Food and Health

BANANAS: Health Benefits, Ripe Vs Unripe and More

woman_holding_bananas_ health benefits of bananas
woman_holding_bananas_ health benefits of bananas
Image Credit: healthcastle

Banana is not new to anyone. It is variable in size, colour and firmness, but is usually elongated and curved with a firm and creamy flesh. The fruit grows in clusters which contain anywhere from 50 to 150 bananas with individual fruits grouped in bunches, known as “Hands“, containing 10 to 25 bananas. They are grown in at least 107 countries, primarily for their fruit, and to a lesser extent to make fibre, banana wine and banana beer and as ornamental plants.

Aside the health benefits of bananas, the fruit is sweet, handy and able to eat without much fuss. In addition to being eaten raw, bananas are a wonderful addition to a variety of recipes from salads to baked goods. It is highly rich in minerals and vitamins (Vitamin B6, Manganese, Vitamin C, Potassium, Copper, Biotin, iron) and also in fibre. In addition, it is very low in fat and contains a very high calorie.

HEALTH BENEFITS OF BANANAS

When we talk about the  health benefits of bananas, there are so many out there. But here are 5 selected  health benefits of bananas which are far from exaggeration and mere hype:

  1. Reduce Stress: Bananas are a good source of the Amino Acid — Tryptophan which your body converts to Serotonin. This Serotonin helps to reduce stress and improve your mood by producing a calming effect. Not only does this Serotonin reduce stress and improve your mood, it also plays a role in preserving memory. So, go ahead and take bananas daily to preserve your memory and keep up with the daily demand and stress of a student life.
  1. Weight Loss: Finding foods to fit into your weight loss diet can be challenging, but bananas make a perfect fit. Bananas taste sweet and are filling, which helps curb cravings. A 6-inch banana has a minimal 90 calories, about one-fourth of the calories you would get from a chocolate candy bar. Replacing candy bars and other junk foods with bananas is an important step towards losing weight.
  1. Help in Digestion: One banana can provide nearly 10 percent of your daily fibre requirements. This fibre helps bowel movement and prevent constipation. It helps the food you eat move smoothly through the digestive tract and improves elimination. Irrespective of all the foods students tend to consume, eating bananas aids digestion and prevents constipation.
  1. Energy: We all need energy to fuel our day to day academic activities and bananas can also provide that. Researchers have said that bananas are as beneficial as most sports drinks at helping replenish athletes during and after a workout — sciencedaily. The sugars in bananas are better for the body than those found in sport drinks.
  1. Proper Heart Function and Regulate Blood Pressure: According to foodshealingpower, an average-sized banana contains more than 400 mg of Potassium and only 1 mg of Sodium. Potassium is one of the most important electrolytes in the body, and works with Sodium to help regulate heart function and fluid balance — key factor in controlling blood pressure.

Aside the health benefits of bananas that have been listed above, bananas could also be used for other purposes, most especially for skin care.

How is Banana beneficial to the skin?

  1. Serve as skin moisturizer
  2. Help in controlling oily greasy skin
  3. Anti-aging effects
  4. Treats acne
  5. Lightens dark spot

There isn’t enough scientific evidence to support using bananas as anything more than part of a healthy diet. naturalbeautytips has provided guides on how to make various traditional banana face mask for yourself. So eat well and shine bright.

DANGERS OF EATING TOO MUCH BANANAS

Too much of everything is bad and it could kill! This makes excess consumption of banana not an exception. Let’s not forget that Banana contains an amino acid called tryptophan which is also found in Turkey and it’s responsible for making people sleepy at Thanksgiving. This tryptophan produces serotonin which triggers sleepiness. Someone preparing for an exam or a presentation should stay away from excess consumption of bananas.

Excess consumption also triggers the superfluous presence of some minerals and vitamins like: Potassium, Vitamin B6, Iron and Magnesium which according to med-health can lead to:

  • Sleepiness
  • Hyperkalemia
  • Nausea
  • Irregular heartbeats
  • Nervous Disorder

RIPE VS UNRIPE BANANAS

The argument can go on and on about which is better to eat — the yellow ripe or the green unripe banana? I believe most students would go for the yellow ripe one because of its sweet taste. But it would be great to know the benefits that unripe bananas has got to offer.

UNRIPE BANANAS: The green banana might have a bitter taste and waxy texture but it is very high in starch than yellow bananas. If you try to avoid food with high sugar content, green bananas are an option. So those suffering from Type 2 Diabetics can make green bananas a favourite fruit.

RIPE BANANAS: Yellow bananas are sweeter to eat and are easier to digest because the resistant starch had been converted to simple sugar. It also contains higher levels of antioxidants as they ripen. Another interesting fact about fully ripened bananas is that they produce a substance called TNF (Tumor Necrosis Factor). This means that ripe bananas have anti-cancer qualities as they combat abnormal cells. Aside the fact that it might have lost some micro-nutrients in the course of ripening, it is advisable for Type 2 Diabetics and anyone trying to avoid excess sugar to stay away from Yellow bananas.

OTHER WAYS OF EATING AND SERVING BANANAS

Other than the customary “peel and eat”, we can also enjoy bananas in diverse ways:

  1. Chocolate Banana Pancakes
  2. Banana Nut muffins
  3. Banana Chips
  4. Banana milkshake

For more ways, greatist has provided 31 creative ways to cook with bananas.

 

 

Disclaimer: This content provided above is for informational purposes only and it’s not a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

A student, Part-time Blogger, freelance writer and an OAP. Want to know more about me? click my social media links.
4 comments
  1. Kazeem Olabisi

    Hello Abiodun
    You just illuminated me more about banana with this quality information you just shared, though I like banana before now, but after going through this article I’m beginning to like it more because of all this benefits you have highlighted here more so I’m recommending this article for my clients who want to lose weight, because I just discovered banana fruit can play a part in this

    Thanks brother

  2. Oluseye

    If one banana can provide nearly 10 percent of one’s daily fibre requirements, then its a good grab for me. Never knew the benefits attached to the consumption of Banana until now though. Think the last time I took it “for fun” was about years ago. If for one thing, I should try a couple it from now on, to enhance my fitness program as regard number 4 energy option you stated above.

    Thanks Boss

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