Health benefits of bananas! Its name comes from the Portuguese banana itself borrowed from the Arabic “banan” meaning “finger”. For the record, the banana would have been the first fruit cultivated by the men, and its culture goes back to some 12 thousand years! When we speak of bananas without specifying the variety, we are talking about the so-called “dessert” sweet banana that is eaten raw and sweetened. There is a second type of bananas called “vegetable bananas” generally eaten cooked and salted, which belong to the plantain species.
How to cook bananas, to preserve them, in which seasons to taste them for an optimal flavor … discover all the secrets of this delicious fruit.
The health benefits of bananas
Bananas contain a lot of nutrients:
- Bananas are very nutrient fruit, which means they provide a lot of nutrients in a low volume. Dried bananas are richer in nutrients than fruit bananas, but they are also higher in calories.
- The banana fits perfectly within the framework of a slimming diet because it is rich in fibers, minerals, resistant starch: it is therefore very satiating and allows not to crack on calorie bombs.
- It is in particular very well provided with antioxidants, which would make it effective in the prevention of cancers, in particular colorectal cancer.
- It has anti-acid and anti-ulcer effects, which protect the stomach lining from inflammation and which would help prevent ulcers.
- The sugars in bananas are largely resistant starch, which behaves like a “slow” carbohydrate, improving the sensitivity of cells to insulin and tending to regulate blood sugar. This fruit is therefore indicated in people suffering from type 2 diabetes or pre-diabetes.
- It is very rich in potassium, a mineral known to prevent and fight against hypertension and limit the risk of cardiovascular disease.
Very digestible, rich in carbohydrates and minerals, bananas are the favorite fruit of athletes! Good to know: the riper the banana, the higher its glycemic index, the less ripe it is, the lower it is. It is therefore wise to prefer a ripe banana before exercise for the boost effect, then a less ripe banana after exercise, for recovery and to recharge its glycogen stocks. Bananas are also very well supplied with potassium, a mineral essential for muscle recovery, and magnesium, which is very effective in limiting cramps.
Pregnant women have increased caloric and nutritional needs, especially from the second trimester. But she frequently suffers from digestive disorders (nausea, bloating) linked to hormones as well as to the place that the baby takes in her womb, compressing the stomach and intestines. Bananas, very digestible and rich in carbohydrates, fibers, and minerals will therefore provide them with the energy and nutrients necessary to meet their needs and those of the baby. It is therefore a real ally of pregnancy!
When we want to lose weight
Rich in carbohydrates and calories, is bananas to be excluded during a diet? No, the banana is certainly a sweet fruit, but it has a large number of nutritional advantages that make it valuable as part of a slimming diet. Rich in fibers, minerals, and resistant starch, bananas effectively satisfy small hunger pangs and not crack on a chocolate bar that is 4 times more caloric. The banana also contains tryptophan, an amino acid precursor serotonin, the hormone of well-being. Perfect for fighting frustrations during a diet!
Are bananas high in calories?
The sweet banana is one of the sweetest fruits, and therefore the most caloric. A medium-sized banana weighs around 120g and provides around a hundred calories, the average caloric value of the banana is 90 calories per 100g.
NUTRIENTSBANANA, PULP, RAW: CONTENT PER 100 GFRUIT: AVERAGE OF FOODProtein0.98 g1.0 gCarbohydrates19.6 g16.9 g- with sugar14.8 g14.6 g- of which starch2.1 g0.3 gDietary fiber1.9 g3 gLipids0.25 g0.5 g- of which cholesterol0.0 mg0.1 mg- of which saturates0.099 g0.2 g- of which monounsaturated fatty acids0.035 g0.1 g- of which polyunsaturated fatty acids0.078 g0.1 gWater75.8 g77 g
More info on vitamins and minerals in bananas
Benefits of dried bananas
The dried banana is a banana from which the water has been extracted, making it both richer in nutrients but also in calories. Dried bananas are therefore roughly three times richer in nutrients, minerals, and vitamins than fresh bananas, which makes them extraordinarily interesting from a dietary point of view. Be careful, however, its caloric value also triples and reaches 250 calories per 100 g, which makes it very energetic. Dried bananas are therefore a perfect takeaway snack for hiking, fitness walking or before a run because it provides energy and minerals and vitamins essential to the body during physical exercise.
Benefits of banana juice
Given its low water content, it is not possible to make pure banana juice using an extractor, the product obtained being closer to mash. Banana-based juices are usually made with one or more other fruits that are richer in water, such as orange or apple. In general and whatever the fruit, it is better to eat it whole and fresh rather than to drink it in the form of juice, where it will tend to lose some of its nutritional qualities (fiber, certain vitamins sensitive to oxidation) In addition, the glycemic index of fruit juice is always higher than that of whole fruit, and drinking fruit juice is much less satiating than crunching fruit.
Benefits of banana chips
Banana chips are made from sliced, fried, and salted plantains. I insist: crisps, whether they are potato, carrot, beet or plantain banana are always fatty foods, very salty and nutritionally denatured insists the specialist, they are very caloric and do not present any particular dietary interests.
What are the disadvantages of bananas?
Without being able to speak of disadvantage, the banana is indeed richer in calories than the average of fruits, it is, therefore, to be consumed in moderation for anyone who watches his weight. We will therefore make sure to alternate it with other less sweet fruits, such as apple, pear, berries (blackberries, blueberries, blackcurrants, etc.), melon, watermelon, or even citrus fruits.
Tips from the dietician
I recommend eating the whole fruit and fresh, rather than drinking it in the form of juice, which loses some of its nutritional qualities (fiber, certain vitamins sensitive to oxidation), which has a higher glycemic index and which is less filling than the whole fruit.