The benefits of eating bananas are often overlooked. Here are some good reasons why eating a banana a day might not be such a bad thing, after all!
1. Rich in Vitamin C
When you think of Vitamin C, oranges and strawberries might be the first fruits that come to mind. But a full serving of bananas provides a whopping 15 per cent of the daily requirement for this essential nutrient. Vitamin C is an important antioxidant that neutralises harmful free radicals in the body. Free radicals are uncharged atoms, molecules or ions (the “bad guys”) that are constantly destroying cells in your body. Vitamin C also aids in keeping blood vessels healthy and produces collagen that holds muscles, bones and other tissues together.
2. Fight anemia
Since bananas are high in iron, consuming them can stimulate production of haemoglobin in the blood and help fight anemia. Anemia is a condition where there is a decrease in the number of red blood cells or haemoglobin in the blood, leading to fatigue, paleness and shortness of breath.
Moreover, Vitamin B6 present in banana regulates blood glucose levels, which can also help those suffering from anemia.
3. Suppresses hunger pangs
This happens not merely because eating bananas makes you feel full for longer, but also due to their pleasant smell. That’s right, the scent of bananas can apparently suppress appetite and hunger pangs. According to a study by Dr Alan Hirsch of the Smell and Taste Treatment and Research Foundation in Chicago, smelling bananas when you are hungry can trick your brain into thinking that you’ve actually eaten them.
4. Mood lifters
A medium-size banana provides about 27 mg magnesium. This mineral can help boost your mood and aid good sleep. Men and women need 420 mg and 320 mg of magnesium per day respectively. If you’re low on magnesium, you’re likely to suffer from anxiety, irritability, depression and other disorders.
Since many of us don’t get enough magnesium in our diets, consider eating a banana next time you’re looking to munch something at 3 pm. It will fill you up and leave you feeling positive.
5. Improves the condition of the gastro-intestinal tract
Since bananas are relatively easy to digest, they are considered good for the human gastrointestinal tract, or GI tract. In fact, bananas not only ease digestive strain, they also soothe the digestive tract and help restore lost minerals after diarrhoea. That is why they are among the first solid foods introduced to babies.
This is also one of the reasons bananas make up part of the clinical BRAT diet – bananas, rice, applesauce and dry toast – that dietitians use to treat acute diarrhoea.