Seven benefits of bananas other than your daily dose

Seven benefits of bananas other than your daily dose of potassium

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benefits of banana

Bananas are rich in vitamin A, vitamin C, iron, vitamin B-6 and magnesium (Photo: Shutterstock)

Bananas are one of the most common fruits. They are always there all year, all seasons.

They may not be everyone’s cup of tea but they sure do taste good.

In some cultures, people enjoy bananas with their rice dishes as part of the meal. Per 100g of banana you consume 89 calories with that being made up of 75% water, 0.3g total fat, 358mg potassium, 23g carbohydrates, 2.6g dietary fiber, 12g sugar and 1.1g protein.

It is also rich in vitamin A, vitamin C, iron, vitamin B-6 and magnesium.

If you don’t enjoy bananas on their own you can add one to your smoothie or milkshake or have it in your fruit salad.

Aside from eating them, some people use bananas in their hair and skin masks because it has great benefits.

It’s advisable for individuals who suffer from diabetes not to consume big portions of bananas or avoid it completely because it contains natural sugars which may lead to an increase of blood sugar levels.READ MORE1. Seven foods that will keep you feeling full longer2. What is matcha and the health benefits?3. Easy Recipe: Ndove za nyama (Green bananas in coconut and beef)4. Four foods that will keep your gut healthy

If you’re still in limbo, read on to find out why you need to include this super fruit in your diet.

Heart health

Heart diseases have become common now more than ever and are the leading causes of premature deaths around the world. Bananas are high in potassium, a nutrient that promotes heart health and normal blood pressure.

One banana has approximately 0.4g of potassium which reduces the risk of heart disease by 26%. They also have antioxidants and flavonoids which reduce the risk of heart disease.

Digestion

Bananas are a great source of daily dietary fiber. It improves digestion thus preventing bloating and stomach discomfort. It is also a great way to avoid constipation. And because it also contains pectin and resistant starch, it promotes the growth of good bacteria in the gut.

Vitamin B6

Vitamin B6 in bananas is easily absorbed by your body and gives you a quarter of the Vitamin B6 you need per banana. Vitamin B6 helps in production of red blood cells, metabolizing carbohydrates and fats into energy, metabolizing amino acids, removing toxins from your liver and kidneys and maintaining a healthy nervous system.

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Vitamin C

One banana provides your body with 10% of your daily Vitamin C dosage. Vitamin C has several benefits such as protecting your body from tissue damage, helping your body absorb iron better, promoting production of collagen for healthy hair, nails and bones, and producing serotonin hormone that helps with sleep, mood, stress and pain.

Manganese

One banana has 13% of the manganese your body needs in a day. Manganese helps your body produce collagen which protects your skin and other cells from radical damage and helps your hair and nails remain strong.

Energy booster

Bananas contain natural sugars that are easily broken down by your body without increasing your cholesterol levels. Bananas are a great source of energy for children and adults who perform vigorous physical activities such as athletes.

Bananas may aid in weight loss

Although research is still underway, bananas have several contents that have been proven effective in weight loss. Bananas have very low calories and high fiber which will help reduce your appetite as it provides you with the energy you need. Unripe bananas on the other hand are rich in resistant starch which lowers your appetite making you feel full after consuming small amounts.

Are banana chips really healthy?

Chips, in general, have a bad reputation as they are highly processed and rich in sodium. But when we choose banana chips over the other varieties, we suddenly start feeling that we have made a healthy choice. If you can relate, here is some reality check for you.In this article, we will discuss how healthy are banana chips and if choosing them over other varieties is a healthy choice?Banana chipsBanana chips are dried, fried slices of bananas that have become a popular snack over the past few decades. The chips are usually coated with sugar syrup, salt and spices to enhance the taste. Though bananas are very healthy, can the same be said for banana chips?Nutrition in banana chipsUnlike bananas, banana chips are highly processed. Fried in oil and cooked with honey or other syrup, banana chips are loaded with calories.

1 cup around 72 grams of banana chips have

Calories: 374

Protein: 1.6 grams

Carbs: 42 grams

Fiber: 5.5 grams

Sugar: 25 grams

Total fat: 24 grams

Saturated fat: 21 grams

Potassium: 8% of the Daily Value (DV)

Vitamin B6: 11% of the DV

Though the snack has fibre, vitamins and minerals, the benefits are offset by the calorie, sugar and fat content. The chips are dehydrated and fried, which makes them highly palatable and easy to be overconsumed.

Banana chips benefitsBanana chips make for a convenient snack. Loaded with calories and simple carbs, they make for a good on the go snack when you are hiking or refuelling after a rigorous workout. These chips have a long shelf life as they are dehydrated.

Banana chips downsideHigh in fatThe chips are fried in oil to give them the crunchy texture. One cup of banana has 24 grams of fat, most of which is saturated. Foods rich in saturated fats are linked with a higher risk of chronic illness like heart disease.

Laden with caloriesYou will be surprised to know that the same serving of banana chips contain over 250 per cent more calories than the same size of fresh banana.

High in sugarSome varieties of banana chips are coated in honey and syrup that makes them high in calories. One cup banana chips contain 25 grams of sugar, which has 10.5 grams of added sugar and 14.5 grams of natural sugar.

Are banana chips better than potato chips?First things first, a whole banana is way healthier than banana chips. But are everybody’s favourite potato chips any better than banana chips.

One cup banana chips have much higher calories, total fat, saturated fat and sugar than potato chips. Yes, you read that right.

But you need to be careful and limit your intake no matter which chips you buy.

For a healthier option, choose baked over fried banana chips that are flavoured only with herbs and spices.Verdict While banana chips may sound like a healthy choice, they are loaded with calories, added sugar and saturated fat. For a healthier choice, go for dehydrated, non-fried banana chips that have no added sugar. Best would be to choose a whole banana. If you decide to choose banana chips as your snack, be mindful of the portion size.

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No-Bake Bananas Foster Cheesecake

In a large saucepan, melt the butter with the sugar. Cook over moderate heat, swirling the pan, until a very light caramel forms, 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in the cinnamon, allspice and salt and cook, swirling, for 30 seconds. Add the amaretto and rum and, very carefully, using a long-handled match, ignite the alcohol. When the flame subsides, stir in the bananas. Let cool.

10 health benefits of eating bananas during pregnancy

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An exciting period for the mother-to-be, is a time to eat healthy to ensure that the baby gets all the nutrients it needs to grow in the womb.

Bananas provide the baby with minerals and vitamins necessary for its growth.

1. Boosts hemoglobin

Iron deficiency is the most common cause of low hemoglobin levels, according to the National Anemia Action Council.

Most pregnant women suffer from anaemia because hemoglobin levels are usually quite low. Eating bananas helps to boost hemoglobin levels in the body which increase red blood cells in the blood and hence levels of hemoglobin are boosted. This prevents various kinds of complications in pregnancy.

2. Relieves Nausea and Vomiting during PregnancyREAD MORE1. Seven benefits of bananas other than your daily dose of potassium2. More parents opting to put school girls on pills as teen pregnancies increase3. More women seeking contraceptives and abortion during lockdown, study4. Easy Recipe: Ndove za nyama (Green bananas in coconut and beef)

Morning sickness is common in pregnant women.

Consuming bananas at this time of pregnancy helps in minimizing morning sickness considerably and combats nausea and vomiting successfully.

3. Great source of folic acid

The bananas are necessary for the development of the baby’s brain and spinal cord.

Bananas help to prevent folic acid deficiency which causes a baby to be born prematurely, it also reduces the risk of birth defects.

4.Boosts energy

Bananas are high in carbohydrates as they contain simple sugars like glucose, fructose and sucrose that can be metabolized quickly by the body to provide an immediate energy boost.

5.Help in Development of the Baby’s Nervous System

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Bananas are a rich source of the water-soluble vitamin B6 that is necessary for the development of the central nervous system of the baby. Regular consumption in the first trimester of pregnancy is beneficial for the baby’s brain and nerve development.

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6. Boosts digestion

Bananas provide lots of dietary fiber and potassium, an essential mineral. Both fiber and potassium are beneficial to your digestive system, helping keep it functioning smoothly. Bananas are also a rich source of pectin, which helps in normalizing the process of digestion.

7. Helps in development of bones

Bananas are an excellent source of calcium, which is necessary for the development of strong bones in both the baby and the mother. Calcium is also necessary for regulation of muscle contraction in the body.

8. Prevents constipation problems

Abdominal bloating is controlled and smooth bowel movement is ensured with the eating of bananas. Banana is rich in fiber content and hence promotes bowel movements.

9. Is a rich source of antioxidants

They help in fighting free radical damage in the body and provides protection from cellular damage. Antioxidants play an important role in improving the immune system of the fetus.

10. Increases appetite

For pregnant who suffer loss of appetite, they should consume bananas which helps boost their urge to eat.

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