17 Surprising Health Advantages Of Eating Bananas

Written By Jill Taylor

Bananas are the world’s most popular fruit, and it’s easy to see why. In addition to their great taste and versatility, they’re full of healthy carbohydrates, vitamins, and nutrients. Here are 17 surprising health advantages of eating bananas—remember them whenever you tuck into one of these treats!

They Are a High-fiber Fruit

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Mayo Clinic outlines numerous reasons why it’s important to consume the necessary amount of dietary fiber: not only does it keep your bowels healthy, but it also helps people stay at a healthy weight. As such, you can’t go wrong with bananas, which are naturally high in fiber.

They Help Soothe Heartburn

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Blueberries, limes, and lemons are naturally acidic, so eating these while suffering from heartburn is a one-way trip toward discomfort. Luckily, bananas are alkaline. This means that they help to soothe the symptoms of heartburn by neutralizing the body’s pH levels.

They Contain a Tonne of Potassium

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Potassium plays many roles in keeping our bodies healthy and can be found in bananas in abundance. It contributes to muscle, heart, and cellular function and is also involved in the nervous system. However, since bananas are so rich in potassium, it’s important to eat them in moderation if you’re sensitive to this mineral.

They Give You On-demand Energy

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While it can be tempting to tear open a candy bar when you feel sluggish, you’re far better off reaching for a banana. This is because some of the sugars in bananas are quickly absorbed into the bloodstream, translating into a rapid energy boost when you need it most.

They Top Up Your Vitamin C

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BBC Good Food can’t help but praise vitamin C, one of the most important contributors to healthy living. This vitamin not only helps to keep cells alive, but it also supports the skin, bones, circulatory system, and our ability to heal. It’s also found in bananas, making them a great way to get your fill.

You Won’t Have Sugar Spikes

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Unlike less healthy snacks, eating a banana doesn’t result in a sudden, unsustainable sugar spike. These spikes quickly pass, leaving you feeling worse than ever. However, because bananas contain fructose in their cocktail of sugars, they ensure that the energy high lasts for longer.

They Are a Weight Loss Wonder

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Most people aspire to shed a few pounds, and bananas can help them do so as they’re low in calories yet also filling. Compared to candy or chips, the banana comes out on top as a tasty, healthy, low-effort snack between meals.

They Lead to a Healthy Body and Healthy Mind

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As the University of Wollongong points out, bananas are as good for your mental health as they are for your physical health because they contain the amino acid tryptophan. This is converted into serotonin, a neurotransmitter that is associated with good moods, relaxation, and enhanced concentration.

They Balance Blood Pressure

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Bananas are full of minerals and vitamins, which help keep blood pressure in check. Vitamin C reduces blood pressure, and potassium helps to reduce the negative impacts of high-sodium meals. As such, a daily banana can make all the difference to your cardiovascular health.

They’re Good for the Gut

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The human gut processes everything you eat, so it’s important to keep it in working order. Unripe green bananas make this easy, as they’re especially rich in resistant starch and pectins, which contribute to maintaining good gut health. Your parents were right—eat your greens!

Bananas are a brainfood

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Bananas contain vitamin B6, which plays a key role in brain development. If you’re hoping to boost your IQ score, bananas might be a good place to start. Plus, the vitamin B6 in bananas also helps to support the immune and nervous systems, so it’s hard to go wrong by peeling one.

They Tackle Heart Disease

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In addition to potassium, bananas are rich in flavonoids, antioxidants that have been shown to reduce heart disease. Given the prevalence of heart disease in the U.S. (according to the CDC, it was responsible for one in every five deaths in 2021), eating bananas isn’t just a way to get your five a day; it’s basic common sense.

They Contain Magnificent Manganese

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Manganese is one of the trace elements found in bananas, and it’s not to be overlooked. Manganese is involved in everything from hormone production to blood clotting, so staying fully stocked makes sense. It’s a good thing that bananas make this easy to achieve.

They’re a Source of Prebiotic Nutrients

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Our guts may belong to us, but they’re home to a vast community of microorganisms. Just like us, these microorganisms need to eat – and they need to eat healthily. Luckily, it’s easy to help ourselves by helping them, as several components of bananas are beneficial to the human microflora.

They Boost Your Blood Cells

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Bananas can help red blood cells work more efficiently. Elsevier published a study showing a positive correlation between banana consumption and hemoglobin levels. The more hemoglobin, the better, as it helps to transport oxygen around the body, so choosing to include a banana in your daily routine is a great investment.

Don’t Forget the Benefits of the Peel

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Banana peels might not seem like an obvious ingredient, but they can be used to make vegetarian bacon, sauces, or flour. However, if you’re not brave enough to eat the skin, it still has its uses. Outside of the kitchen, banana skins can be used to clean shoes, fight acne, and whiten teeth.

They Maintain Your Muscles

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Bodybuilders love high-protein foods like red meat and eggs, but the humble banana has something to offer them, too. Bananas contain electrolytes, which help your muscles stay in top condition. Next time you bring a snack to the gym, remember the banana’s hidden powers.

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