Bananas are excellent sources of quick energy, and are often consumed by athletes and sportsmen looking for an instant boost. The most commonly consumed type is the yellow Cavendish, but there are about 400 other types of bananas. Generally, all bananas are available throughout the year, and are excellent low fat and low calorie snacks which have no cholesterol or sodium content. One 118 gram banana can cover for 34% vitamin B6, 17.9% vitamin C, 13.4% potassium, 11.3% percent fiber and 9% manganese of your daily nutritional requirement, as stipulated by the USDA.
Given the lack of sodium and cholesterol and the presence of potassium, bananas are excellent for your heart. Regular intake of the fruit can considerably improve high blood pressure issues, reduce the risk of heart disease, prevent macular degeneration, speed up the metabolism of fat and fill you up longer. Moreover, bananas are very helpful in reducing stomach acidity and killing bacteria which cause ulcers. It is recommended that you eat bananas in combination with a couple other fruits for the best results. If you replace the sugar in your breakfast with bananas, you will not only get the taste, but kick-start your day with the fiber and nutrients that come with it.
The high potassium content in a banana (400mg) is very important for blood sugar regulation. Potassium also plays a very important role in other bodily functions, including the balance of acids and bases, production of proteins and maintenance of electrical activity in the heart. You can easily lose potassium through excessive sweating and exercise, and lack of potassium in the body can lead to muscle cramps and heart related issues.
Bananas are good sources of vitamin B6 and vitamin C, both of which are very important for the body’s healthy functioning. Vitamin C promotes the repair and growth of body tissues and facilitates the absorption of iron. Vitamin B6 boosts the immune system and reduces your chances of cardiac diseases and stroke.
Fiber and Carbohydrates
On average, one banana contains about 3 grams of fiber, which is essential for a healthy digestive system and the prevention of heart diseases. Fiber prevents constipation and the absorption of fats (by binding with bile acids) and helps you feel fuller for longer. 30 grams of carbohydrates are also present in one banana, providing fuel for your muscles. The whole combination of carbs, fiber, starch and sugars makes a banana one of the most nutritious fruits you can eat.