Look Good & Feel Great At Any Age

Jane Iredale

Nutrition, Wellbeing

10 Incredible Benefits of Bananas

You know that bananas lower your blood pressure, but these sweet yellow fruits offer other amazing health benefits. Here’s why you should bake ’em, blend ’em, and add them to your regular meals.

10-incredible-health-benefits-of-bananas

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1. They Relax Blood Vessels

Research has shown that eating bananas in your daily diet can decrease your risk of dying from a stroke by up to 40 percent! This is because their potassium relaxes blood vessels, preventing them from being constricted so that better blood flow is encouraged. Potassium also helps to flush out sodium in urine, which lowers blood pressure, a common cause of strokes.

2. They Make You Cycle Faster  

A study found that when people ate half a banana every 15 minutes while cycling it gave them the same boost of energy as drinking a carbohydrate-rich sports drink. When snacking on bananas to fuel your energy at the gym, don’t forget to take a sniff. Research has found that smelling bananas can fool your brain so that it thinks you have eaten them, thus reducing your appetite.

3. They Protect Against Ulcers

Bananas thicken the stomach’s mucous membrane so that it is protected against acid that can cause ulcers. This is thanks to their compound called Leucocyanidin. Since stress can lead to ulcers, be sure to bite into a banana when you’re feeling overwhelmed.

10-incredible-health-benefits-of-bananas

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 4. They Make You Smile

Feeling blue? Eat a banana. Since they contain an essential amino acid called Tryptophan, bananas produce serotonin, a hormone known for boosting your mood. It’s worth it because feeling happier prevents depression-related health issues such as a weakened immune system.

5. They Blast Abnormal Cells

You might turn your nose up at ripe bananas, but eat them instead of throwing them out as they can prevent cancer. A study from the University of Tokyo found that the brown spots which appear on bananas when they ripen create a substance known as Tumor Necrosis Factor. This disintegrates cancer, as well as other abnormal, cells.

6. They Control Unhealthy Bacteria that Cause Illness

Don’t underestimate the power of your gut. If it’s overflowing with unhealthy bacteria, it can lead to gastrointestinal issues as well as inflammation in the body. You need to balance out the bacteria, allowing healthy ones to flourish and keep you healthy. Probiotics, found in live cultures of healthy bacteria, help to do this. But prebiotics are the carbohydrates that your body needs to ensure these healthy bacteria thrive and bananas are a natural source of them.

7. They Send that Nasty Hangover Packing

When you’re experiencing hangover symptoms, make a refreshing banana smoothie. This fruit fights hangover symptoms, such as nausea and headaches, that can be caused by dehydration and the loss of potassium through urination.

8. They Clear Your Skin

If your skin is dry, mashing a banana and applying it to your face will nourish your skin naturally so that it’s velvet-soft while also giving it a lovely glow. If you also need to brighten up some dark spots, banana peels can help because they’re natural skin brightening agents thanks to their Vitamin C content, so gently rub the inside of the peel over your skin. These peels are also great to soothe skin rashes, by the way!

10-incredible-health-benefits-of-bananas Image courtesy of Shutterstock

9. They Ease a Sore Stomach

When you’re feeling sick with a stomach virus or indigestion, you usually don’t feel like eating much. Bananas are a great food to reach for, though, because they boost your body’s intake of essential A, B, and C vitamins, while containing carbohydrates that are easy to break down and therefore much gentler on your stomach.

10. They Help You See

Vitamin A is essential for healthy eyes while also lowering your risk of night blindness. A small banana contains almost 10 micrograms of this essential vitamin, but its alpha- and beta-carotene content get converted into Vitamin A in the body, too. When it comes to dry eyes, bananas can also help. Once again, it’s thanks to their potassium. Too little of this nutrient can lead to eyes feeling dry, irritated, or gritty.

Eat more bananas to boost your health but don’t get bored of them. Use them creatively in sandwiches (they’re delicious with peanut butter), cereals, smoothies, or bake them in bread.

 

Contributed by the talented Cassie Brewer

#bananas #wellbeing #vitality #wellnesswednesday

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