The sweet, sugary and the love of many, health benefits of bananas are super delicious fruits. Loaded with carbohydrates, minerals and fibers these are the superfoods great for your health and body. But are bananas good for you? Dieticians always suggest including bananas in your diet for their numerous benefits.
But many are apprehensive of doing this. Some may think it to be fattening while others consider it to be too sugary affecting health but before you take a decision, know everything about this magical fruit. People always get confused as to whether Bananas are fattening or weight loss friendly. If you too are confused about whether to include them in your diet or not, then here are all the details provided.
Types of Bananas
1. Cavendish Bananas
These are the regular yellow bananas.
2. Apple Bananas
They are from wet tropical forests of Hawaii that are firm, and slightly pinkish.
3. Lady’s Finger Bananas
They are smaller and sweeter than the common Cavendish bananas.
4. Burro Bananas
They are chunkier than the Cavendish bananas and have a balanced taste.
5. Plantain Bananas
These are the cooking bananas grown in many tropical countries.
6. Baby Bananas
They are the small, cute bananas, half the size of the Cavendish bananas.
7. Red Bananas
This delicious variety of bananas found mostly in the US.
Nutritional Facts of Bananas
Bananas are rich in various nutrients which makes them a great food to be included in your diet. While many may consider them to be too sugary but the thing to note is that these contain good carbohydrates that are good for your health.
As opposed to the common myth, calories in bananas are not that high. A medium sized banana contains 105 calories most of which comes from its high carbs content. On the other hand, the content of fiber in bananas is quite high which plays a vital role in regulating your bowel movement and maintaining your digestive health. It also plays an excellent position in preventing diseases related to heart and cancer. You can link the high amount of fiber to increased metabolism and reduced body weight.
The content of carbs in bananas is high. It is present in the form of starch in unripe green bananas and sugars in ripe bananas. The high amount of carbohydrates is not a worry as bananas have a low glycemic index which means that their intake will not cause an immediate spike in the blood sugar level.
Bananas are low on protein and fats, but they are a rich source of several vitamins and minerals. These have a high amount of potassium that plays an active role in controlling blood pressure and maintaining cardiovascular health. These are also a rich source of Vitamin C and B6.
Health Benefits of Bananas
After learning about the nutritional facts of bananas(1), you will now be clear that bananas are much more than just carbohydrates. Your queries regarding are bananas good for you or not or do bananas make you fat would have been solved. Devour this healthy fruit without any worry. Further, mentioned below are the benefits of the amazing fruit:
1. Bananas help in regulating blood sugar level
Bananas come under sweet fruits no doubt, but do you know that these can help in controlling your blood sugar level and prevent sudden hikes in it. Despite being sweet, it does not increase your blood sugar level because the fruit has a low glycemic index, i.e., the consumption of the fruit will not cause an immediate rise in the blood sugar level as expected.
Unripe green bananas are also quite beneficial as they contain a high amount of resistant starch which acts as soluble fiber and evade digestion thus preventing any rise in the sugar level(2).
2. Bananas help in maintaining heart health
Bananas have a high amount of potassium which is a useful mineral for your body. Potassium is known to play a vital role in managing your blood pressure. Bananas can fulfill the potassium requirement of your body thus keeping your blood pressure under check.
Potassium also helps in keeping your heart healthy reducing your risk to various cardiovascular diseases. Bananas are also a great source of magnesium which is also known to maintain the health of your heart.
3. Bananas are a rich source of antioxidants
Bananas are known to contain high amounts of antioxidants that keep you healthy and happy. The presence of antioxidants helps in cleansing your body systems thus keeping you healthy and at bay from various diseases. The high amount of antioxidants keeps you young and active(3).
4. Bananas boost digestive health
As you know, the content of fiber in bananas is high which is one of the primary reasons behind the several health benefits of bananas. The high amount of fiber in the bananas is excellent for your digestive health. It regulates your bowel movement which keeps your digestive system functioning at its best. There are two types of fibers found in bananas pectin and resistant starch. Both of them decrease with the ripening of banana.
5. Bananas maintain the health of your kidneys
Bananas are also known to aid in kidney functioning. The presence of fibers and minerals improves digestion and maintaining blood pressure that helps in the smooth operation of the kidneys. It helps in keeping your organs healthy so that they can work optimally keeping various diseases at bay(4).
Read More: Foods to Maintain for Good Kidney Health
6. Bananas can cure ulcers and heartburn
Studies show that including bananas in your diet can prevent ulcers. Bananas help in maintaining the pH level of your stomach. Further, these are also known to protect the mucus lining.
Eating them on a regular basis can thicken the lining of the mucus thus preventing it from getting damaged due to the action of the hydrochloric acid secreted during digestion. Protease inhibitors found in bananas help in eliminating stomach bacteria that may cause ulcers in the stomach(5).
7. Bananas can help in weight management
Bananas are super fruits with many benefits of which one is weight management. You can very well maintain your weight and health by including them in your diet. The amount of calories in bananas and fibers present in them makes them a filling food which means that consuming them will make you feel fuller for longer. Thus eating them can help in controlling your food cravings and maintain your weight(6).
Recommended Read: Essential Oils for Weight Loss
Are Bananas Fattening or weight loss friendly?
Do bananas make you fat? Do bananas help in weight loss? Should they be included in the diet? Several questions might be popping in your mind. Here are the answers to all your queries that can help you in figuring out whether to include bananas in your diet or not.
Bananas are certainly nutritious. The high amount of fiber, antioxidants and various vitamins and minerals make them great food and a must to be included in your diet. These high on nutrients fruits are a rich source of energy and can help in weight loss as well as weight gain based on the way you consume them.
How to lose weight by eating bananas?
Bananas are weight loss friendly. Well, you may be surprised, but yes the nutrition profile of bananas indicates that they can be an excellent choice for weight loss. You can lose weight by eating bananas as these contain a high amount of fiber which makes you feel fuller for longer.
It means that the satiating fiber content reduces your food craving thus decreasing your appetite. You would consume fewer calories than usual. Lesser calories directly affect your weight. Also increased body metabolism helps regulate the body weight.
How to include bananas in your diet for weight loss?
If you are working towards shedding some pounds then following are the ways how you can include the fruit in your diet to accelerate weight loss owing to the nutritional facts of bananas.
- If you are working out, then have a banana before or after your work-out. Having bananas before a workout is quite beneficial. The high content of carbohydrates will provide you with instant energy and stamina for exercise. You can also eat them after a workout to satiate your hunger. You tend to feel hungrier after a rigorous workout. Bananas with rich fiber will satisfy your craving. Further, the carbs in banana and other nutrients will replenish the loss of energy and other vital nutrients from your body.
- Bananas are a breakfast staple. Include them in your diet and feel energized and fuller for longer.
- Bananas can also help in taming bloating. Thus if you tend to have bloated stomach after meals then include them in your diet.
- If consumed in moderation, bananas can help satiate your hunger and keep you fit. Another point to note is that if you are working towards weight loss then include not more than five bananas per day in your diet.
The Morning Banana Diet
The morning banana diet is a popular diet for weight loss in Japan. It is claimed that, if followed correctly it can help one in losing oodles of weight. The diet plan provided by Sumiko Watanabe and her husband Hamachi is as follows:
- Start your day with a glass of water on an empty stomach. After that, have one banana in your breakfast. If you feel hungry, you can have more but make sure that you do not overeat.
- If you are still hungry, then you can eat something lighter with lesser calories, fifteen to twenty minutes after eating bananas.
- You can have anything for your lunch and dinner but avoid eating fried, junk and processed foods. Also, avoid eating desserts after meals. The diet plan also recommends you to have your dinner before 8:00 pm. Also do not fill your stomach too much. Keep your stomach 80% full.
- The only beverage included in the Japanese diet plan is water. Drink adequate amount of water. Too much water may cause bloating in the stomach. It is a recommendation that you drink water kept at room temperature and in small sips.
- If you feel an urge for having something in between your meals, then you can have light snacks like popcorn. You may also have a banana. Check your fried food intake.
- According to the Morning banana diet, you must have a four-hour gap between your last meal and bedtime.
The diet is claimed to be beneficial for weight loss as including bananas in your breakfast is a healthy choice. The raw bananas are known to contain digestive enzymes that boost your metabolism and improve digestion. Thus, helping with weight loss.
How to include bananas in your diet for weight gain?
Do you know over 150 countries produce bananas, and there are about 1000 types of bananas grouped into 50 categories? Hence they can be used in varied ways. If you are thin, then the most common advice you get is to eat a banana. Many would prefer bananas for weight gain. It is because they contain a right amount of carbohydrates that can help in weight gain if consumed correctly.
If you are trying to gain weight, then the best way to include a banana in your diet is to make a milkshake. Yes, the combination of milk and bananas for weight gain is perfect. You can add nuts and other fruits to the shake to make it much more nutritious. You can also make smoothies that can help in weight gain. As these recipes contain natural sugars of banana and no empty calories, these are quite healthy and assist in healthily gaining weight.
Banana Shake recipe
Banana shakes are delicious and great for gaining weight. Here is an easy to try banana milkshake recipe that can help you in gaining weight.
How to prepare?
- Take a blender
- Add to it one to two sliced bananas and a glass of milk.
- You can add sugar and ice if you wish to.
- Also, add around five almonds
- Blend the contents to obtain a creamy mixture
- Pour the contents into the glass and enjoy the delicious shakes.
- You can add different flavors of ice creams and other nuts to the recipe to make it much more flavorsome
Bananas are incredible fruits with numerous benefits. Like every other fruit, these have a positive influence on your health. Bananas can do wonders for you, no matter whether you consume them for weight loss or weight gain. All they serve to be is a source of various nutrients that are beneficial to you. So, without any second thought, add these to your diet and enjoy their several benefits.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. How many bananas can I consume in a day?
One must consume everything in moderation as too much of it can have an adverse effect. Hence, to enjoy the benefits of banana, it is advised that you must eat them in moderation. What amount you should eat depends on your body’s nutrient requirement. On an average, an adult can have two bananas every day to keep healthy and fit. Overconsumption of the fruit may cause constipation. Also, too high levels of potassium can harm your body.
2. Why is it bad to eat bananas at night?
Bananas are nutritious, but most people avoid eating them at night. The reason behind it is that bananas are known to aggravate a cough and cold especially when eaten before bedtime. Bananas are also heavy, and it takes a lot of time to digest them. These are known to provide high energy which is not a requirement at that time as you wish to sleep and rest your body.
3. Does freezing bananas destroy their nutrients?
Bananas contain water, so when you freeze them, water in the bananas freezes and expands affecting their state. It destroys their nutrient composition too. Using them in frozen form in smoothies changes their original nutrition value. To avoid it you can cool them in the refrigerator but do not let them freeze.