Here’s everything you need to know about banana benefits, including how they aid in metabolism, hydration, energy, digestion, and more. Bananas, also known as the yellow-peeled fruit that sits on your kitchen counter until it’s far too brown, are a contentious fruit. Many people avoid bananas because they contain more carbohydrates and sugars than most other fruits. Yes, bananas are one of the sugariest fruits, but that doesn’t mean you should avoid them.
Bananas should be included in a healthy, balanced, produce-rich diet. There are numerous nutritional banana benefits you may not be aware of, such as its fiber-boosting fiber and hydration-supporting potassium content. Continue reading for some compelling reasons to make bananas a regular part of your diet.
Bananas are high in potassium, an electrolyte. Bananas are high in potassium, a mineral that is necessary for many bodily functions. “One of the primary reasons we require potassium is to maintain fluid balance in our bodies,” says Jen Silverman, a nutritionist and holistic health coach. “Potassium has also been linked to lower blood pressure, bone strength, and proper muscle function.”
Bananas are high in fiber, which promotes proper digestion and metabolism.
According to Zuckerbrot, “bananas contain soluble fiber, which swells like a sponge in the stomach, giving food a jelly-like bulk that makes you feel full.” “Soluble fiber binds to calories and fat in the stomach and intestines, pulling them out of the body before they enter the bloodstream. It maintains blood glucose levels, provides sustained energy to your body, and aids in regular bowel movements.”
Many people may feel constipated after eating bananas because fiber requires water to do its job—eating a fiber-rich diet necessitates drinking at least 2 liters of water per day. According to Silverman, you should also consider how ripe the banana is. “Unripe bananas—those that are greenish-yellow in color—can cause constipation, whereas ripe[r] bananas can alleviate it,” Silverman explains. This is because unripe bananas have more starch and riper bananas have more fiber.
Bananas are high in vitamin B6.
Zuckerbrot also mentions that, among other things, this yellow fruit is high in vitamin B6. One medium-sized banana contains about a quarter of your daily vitamin B6 requirements, which is important for many bodily functions, including metabolism.
Bananas are a natural, healthy source of carbohydrates that are great for post-workout energy and recovery. “Bananas are high in carbohydrates and provide fuel for workouts,” Zuckerbrot says. “They may also aid in the reduction of exercise-related muscle cramps and soreness.” Zuckerbrot cites a study published in the Journal of Proteome Research in which 20 male cyclists drank only water with pears or bananas after fasting overnight before cycling at high intensity the next day. Those who drank water with fruit recovered 50% faster than those who drank only water with no fruit; they were also faster and had more energy.
Bananas are inexpensive and widely available.
If you’re on a tight budget, bananas are an inexpensive fruit option because you can easily choose non-organic varieties. Cole explains, “They have a thick peel to help protect the edible part from pesticides.” As a result, they’ve never made the Environmental Working Group’s Dirty Dozen list, so splurging on organic isn’t necessary.