Bananas are one of nature's great snack foods, but did you know that they're also packed with health benefits? Most of us know they're a great source of potassium but I'm going to share some of the more surprising banana health benefits.
Potassium is an essential mineral which maintains proper heart function and regulates your blood pressure. Potassium-rich foods such as bananas actually offset the effect of sodium (salt) in raising your blood pressure. This, along with a healthy diet and lifestyle, lowers your risk of heart attack and stroke.
2. Increased Energy
Sports drinks, energy bars and electrolyte gels are extremely popular nowadays, however you often see professional athletes eating bananas just before and even during their sports.
3. Improved Digestion
Most of us don't get nearly enough fiber in our diets. Fiber is needed to help food travel smoothly through the digestive tract. It also improves your bowel movements. Bananas are a great source of dietary fiber.
4. Cure for Ulcers & Heartburn
Bananas are a known cure for heartburn. They help balance your stomach's pH and enhance the protective mucus layer, relieving pain. The fiber content also moves food through your digestive tract faster - preventing reflux.
5. Vitamin B6
Bananas are particularly high in vitamin B6. This vitamin is important for creating hemoglobin for healthy blood. Just one banana has a full fifth of your recommended daily intake of vitamin B6. And they taste much better than vitamin pills too! (source)
6. Skin Conditions
Even the banana's skin has its uses. It is great for treating skin conditions like psoriasis and acne. The fatty acid content of the banana skin helps relieve a variety of skin conditions, as well as having a strong moisturising effect.
7. Other Vitamins & Minerals
In addition to the high levels of potassium and vitamin B6 mentioned above, bananas also have high levels of vitamin C, magnesium and manganese.
8. A Cancer Fighter
A recent research linked bananas that are fully ripe (with dark spots) to production of a compound called TNF–a, i.e a cytokine believed to have the potential to increase white blood cell count, thus enhancing your immunity and combating cancerous cell changes.
9. Improves Mood and Reduces Stress
Bananas are a good source of the amino acid tryptophan which your body converts to serotonin. Proper serotonin levels help improve your mood, reduce stress and enhance your general outlook and happiness levels. It also helps regulate your sleep patterns.
10. Hangover Cure
Bananas are a great choice for mornings when you've overdone it a bit the night before. A couple of bananas blended with ice, berries and coconut milk or cow's milk makes a really good hangover recovery drink.