How Healthy Bananas Really Are?

February 21, 2019


Bananas are among the most consumed fruits in the world. And not for nothing. They promote cardiovascular and digestive health. But, consumed in excess, are bananas still healthy? Americans consume more bananas than apples and oranges together. Under these circumstances, the question is not surprising: how healthy are bananas? These fruits are preferred by many people for snacks between main meals, being nourishing, easy to transport and consumed. 

Bananas are recognized for their high fiber and potassium content, being a fair and nutritious fruit. It is a good option for snacks between meals as it gives satiety and prevents you from making culinary excesses when you feel the hunger.

Bananas are known to be healthy because they have a lot of potassium and fiber. Potassium helps maintain cardiovascular health and fiber is useful for healthy digestion. Potassium works together with sodium to regulate the body’s water balance and normalize heart rate. Mineral acts inside cells and sodium only outside. Nervous and muscular functions are impaired when sodium-potassium balance is impaired. Hypoglycemia – low blood sugar – leads to potassium loss, as well as prolonged fasting and severe diarrhea. Mental and physical stress leads to a deficiency of potassium.

What most people do not know is that well-baked bananas (those with black spots) have more health benefits than unripe bananas (of a pale yellow). After several research, Japanese scientists have shown that ripe bananas are very beneficial in the fight against cancer. This is due to the fact that they lead to a strengthening of the immune system and the growth of white blood cells.

A ripe banana also contains a tumor necrosis factor, which is actually a substance produced by the fruit in order to prevent oncological conditions. In addition, it is recommended that you eat bananas with brown spots because they have much more protein. Choosing the right banana has more health benefits. When it comes to heart health, bananas are an excellent source of potassium. This mineral improves the health of the heart and balances blood pressure. A daily intake of 1.3-1.4 grams of potassium is recommended to reduce the risk of heart disease by 26%. 

How many bananas is healthy to eat?

Although no daily potassium dose has been established, it is considered that between 4.7 grams is a daily intake for a healthy adult. An average size banana contains 450 milligrams of potassium. So if you like bananas you can get the whole dose of potassium by eating ten fruits every day. How is this mineral-wonder doing? Potassium helps the brain get more oxygen, lowers blood pressure and reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke.

At the same time, it helps the organism to eliminate waste. People who drink a lot of coffee may find themselves in a state of tiredness because of potassium loss. Increasing potassium intake while reducing sodium intake may be helpful in reducing the incidence of cardiovascular disease. Bananas also contain important amounts of vitamin B6, vitamin C, vitamin A and magnesium. Bananas reduce the risk of colorectal cancer, breast cancer and renal cell carcinoma.

How healthy are bananas eaten in excess?

On the other hand, bananas contain higher carbohydrates compared to other fruits – 23 grams per 100 grams – so, in excess, bananas bring a great deal of calories. People with renal insufficiency should not eat foods rich in potassium. Normally, excess potassium is excreted by the kidneys. If the kidneys do not work properly and can not remove excess potassium from the blood, it can be fatal.

Beta-blockers, commonly prescribed medications for heart disease, can cause increases in potassium levels in the blood, so bananas should be eaten moderately by these patients. Likewise, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and diuretics may cause elevations in potassium levels.

Bananas can trigger migraines in some people, so for those experiencing frequent headaches it is advisable not to consume more than half a banana a day. Allergies can also be triggered by banana consumption. Signs of banana allergy include itching in the mouth and throat, urticaria and inflammation. Excess fiber can cause bloating, gas and intestinal cramps.

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