The Power Of The Banana
I love bananas. I eat at least one every single day. Sometimes, I will eat a second for a mid-day snack. I even bake a mouth-watering banana loaf that my family devours instantly. Are you a banana freak like me? Do you know the power of the banana?
I started to wonder what the benefits of eating bananas really were? I know there are healthy for you. I know they are high in potassium. But! What other benefits do they have?
Goals are like bananas, they come in bunches… Brendan Morrison
After sitting down and reading about bananas I was amazed at the many health benefits to eating one. Not only are they good for your diet and nutrition but they are also good for your mind and soul.
- Help build lean muscle and muscle recovery: If you find your muscles are sore post workout (or not ‘growing’ as fast), you could be low in magnesium – which is in bananas. Bananas aid in muscle contraction, relaxation and protein synthesis which increases lean muscle mass. With potassium a major electrolyte in bananas, this aids in recovery and muscle strength.
- Boost your mood: Yes, bananas look like they are smiling, but they can actually boost your mood. This is because they contain 6% of your daily vitamin B9 (folate) – which may help fight off depression.
- Can lower stress and anxiety: Along with Vitamin B9 (the mood-boosting vitamin), bananas also contain tryptophan – Tryptophan helps serotonin which is the brains most important chemical for natural antidepressant. This means it can help with anxiety, insomnia, fatigue, irritability, anger and aggression. Also in a banana is norepinephrine; which regulates our fight or flight response. In other words, an optimal natural way to regulate stress.
- Can help you sleep: Due to tryptophan in bananas, this also works with melatonin promoting relaxation and sleep regulation.
- Can help with blood pressure: A combination of low sodium and high potassium intake is associated with the lowest blood pressure levels and lowers frequency of strokes.
- Can help in bloating: Fight off gas and water retention with bananas. Studies have shown that women who ate a banana 2x daily as a pre-meal snack for 60 days reduced their belly bloat by 50%. Bananas increase an internal bacteria which fights off bloating and the potassium can reduce fluid retention.
- Can reduce bad cholesterol: Before you reach for your cholesterol medication, try a banana. Bananas contain phytosterols which have LDL (the bad cholesterol) lowering effects. They also contain vitamin B6 which is important for your heart, your immunity, digestion and nervous system function.
- Boost your digestive system: Bananas are an excellent source of prebiotics – the nondigestible carbohydrates that act as food for good guy bacteria (probiotics) and improve digestion because they contain fructooligosaccharides. This then aids in better bowel movements.
- The sugar in bananas is a good source of energy. Runner’s often grab a banana before and after a marathon because they are rich in glucose which is the most easily digestible source of sugar that can provide optimal energy. Eating one post workout can replenish energy stores that were depleted during exercise.
- A natural detox. Banana’s contain pectin which can aid in the detox of the body. Pectin is a gelatin like fiber that can help stick to toxic compounds and flush them out of the body.
Did any of those benefits hit home? You may have already knew about the potassium or the fiber content for your digestive system, but maybe you didn’t know about how they can boost your mood, or help you sleep or better yet – detox your body.
Are you having trouble sleeping?
Are you finding your moods all over the place? Or your anxiety levels heightened?
Are you bloated all the time?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, maybe add a banana or 2 into your daily diet. You just may find over time that you are having more restful sleeps and that you are more calm and less bloated. Your mind and body will thank you for the change.
Add a little yellow into your life, it just may make you smile.