Bananas: Health Benefits and Risks

It’s difficult to find a better food for your diet than the banana. Scientists have fully researched the health benefits and risks associated with this exotic fruit. We should carefully study this research so that we can consume this tropical delicacy to obtain the maximum benefit to our health.

Chemical Composition

The health benefits and risks associated with bananas as well as other foods are completely defined by their chemical composition. Moreover, since the banana is an exotic fruit and usually travels a long way to get to our kitchen counters, there’s a collection of substances that affect its ripening process.

An average size ripe banana contains:

Chemical composition of banana

  • 15-17 percent of your recommended daily vitamin C intake;
  • 22 percent of your recommended daily vitamin B6 intake — this is important for your metabolism;
  • 8 percent of your recommended daily magnesium intake;
  • 16 percent of your recommended daily manganese intake;
  • 12 percent of your recommended daily potassium intake.

The protein and fat content of a banana is no more than one gram. The primary protein type contained in bananas is tryptophan, which is converted into serotonin — the happiness hormone — once it’s been absorbed by your body.

 

The banana also contains many natural sugars, including:

  • sucrose,
  • fructose,
  • glucose — combined with dietary fiber.

Banana pulp is a great source of catecholamines (serotonin and dopamine) and malic acid. This makes the banana an important food for treating inflammation of mucous membranes in the mouth, stomach and intestines.

Bananas are an irreplaceable form of baby food and also in diets for athletes and people engaging in intense physical and intellectual activities. Bananas have a very high caloric content: 95 kilocalories per 100 grams. Their dietary fiber (pectins) also make them a great source of energy.

Health Benefits

According to nutritionists, the chemical composition of bananas is so well-balanced and harmonized that it’s almost impossible to recreate it naturally or artificially. Consuming bananas regularly, but in moderate quantity, offers great health benefits for the following reasons:

  • Due to its potassium and magnesium content, bananas positively affect our cardiovascular system, nourish and oxygenate brain cells, and normalize our body’s water-sodium balance.
  • Regular banana consumption will help you to quit smoking faster due to their potassium and magnesium content. These micronutrients can help your body overcome the so-called “dependency barrier” more easily.Bananas Health Benefits
  • Thanks to their high content of B vitamins and tryptophan, bananas can help you to overcome nervous tension, reduce stress, and suppress bouts of anger.
  • One to two bananas a day will ensure an excellent mood, as the same tryptophan contained in bananas is transformed into serotonin — the happiness hormone — when it enters the body.
  • Thanks to their high iron content, bananas can help hemoglobin synthesis in your blood.
  • The fiber in bananas can also help to eliminate gastrointestinal tract dysfunction. Bananas are a recommended food if you’re recovering from damage to the mucous membrane of the mouth or digestive tract.
  • Natural sugars make this fruit a quick source of energy. Just a small amount of banana can help counter the effects of excess fatigue and help with intense physical and intellectual activities.
  • Bananas are great for your skin’s beauty and overall health. Their pulp is often used to make nutritious face masks. Applying a little banana pulp to inflamed skin or insect bites will help to reduce itchiness and irritation.

Cautions

Unfortunately, the banana is a fruit that carries certain contraindications. It’s actually possible to harm your body by overeating bananas. Excess bananas can:

  • dehydrate your body and cause thickening of the blood;
  • increase blood viscosity;
  • decrease the blood supply to certain organs and body parts;
    worsen varicose veins and erectile dysfunction.

Consuming bananas is undesirable for patients with thrombophlebitis for similar reasons, including a risk of coronary heart disease and high INR levels (blood coagulation).

They can also cause bloating for some people, and so eating a lot of bananas isn’t recommended for people with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

Bloating

People with increased BMI (body weight) are advised not to consume too many bananas, as they’re a high-calorie food. You don’t need to fully exclude banana from your diet, but you should try to minimize its consumption or comply with your nutritionist’s dietary plan. Artificially ripened bananas promote complex carbohydrates (starch and cellulose) and this conversion can yield a high glycemic index. This makes bananas more harmful to people with diabetes.

Bananas grown artificially in industrial conditions may contain the carcinogens thiabendazole and chloramizole. These are pesticide chemicals used for pest control. According to pesticide production sanitary guidelines, every food is checked for their presence before making it to the store shelves.