Is Banana Good for Health?
According to various researches,
consuming potassium-rich foods help in lowering blood pressure. Bananas are
extremely rich in potassium and low in sodium. According to the FDA, diets rich
in potassium and low in sodium may reduce the risk of high blood pressure,
heart disease and stroke.
Listed below are the possible
health benefits associated with bananas. It is important to note that
more high-quality studies are required before these health benefit
links are proved definitive.
1. Blood pressure
Maintaining a low sodium intake
is essential to lowering blood pressure, however increasing potassium intake
may be just as important because of its vasodilation effects. According to the
National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, fewer than 2% of US adults
meet the daily 4700 mg recommendation.
Also of note, a high potassium
intake is associated with a 20% decreased risk of dying from all causes.
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Bananas are high in potassium
and contain good levels of protein and dietary fiber. Bananas are rich in a mineral
called potassium. This mineral is important as it helps maintain fluid levels
in the body and regulates the movement of nutrients and waste products in and
out of cells.
Potassium also helps muscles to
contract and nerve cells to respond. It keeps the heart beating regularly and
can reduce the effect of sodium on blood pressure.
Potassium may reduce the risk
of kidney stones forming as people age. In turn, healthy kidneys make sure that
the right amount of potassium is kept in the body.
One medium-sized banana
contains 422 milligrams of potassium. It is best to try to get potassium from
dietary sources such as bananas.
3. Nutritional profile
One serving of banana is
considered to be about 126 grams. One serving of banana contains 110 calories,
30 grams of carbohydrate and 1 gram of protein. Bananas are naturally free of
fat, cholesterol, and sodium 2.
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Bananas Provide a Variety of Vitamins and Minerals:
Vitamin B6 - 0.5 mg
Manganese - 0.3 mg
Vitamin C - 9 mg
Potassium - 450 mg
Dietary Fiber - 3g
Protein - 1 g
Magnesium - 34 mg
Folate - 25.0 mcg
Riboflavin - 0.1 mg
Niacin - 0.8 mg
Vitamin A - 81 IU
Iron - 0.3 mg
The recommended intake of
potassium for adults is 4,700 milligrams per day.
How to Include Banana in Diet
Add a sliced banana to your morning cereal or oatmeal for a more
are available year-round. Unlike other fruits, the ripening process of bananas
does not slow down after they are picked. Bananas should be stored at room
The warmer the
temperature, the faster bananas will ripen. However, to slow ripening, bananas
should be refrigerated. The outer peel of the banana will darken but the banana
itself will stay intact longer.
faster ripening, place the banana in a brown paper bag at room temperature.
Add a sliced
banana to your morning cereal or oatmeal for a more nutritious breakfast.
ripe mashed bananas can be used in baked goods to replace oil or butter. Mashed
bananas lend a moist, naturally sweet flavor to muffins, cookies,
Peel and freeze
bananas for a great addition to any smoothie.
banana to your morning cereal or oatmeal, or take a banana with you on your way
to work or school for a healthy, portable snack.
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Banana Side Effects
Beta-blockers, a type of
medication most commonly prescribed for heart disease, can cause potassium
levels to increase in the blood. High potassium foods such as bananas should be
consumed in moderation when taking beta-blockers.
Consuming too much potassium
can be harmful to those whose kidneys are not fully functional. If
your kidneys are unable to remove excess potassium from the blood, it could be
Dr. Peter S. Gelfand, who
practices Internal Medicine in Long Beach NY, says:
"Certain medications used
for heart disease and hypertension have the potential to increase potassium
levels. Examples include certain beta-blockers such as Labetalol, medications
that work by blocking the actions of the hormone aldosterone such as Lisinopril
and Losartan, and certain diuretics like Spironolactone and Eplerenone. This is
a partial list only, and you should consult with your doctor if potassium
levels become a concern."
Some people may have an allergy
to bananas. If anyone with a banana allergy eats a banana, they may experience
symptoms in the mouth and throat such as itching, hives, swelling,
Bananas may trigger migraines
in some people. People who often experience migraine headaches are advised to
eat no more than half a banana daily.
Bananas also contain a lot of
fiber. Eating too much fiber can lead to bloating, gas, and stomach cramps.