When it comes to bananas, it’s yellow, yellow awesome fellow!
Among the most appealing fruits worldwide and one of my favorites, the banana could be the perfect food for kickstarting your day with instant energy.
We all know how nutritious bananas are! They have a wide range of health benefits, including some antioxidant properties.
Banana’s scientific name is Musa. They arefrom the Musaceae family.
Banana meaning in Hindi is kela.
Bananas vary in shape and size but are usually elongated and curved.
There is a banana variety called plantains, which is cooked. The banana we’re talking about in this article is the regular sweet one, a dessert banana.
Bananas are mostly sweet, though some varieties have a slightly sour taste. I think the name “dessert” is perfect as its delicious taste gives it a special place in many desserts.
When we talk about bananas, questions may arise. Can a person with diabetes eat bananas? Are bananas good for weight loss, etc.?
This article will help clear your doubts. We will discuss:
- Banana Nutritional Value
- Banana Health Benefits
- How Many Bananas in a Day To Lose Weight?
- How to Add Bananas to Your Diet
- Banana Safety Concerns
- Conclusion and My Recommendation
Banana Nutritional Value
To know your daily quota of each nutrient, you may check this1<https://health.gov/our-work/food-nutrition/2015-2020-dietary-guidelines/guidelines/appendix-7/> link.
Banana GI Index
Is banana good for people with diabetes?
First, let’s know what glycemic index (GI) is.
The GI index is a ranking system from 0 – 100, where foods are given a rank based on how quickly they raise blood sugar after eating them.
The GI index of a ripe banana is 51, and it’s 30 for an unripe banana. Both low GI, meaning bananas will not raise blood sugar significantly.2<http://glycemicindex.com/foodSearch.php?num=34&ak=detail> 3<http://www.glycemicindex.com/foodSearch.php?num=35&ak=detail>
This suggests that people with diabetes can eat bananas.
Nevertheless, considering it is a sugary food, I recommend talking to your doctor before eating bananas.
If your blood sugar stays high, I suggest avoiding bananas.
Banana Health Benefits
May Aid Weight Loss and Digestive Health
Many studies say fiber intake from vegetables and fruits like bananas has a positive effect on weight loss. 4<https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/20022464/> 5<https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/12620529/> 6<https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23885994/>
Unripe bananas are rich in resistant starch, a type of fiber that gives a sense of fullness after eating, thus reducing appetite. 7<https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24499148/> 8<https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19857367/>
Our body cannot digest resistant starch. It arrives in the large intestine and becomes food for beneficial bacteria in our gut, hence it boosts digestive health.9<https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/11427691/> 10<https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/11709851/>
Moreover, banana’s sweet taste makes it a fantastic food for weight loss as its taste helps satisfy cravings for sweets.
Bananas have relatively few calories. A medium-sized banana has just over 100 calories.
Even though banana is a weight-loss-friendly food, remember, no food can singlehandedly help you manage weight. It is essential to keep track of your daily calories.
Regular physical activities and a balanced diet are the keys to weight loss. Bananas can support your journey.
May Promote Heart Health
Bananas are full of potassium. A potassium-rich diet is connected to lower blood pressure, which reduces the risk of heart disease and stroke.11<https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21403995/> 12<https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25190445/> 13<https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/9168293/> 14<https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21371638/>
Bananas also have a decent amount of magnesium to help with heart health.
Magnesium deficiency is related to several chronic heart diseases, including hypertension and hyperlipidemia.15<https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/11811859/>
A Fabulous Exercise Partner
I am terming banana an exercise partner because it is a favorite foods for athletes.
Bananas provide quick energy. They have a high mineral content and easily digestible carbs.
May Reduce the Risk of Cancer
A 13-year-long study of women revealed that those who consumed 75 servings of vegetables and fruits per month cut their chances of having kidney cancer by 40%.
In this study, among fruits, bananas showed the most positive effect. Their rich antioxidant content may be the reason. 16<https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/15455348/>
Banana has a vast amount of vitamin B6.
A meta-analysis of 12 studies found that those with the highest blood levels of vitamin B6 had a 49% lower chance of developing colorectal cancer.17<https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/20233826/>
How Many Bananas in a Day To Lose Weight?
Whether you want to lose, gain, or maintain weight, balance and diversity are important.
Our bodies need many nutrients for healthy living, and we know banana alone cannot nourish us.
There is no rule for the number of bananas to eat daily. It depends on our unique calorie and nutrient requirements, keeping daily carb intake in mind.
Let’s talk about weight loss in particular.
There is a specific number of calories we need to consume daily to maintain our current weight, called maintenance calories.
To lose weight, you need to eat less than your daily maintenance calories.
You can easily calculate your calorie needs based on your goals using the TDEE calculator.
If you are healthy, you can have as many bananas as you like provided you are not exceeding your calorie requirements or ignoring other needed foods and nutrients.
That said, one to two bananas a day is a moderate intake for most healthy people.
Remember to include various fruits and vegetables, healthy fats, lean protein, and complex carbs in your diet.
How to Add Banana to Your Diet
Banana is a convenient food that is easy to add to your diet. There are innumerable ways to do this. Here are a few:
- Eat them raw after removing the peel.
- Add sliced banana to your morning cereal, yogurt, or oatmeal. If you read my article on oats, you know what I do to make a tasty-wholesome breakfast.
- Make banana cake.
- Make a banana milkshake. These days I have switched to banana milkshakes. I blend 250 ml (around one cup) of milk, a banana, and two scoops of whey. It’s yummy, yet super healthy.
There are a plethora of banana recipes. You can select a healthy one from ChooseMYPlate18<https://www.choosemyplate.gov/myplatekitchen/recipes?search=bananas&items_per_page=20&sort_bef_combine=search_api_relevance_DESC&f%5B0%5D=program%3A128>, a US government website.
Banana is a super versatile food. You can find your unique way of enjoying them too.
Banana Safety Concerns
Banana is safe to eat in moderation for most of us. But, here are certain side-effects people may face eating banana:-
- Allergy: Itching, skin rashes, breathing difficulty, swelling, and wheezing after eating bananas.
- Beta-blockers: If you take beta-blocker medicines and you have kidney dysfunction, you may face significant problems because beta-blockers can increase your blood potassium-levels, and if your kidney cannot remove excess potassium from your blood, it could be lethal.
- Migraine: Although it’s uncommon, for some people, bananas may activate migraines.
Remember, the ideas in this article are not a substitution for medical advice. If you have health concerns, it’s best to talk to your doctor before adding any food to your diet.
Conclusion and My Recommendation
I am sure you have gained useful knowledge about bananas.
They possess antioxidant properties.
Bananas have an adequate amount of minerals, potassium and magnesium in particular, that support heart health.
Their fiber content helps boost digestion and weight loss, and you get the benefits of resistant starch when you eat unripe bananas.
Research shows that eating bananas with other fruits and vegetables as part of your regular diet may lower your cancer risk.
For those exercise regularly, bananas are a blessing.
However, one should seek medical advice under certain conditions.
Eaten in moderation, bananas are safe for individuals with diabetes.
For healthy individuals, I recommend eating banana regularly as part of a healthy diet.
So, my friends, “go bananas!”
What do you think of this article? Have any questions? Let me know in the comments below!
Sources & References