Bananas and Its Effect On Your Health
Bananas are all around us; It is the crowd favorite everywhere in the world. In continents like Asia (there are just too many bananas), America, Europe, even Australia, bananas are very well-liked and favored. A banana is an elongated fruit that varies in color (it ranges from green to yellow, some are red) and tastes to those who don’t know. They come from a family of Musa plants, which are natives of Southeast Asia and grown in many of the warmer areas in the world (Arnarson, 2019). It is rich in numerous vitamins and minerals that immune us from harmful diseases and keep us hydrated. There are many kinds of research out there that proves banana’s effectiveness to ward off or to help us fight some deficiencies.
Listed below are the Vitamins and Minerals present in a piece of banana:
Carbohydrates and Sugars
Banana is an excellent source of Carbohydrates. Unripe bananas have more starch (since it is its main component), it makes up 80% of its weight. The starch is considered the source of carbohydrates in unripe ones and sugars (starch is converted to sugar when it is ripening) for the sweet and ripe bananas.
The most common type of sugars found in a single banana piece is sucrose, fructose, and glucose.
Banana has a low Glycemic Index (GI) of 42-48, depending on the fruit’s ripeness. The Glycemic Index (GI) of food gives you an idea about how fast your body absorbs the carbs and converts them to glucose. Low GI can help you reduce weight, reduce blood sugar levels, and lower the risks of cardiovascular diseases and type 2 Diabetes.
Banana’s high content of resistant starch and fibers explains why it has a low Glycemic Index (GI).
A single piece of banana has 3.1 grams of total fiber and 0.6 gram of soluble fiber. Soluble fiber helps lower cholesterol levels, control blood sugar levels, and aids in having a healthy weight. It also benefits our gut health. Soluble fiber helps create this type of gel, which slows down digestion and keeps us feeling full. And it helps maintain and normalize our bowel movements.
Bananas are a good source of resistant starch as well, which are resistant to digestion. This resistant starch is a starch that our bodies can’t digest, which helps slow down our digestion and has a minimal effect on the blood sugar level. Our gut bacteria ferment it, making fatty acids that are the energy source for our colon cells.
Bananas are well-known for their high potassium content. One medium-sized banana contains 422 mg of potassium, 9% of the AI or Adequate intake for potassium, which is 4,700 for healthy individuals.
Potassium is an essential mineral to keep our body going. Since the body cannot produce such minerals, we must get them from the foods we eat. Potassium helps regulate our fluid balance, nerve signals, and muscle contractions. It also helps to counteract the effects of sodium, maintaining the consistency of the blood pressure. Aside from that, potassium supports our cardiovascular health and bone strength.
Aside from that, bananas are also rich in:
Bananas contain Dopamine and Catechins, which are potent antioxidants for our body. Dopamine helps you lose weight, makes you feel alive, is superb for your memory, and counteracts depression. However, dopamine found in bananas are not really the type that helps lift our moods; instead, it acts as an antioxidant. While Catechins are really the natural antioxidants; it helps prevent cell damage and reduce the formation of free radicals (plays a role in aging and many types of diseases) in the body.
Antioxidants ward off harmful bacteria and prevent diseases from damaging our bodies.
The resistant starch and pectins (soluble gelatinous polysaccharide) found in bananas act as the prebiotic nutrients in our body that help and support beneficial gut bacteria’s growth and boost the immune system. Foods that have prebiotics in them have been shown to improve metabolic health and prevent certain diseases.
It has been found out that bananas promote colon health!
There are many health benefits packed in a single piece of banana. However, it also has its downsides. Bananas should be removed or at least lessen the intake of bananas from the diet of those people who have Type 2 Diabetes. There are mixed opinions about it; however, we should take precautions because possibilities are still inevitable.
Just like every other food, everything is good but in moderation.