Food in the Spotlight

3 Banana Health Benefits You Definitely Should Know About

banana health benefits

Image Source: momlogic.com

Did you know that you will be doing your body a huge favor just by eating one or two bananas a day? If you are not yet aware of it, you need to know that bananas contain many of the essential nutrients our body needs. As such, adding it to your Mediterranean diet can actually be quite beneficial in more ways than one. If you are ready to learn about these amazing banana health benefits, then let’s get started.

Amazing Banana Health Benefits

So, why should you add banana into your Mediterranean diet? Let’s count the reasons why.

Bananas can help improve your cardiovascular health. As numerous studies indicate, bananas contain significant amounts of potassium, an essential mineral that can help prevent high blood pressure and atherosclerosis (the hardening of the arteries). One such study was published in the September 2003 issue of the journal Archives of Internal Medicine.

Based on the results gathered by the researchers from the Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine in New Orleans, people who eat larger amounts of water soluble fiber such as those found in banana have lower risks of coronary heart disease and cardiovascular disease. This particular study was conducted over a 19 year period and involved the participation of about 10,000 American men and women.

By eating a banana a day, you can get as much as 467 mg or about 12% of the recommended daily value for potassium. That alone can spell quite a significant difference in your efforts of keeping your heart healthy.

Bananas can help keep your kidneys healthy. The American Cancer Society predicts that there will be about 65,000 new cases of kidney cancer for the year 2012 alone. They further added that about 14,000 people are expected to die from this disease during the year. These figures are really quite alarming, don’t you think so? However, you can take solace in the fact that you can do something to avoid this life threatening disease. And you can start by adding bananas to your Mediterranean diet.

Among the risk factors that contribute to the development of the disease include high blood pressure and obesity. As such, by eliminating or controlling these factors, you can significantly reduce your risk of kidney cancer, right? Well, that pretty much sums it up.

According to a study conducted at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm and published in the 2005 issue of the International Journal of Cancer, people who are fond of eating fruits and root crops such as bananas, carrots and beets have significantly lower risks of developing kidney cancer as compared to those who do not include such foods in their diets. This particular study found that women who consumed four to six bananas on a weekly basis are about 50% less likely to develop kidney cancer. Now, isn’t that quite impressive?

Bananas can help promote stronger bones. Just how do bananas help build stronger bones? Well, by increasing your banana intake, you are improving your body’s ability to absorb calcium from your diet in more ways than one. For one, banana contains fructooligosaccharide, a nutrient that improves your body’s ability to absorb nutrients (including calcium) from your diet. ¬†Additionally, green bananas contain short chain fatty acids that nourishes the cells found in the linings of the intestines. Both of these actions result in better nutrient absorption.

To prove this fact, a study published in the journal Digestive Diseases and Sciences suggested that adding banana into babies’ diet resulted in a 50% decrease in stool weight, a clear indication that more nutrients are being absorbed from their diets.

So, do you need some more reasons why you should start eating bananas? Do you need some more proof that adding banana into your Mediterranean diet can do you a lot of good? If you are, then you should really keep an eye on this space. For sure, we’ll give you some more banana health benefits in our next posts!

Here’s to your health,

Ray Baker