential for your heart health and helping control fluid balance. As well as being great for lowering blood pressure and keeping your heart healthy, potassium is also an electrolyte, making a banana the perfect post-exercise snack for easing those dreadful cramps!
3. Help reduce the risk of disease
Bananas are rich in many antioxidants, which help protect your cells from free radical damage. Antioxidants are linked to a number of health benefits such as protection from oxidative stress, reduced risk of degenerative diseases as well as being anti-aging.
4. Improved insulin sensitivity
Insulin resistance occurs when our digestive organs fail to produce enough insulin to break down the carbohydrates we consume. As a result of this, it can lead to a build up of glucose, which can have negative effects on the body. These negative effects include weight gain and in more serious cases, obesity and Type 2 diabetes. Unripe bananas are a great source of resistant starch, which has been proven to improve insulin sensitivity.
5. Great for exercise recovery and performance!
As mentioned in point 2 above, bananas are an ideal post-exercise snack due to their mineral content. They also contain easily assimilated carbohydrates, which are great to consume before, during or after exercise to give you an edge in performance and recovery! After that tough 5K run or adventurous Sunday-afternoon bike ride, you’ll do well to replenish those glycogen stores (your primary energy source during your activity) and bananas are the perfect choice.
As well as having many health benefits, bananas are quick and convenient to take and consume on-the-go. They’re a staple ingredient in many deliciously sweet recipes such as banana bread, pancakes and muffins. More on bananas coming soon, so stay tuned! Meantime, got a special recipe for bananas? Tell us below or @keepfitkingdom !