5 Reasons Bananas are Better Than You Think
By Stacy Kennedy, MPH, RD, CSO, LDN; Reboot Nutritionist
In our current health conscience climate, sugar is the enemy and veggies are king. While added sugars, refined sugars and too much all together can certainly be damaging to health like increased risk of obesity, diabetes and even linked with increased risk of certain types of cancers, natural sugars in fruit aren’t the same story. Bananas are often blamed for many things – namely having too much sugar and being constipating. Often, they’re avoided or consumed as a guilty pleasure.
But bananas are better than you think. They actually contain important nutrients and can absolutely fit in a well-balanced, plant-based diet. Let’s take a closer look at this staple that we love and hate. Here are the top 5 reasons bananas still rule.
- Bananas are a good source of potassium.
A medium banana contains about 10% of your daily potassium requirement. Potassium, especially from fruits and vegetables, is important for helping to keep blood pressure in a healthy range. Potassium is an electrolyte and essential to consume when exercising and when you’re on a juice-only Reboot.
- Bananas are a good source of fiber.
Increasing fiber intake is helpful for many aspects of wellness, including appetite and weight control, protection against cardiovascular disease, diabetes and colorectal cancer risk, as well as promoting bowel health and regularity. One medium banana has 3 grams of fiber, that’s 20% of your daily requirements.
- Bananas can boast their content of Resistant Starch.
Resistant starch is a type of fiber that is now being studied for its importance in keeping our “good” bacteria or microbiome happy and healthy in our gut. A banana on the greener or less ripe side will have more resistant starch than one that’s very ripe. Prebiotics like the fibers found in bananas, support your microbiome, and may in turn help reduce inflammation, support the immune system, and reduce the risk of developing food allergies.
- They’re delicious!
Creamy, rich and decadent without being calorie-laden and weight-loss sabotaging. One banana contains about 100-120 calories and makes for an excellent addition to smoothies, desserts and can even be a substitute for ice cream that is oh so dreamy.
- You Can Blend with Your Juice
While you can’t add a banana to your juicer (don’t try that at home folks, they will clog your machine!), they are a great addition to a juice when you add them both to a blender. Some people prefer this to enjoy a different texture, flavor and nutrient profile for a healthy meal replacement or snack.
Try These Delicious Banana-Based Recipes: