I’m always surprised by how many people who are concerned about gaining weight won’t eat a banana or use a banana in their smoothie. They would rather opt for yogurt, which has many more calories and is animal-based and comes with a whole host of health effects as a result. Why? Because they believe that the sugars in a banana is too high and fattening for them.
Let’s look at the nutritional information of a single serving of banana:
Serving size = 1 medium sufficiently ripe banana [about 7" long and 126 grams (0.28 pounds) in weight]
Total Fat = 0 g; Cholesterol = 0 g; Calories = 110
Potassium = 400 mg (10% of daily recommended value)
Dietary Fiber = 4 g (16% of daily recommended value)
Sugar = 14.8 g; Protein = 1 g (2% of daily recommended value)
Vitamin C = 16% of daily recommended value
Vitamin B6 = 20% of daily recommended value
For those concerned about the glycemic index of a banana here is more information:
Despite being erroneously called “fattening” and too high in sugar, a small banana only contains about 100 calories, which is not much more than a medium apple. Nor should it raise your blood glucose level too high. (source: American Diabetes Association)
Now let’s look at some of the benefits of bananas.
Bananas contain tryptophan, an aminoacid that can be converted to serotonin, leading
to improved mood.
Bananas are relatively high in iron, which helps the body’s hemoglobin function.
Constipation and Diarrhea
Due to their content in fiber, they help restore a normal bowel function.
Bananas are an exceptionally rich source of fructooligosaccharide, a compound
that nourishes probiotic (friendly) bacteria in the colon. These beneficial bacteria
produce enzymes that increase our digestive ability and protect us from unhealthy
bacteria infections. Thanks to fructooligosaccharides, probiotic bacteria can increase
both in number and functionality, increasing our body’s ability to absorb calcium.
About 190,000 cases of kidney cancer are diagnosed each year. Research published in the International Journal of Cancer has shown that daily consumption of whole fruits and vegetables, especially bananas, is highly protective to kidney health. The results show that, over a long timeframe (13.4 years), women eating more than 2.5 servings of fruits and vegetables per day cut their risk of kidney cancer by 40%. Among the fruits, bananas were especially protective. Women eating bananas four to six times a week halved their risk of developing the disease compared to those who did not eat this fruit.
Bananas are extremely high in potassium (about 4673mg), yet very low in sodium (1mg),
thus having a perfect ratio for preventing high blood pressure.
Bananas have a natural antacid effect in the body, so if you suffer from heartburn,
try eating a banana for soothing relief.
Snacking on bananas between meals helps to keep blood-sugar levels up and avoid
Bananas can also help people trying to give up smoking. They contain vitamins B6 and
B12 as well as potassium and magnesium: these substances help the body
recover from the effects of nicotine withdrawal.
This is the only raw fruit that can be eaten without distress in over-chronicle cases. It also helps reduce acidity and reduces irritation. Bananas stimulate the cells on the internal stomach lining to produce a thicker mucus (which protects against acid).
Additionally, bananas contain protease inhibitors that help eliminate bacteria in the stomach that have been pinpointed as a primary cause of ulcers.
Bananas are high in B vitamins that have been shown to improve nerve function.
Many people report that rubbing the inside of a banana peel on a mosquito bite is
very effective in reducing itching and swelling.
Bananas are high in potassium, which helps normalize the hearthbeat and regulate the
body’s water balance. During periods of high stress, our body’s potassium levels tend to
be rapidly depleted: eating bananas is a healthy way to rebalance them without using drugs.
We can never rely on one fruit or one vegetable to be the wonder cure for all that ails us. It’s all about balance and moderation. It’s all about eating more whole plant based foods and relying less on animal based products and packaged foods. What I hope this shows, is that bananas often needlessly get a bad rap. Perhaps the list of benefits will help change your mind and cause some of you to reconsider introducing bananas into your diet.
- 1 medium zucchini
- 2 cups coconut flour – take coconut flakes and blend in blender until fine like flour – be careful as too much blending will cause it to stick together
- 1/2 cup Lacuma
- 2 bananas
- 1/4 cup ground chia seeds – blend in blender until fine
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ tsp nutmeg
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- ¼ tsp cloves
- Grated peel of one organic orange
Process all ingredients in a food processor. Line a square pan with plastic wrap and then put the mixture into the pan. Freeze for about 1 hour. Dust the top with cacao powder. If you want a chocolate flavour to your banana bread, use 1½ cups of coconut flour and ½ cup of cacao powder. Garnish on a plate with a slice of orange. Store in freezer for up to 3 months.