Bananas are a well-loved familiar food, and the yellow fruit’s benefits are numerous. A banana satisfies cravings for high-fat and sugary foods, is low in fat, rich in fiber, and is packed with vitamins and minerals. There are a number of diet plans that focus on bananas. One suggests simply including more bananas in your diet. Not only does a banana a day make you feel full and can ease your craving for sugary and fatty foods, but it can help maintain muscle tone, prevent kidney stones, and improve gut health. Bananas are filled with certain fibers that remain in your intestine and can make you feel fuller for longer.
Some diets suggest eating exclusively bananas and milk for three days to cleanse the body. These diets help detoxify the body and can help dieters lose weight fast. Bananas along with milk provide a wide range of nutrients and fiber that can keep you satisfied and healthy for the time period of the diet and can promote long-term health. Unlike other fruit and juice diets, the fiber content in bananas can prevent dieters from feeling deprived and “empty.” The secret to why these banana diets work so well is in the many health benefits provided by the fruit itself.
1. Rich in Fiber
Bananas, unlike many other fruits, contain fiber and plenty of it. Fiber has been shown to improve gut health and can make dieters feel fuller and prevent binges. Bananas have at least two kinds of fiber that can make the fruit a great choice for weight loss. Unripe bananas contain fiber that remains in the intestine longer than other types, and this can give a feeling of fullness and satisfaction.
In addition, ripe bananas are rich in pectin which can help regulate blood sugar levels. Cravings are often caused by irregularities in blood sugar, and bananas can help you fight temptation.
2. Satisfy Sweet Tooth
If you want something sweet, grab a banana. Although some watery fruits may be very sweet, bananas are more filling than citrus fruits and its effects are felt for longer.
Bananas can also help regulate glucose production to reduce your cravings for sweets. People rush to open candy bars or indulge in cookies and other sweets because they have a depleted, empty feeling.
This is caused by a dip in blood sugar that follows a sudden surge. The pectin in bananas can help slow the release of glucose into the bloodstream and redress the blood sugar imbalance.
3. Rich in Potassium
Potassium is the mineral most closely associated with bananas and is essential for general health. This mineral has a direct effect on every heartbeat because it powers the muscle that allows for the transfer of blood from the heart to the rest of the body.
Potassium also prevents the development of kidney stones, which is the leading urinary tract problem. This mineral is an electrolyte, which maintains a proper fluid balance in the body and fends off dehydration.
It also is essential for a healthy nervous system and can fight anxiety. Athletes like to use bananas as a performance-enhancing food because of their potassium levels.
4. Soothes the Nerves
Bananas are rich in Vitamin B6 which regulates brain and nerve activity.
In addition, the magnesium in bananas can also make you feel less nervous and can promote effective communication among nerve cells. The fruit also has the amino acid tryptophan which generates the hormone serotonin.
This hormone can encourage a good night’s sleep and can give you a relaxed feeling. The soothing effect of bananas is identified as a way of dealing with mood surges, anxiety, and insomnia.
It nourishes the nervous system and prevents hyperreactivity which is often associated with anxiety disorders.
5. Regulates Blood Sugar
This naturally sweet fruit can slow down the release of glucose in the body and can help maintain healthy sugar levels. Even though the fruit does not contain unrefined sugar which is associated with health problems, not all fruits are created equal for those who have insulin insensitivity, are prediabetic, or have type 2 diabetes.
The fiber in bananas prevents glucose from developing too quickly in the body from the sugar in the fruit.
Pectin is responsible for creating this essential delay which is a reason bananas can make a dieter feel less depleted hours later than other types of fruit.
6. Promotes Sleep
If you have difficulty getting a good night’s sleep, you may want to grab a banana. In fact, banana and milk diets contain everything needed to encourage healthy slumber.
Many cases of insomnia are caused by mineral deficiencies, and bananas are filled with potassium, magnesium, and other essential nutrients.
It also has a rich serving of tryptophan which produces the hormone serotonin which can relieve anxiety and help you get to sleep at night. In addition, the positive effect of bananas’ minerals on the nerves can stave off the anxiety that can rob you of sleep.
7. A Good Source of Magnesium
Magnesium is an essential mineral that has an effect on many of the body’s processes. This mineral prevents the development of kidney stones from excess calcium.
It has been shown that those who consume at least one banana a day may have up to a 50% lower chance of developing kidney stones. In addition, magnesium regulates the production of proteins and is responsible for the maintenance of RNA and DNA.
In spite of the importance of this mineral, around half of adults do not get enough magnesium in their diets. Bananas can help prevent magnesium deficiency.
8. Provides Benefits for Athletes
Athletes often use bananas to replenish themselves after a game or event and as an important part of the training table. Bananas contain potassium that can help regulate heart rate and are high in glucose which can enhance athletic performance and provide fuel.
It also has enough fiber to prevent glucose from being released too quickly in the body but gives a consistent dose of energy. Potassium is also an electrolyte that regulates fluid levels and prevents dehydration.
In addition, the potassium in bananas has been shown to ease muscle cramps that can result from strenuous activity such as long-distance running and weightlifting.
9. Rich in Antioxidants
You may have heard about antioxidants and their ability to slow aging and prevent degeneration of the body’s cells.
Antioxidants protect against free radicals produced by chemicals and toxins in the body that can cause premature aging, the decay of tissues, and can increase the likelihood of developing a number of serious illnesses.
The antioxidants provided by bananas are dopamine and catechins. The latter group of antioxidants protects the heart and can reduce the likelihood of heart attacks and strokes.
10. Makes You Feel Full
Bananas are ideal for diets because they fill you up, unlike many other fruits. Although fruit juice fasts can have detoxifying benefits, they can leave dieters to feel depleted and can cause an increase in cravings.
Bananas are rich in fiber that fills the stomach and can prevent the desire to indulge in high fat and sugary foods. The type of fiber in bananas stay in the intestine longer than other kinds of fiber and can aid the digestive tract as well.
Bananas are often used as substitutes for oil, eggs, and sugar in baking, and for good reason–the smooth, creamy texture of bananas and sweet flavor is inherently satisfying.