If you don’t eat some bananas every day, then allow me to convince you as to why you should consider them. Especially, now that you are planning for your daily, weekly or even monthly diet plan.
Moreover, you may know the silent signs of a heart attack or stroke, but preventing one is another beast altogether. Not forgetting, although exercise and sleep are great habits that reduce your risk, don’t overlook the power of your diet.
According to a recent study, you might want to add bananas and other potassium-rich foods to your plan—and limit these foods cardiologists never eat.
“One analysis published in the Journal of American College of Cardiology in 2011 included data from 11 studies and 250,000 people,” Dr. Baliga says.
“This study reported that an average increase of 1540 mg of dietary potassium per day is linked to a 21 percent reduced risk of stroke.”
How is eating Bananas useful?
Getting enough potassium helps maintain a healthy heartbeat, according to Michelle Routhenstein, MS, RD, CDN, CDE, a preventative cardiology dietitian.
“When potassium is deficient, low levels can cause heart arrhythmias and potentially impair blood flow to the brain, muscles, and organs,” she says.
According to experts, potassium also improves your heart’s function by regulating your heartbeat, digesting carbohydrates, and building muscle.
The combination of these perks could do wonders for your arteries, preventing heart disease and strokes down the road.
Certainly, it won’t hurt to eat potassium-rich foods every day, unless you’ve been instructed to watch your intake. But, we can’t say that one specific food is going to prevent cardiovascular disease.
And generally speaking, that’s why you need to consider the whole diet as well as other risk factors, too.
What are the Benefits of eating Bananas?
In general, Fruits and vegetables contain important vitamins, minerals, plant chemicals as well as fiber. Furthermore, there are many varieties of fruit and vegetables available and many ways to prepare, cook and serve them.
As an example, a diet high in fruit and vegetables can help protect you against cancer, diabetes and heart disease.
In fact, a dietary study, which aimed to determine how the mineral potassium affects blood flow and artery health, examined the case of mice. Who received a diet containing either low, normal, or high levels of potassium.
Overall, mice given a low-potassium diet had much harder arteries than their counterparts. On the other hand, mice who received high levels of potassium, significantly showed less artery hardening and reduced stiffness in their aorta, as well.
Previous studies and data also show that a potassium-rich diet helps lower blood pressure and reduce the risk of heart disease. According to Ragavendra Baliga, MD, a cardiologist at the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center.
However, the University of Alabama study is among the first to investigate the mineral’s impact on artery health.
Below are more tangible facts in pointed from.
Carrots may get all the glory for helping your eyes, but bananas do their share as well. The fruits contain a small but significant amount of vitamin A, which is essential for protecting your eyes.
Maintaining normal vision and improving vision at night, according to the National Institutes of Health.
Vitamin A contains compounds that preserve the membranes around your eyes and are an element in the proteins that bring light to your corneas.
Like other fruits, bananas can help prevent macular degeneration, an incurable condition, which blurs central vision.
Bananas may not be overflowing with calcium, but they are still helpful in keeping bones strong.
According to a 2009 article in the Journal of Physiology and Biochemistry, bananas contain an abundance of fructooligosaccharides.
These are nondigestive carbohydrates that encourage digestive-friendly probiotics and enhance the body’s ability to absorb calcium.
Some evidence suggests that moderate consumption of bananas may be protective against kidney cancer.
A 2005 Swedish study found that women who ate more than 75 servings of fruits and vegetables cut their risk of kidney cancer by 40 percent and that bananas were especially effective.
Women eating four to six bananas a week halved their risk of developing kidney cancer.
Bananas may be helpful in preventing kidney cancer because of their high levels of antioxidant phenolic compounds.
While not exactly a health benefit, a study published by The Royal Society found that the potassium in bananas is correlated with women giving birth to baby boys.
The study looked at 740 women and saw that those who consumed high levels of potassium prior to conception were more likely to have a boy that those who did not.
Bananas may also help prevent gestational diabetes. Lack of sleep during pregnancy can contribute to gestational diabetes, according to a meta-analysis published in Sleep Medicine Reviews.
But, the magnesium and tryptophan in bananas can help ensure a good night’s rest.
Bananas are good for your heart. They are packed with potassium, a mineral electrolyte that keeps electricity flowing throughout your body, which is required to keep your heart beating.
A 2017 animal study conducted by researchers at the University of Alabama found that the potassium in bananas is also linked to arterial effectiveness; the more potassium you have, the less likely your arteries are to harden.
In the study, mice with a lower-potassium diet had harder arteries than mice consuming a normal amount of potassium. Arterial stiffness in humans is linked to heart disease.
Depression & Mood
Bananas can be helpful in overcoming depression “due to high levels of tryptophan, which the body converts to serotonin, the mood-elevating brain neurotransmitter,” Flores said.
Plus, vitamin B6 can help you sleep well, and magnesium helps to relax muscles. Additionally, the tryptophan in bananas is well known for its sleep-inducing properties.
Digestion & Weight
Bananas are high in fiber, which can help keep you regular. One banana can provide nearly 10 percent of your daily fiber requirement. Vitamin B6 can also help protect against Type 2 diabetes and aid in weight loss, according to Flores.
In general, bananas are a great weight-loss food because they taste sweet and are filling, which helps curb cravings. Bananas are particularly high in resistant starch, a form of dietary fiber in which researchers have recently become interested.
A 2017 review published in Nutrition Bulletin found that the resistant starch in bananas may support gut health and control blood sugar. Resistant starch increases the production of short-chain fatty acids in the gut, which are necessary to gut health.
Bananas Revamps Energy
For replenishing energy and electrolytes, bananas can be more effective than sports drinks. A 2012 study published in PLOS One looked at male athletes competing in long-distance cycling races.
They compared athletes refueling with Gatorade every 15 minutes to athletes refueling with a banana and water. Researchers found out that the athletes’ performance times and body physiology were the same in both cases.
But, the banana’s serotonin and dopamine improved the athletes’ antioxidant capacity and helped with oxidative stress, improving performance overall.
Is eating Bananas risky for health?
Bananas are a sugary fruit, so eating too many and not maintaining proper dental hygiene practices can lead to tooth decay. They also do not contain enough fat or protein to be a healthy meal on their own, or an effective post-workout snack.
But, eaten in moderation, there are no significant side effects associated with eating bananas. However, eating the fruits in excess may trigger headaches and sleepiness, Flores said.
She said that such headaches are caused by “the amino acids in bananas that dilate blood vessels.” Overripe bananas contain more of these amino acids than other bananas.
“Bananas can also contribute to sleepiness when eaten in excess due to the high amount of tryptophan found in them,” she said. Magnesium also relaxes the muscles — another sometimes-benefit, sometimes-risk.
Eating bananas becomes significantly risky only if you eat too many. The USDA recommends that adults eat about two cups of fruit a day or about two bananas. If you eat dozens of bananas every day, there may be a risk of excessively high vitamin and mineral levels.
The University of Maryland Medical Center reported that potassium overconsumption can lead to hyperkalemia, which is characterized by muscle weakness, temporary paralysis, and an irregular heartbeat.
It can have serious consequences, but you would have to eat about 43 bananas in a short time for any symptoms of hyperkalemia to occur.
According to the NIH, consuming more than 500 milligrams of vitamin B6 daily can possibly lead to nerve damage in the arms and legs. You would have to eat thousands of bananas to reach that level of vitamin B6.
Important to realize, eating fruits on a daily basis benefit our general health & wellness in a limitless way. Not to mention, the nutrients in fruits are vital for the health and maintenance of our body.
For instance, the potassium in fruit can reduce your risk of heart disease and stroke. Equally, the Potassium in fruits may also reduce the risk of developing kidney stones.
Additionally, eating fruits regularly helps to decrease bone loss as you age. While at the same time, the Folate (folic acid) helps the body form red blood cells.
Here is an exclusive guide on the World’s Topmost Healthiest Fruits and their general nutrition value.
I hope you enjoyed reading the above guide on the benefits and risks of eating bananas. In addition, am hoping that next time you go shopping, you’ll definitely consider them.
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