17 Advantages of Adding Bananas to Your Diet

Bananas aren’t just awesome additives that make your smoothies sweet or give your oatmeal a little flavor. They also come with amazing health benefits for everyone. From improving digestion to keeping your eyes healthy, here are 17 reasons to include them in your daily diet.

They Give You Energy

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Bananas contain three different types of natural sugar—sucrose, fructose, and glucose. If you have an active child or engage in high-energy activities, like playing sports, they are great carry-on snacks you can use to fulfill energy needs during lunch and before events.

They’re Easy to Add to Diet

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Bananas are very convenient to include in your diet plans, as they are available almost everywhere and easy to measure. They can also be added to meals in a variety of ways—eaten on their own, cut up into pieces, or ground with other ingredients.

They’re Nutritious

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Bananas are rich in multiple nutrients, vitamins, and minerals. Eating one pumps healthy amounts of calories, carbohydrates, fiber, and vitamins B6, B9, and C into your body. You also get minerals like manganese, potassium, copper, and magnesium just from one treat.

They Keep Your Heart Healthy

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One banana has 358 grams of potassium, and this satisfies about 11% of your daily potassium needs. The NIH shares that low potassium can lead to cardiovascular issues like high blood pressure, heart disease, and stroke, and bananas easily help you avoid these.

They’re Great for Weight Loss

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Bananas are rich in the dietary fiber pectin, and this comes with appetite-related weight-loss benefits. They make you feel fuller faster, and the less ripe bananas aren’t easily digestible. This means they’ll also keep you filled for longer. You consume fewer calories in the long run without having to starve yourself of food.

They Help You Recover Faster After Workouts

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After running or completing a vigorous weight-lifting session, eating bananas ensures those muscle sores don’t last as long as they normally do. Carbohydrates and potassium content in bananas are high-energy nutrients that reduce inflammation and replenish glycogen in your muscles.

They Reduce Hangover Symptoms

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For the partygoers out there, the potassium in bananas can also help you manage terrible hangovers better. They replenish the potassium lost to frequent urination, and the vitamin B6 content in bananas also helps your nervous system maintain some level of composure. In essence, bananas ensure you don’t suffer as much from nausea, fatigue, and headaches.

They Help Maintain Good Eye Health

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Potassium in bananas also comes with benefits for your eyes, particularly helping to improve the thickness of your eye film and prevent itchy, dry eyes. There’s also a good amount of vitamin A in bananas, which prevents deficiencies in the pigments that allow you to see in the night better, as Mayo Clinic shares.

They Fight Against Anemia

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If you always have paler skin, colder hands and feet, or frequently experience a shortness of breath, then you may be anemic—i.e., you don’t have enough red blood cells. Bananas are rich in iron, which defeats your hemoglobin deficiency and ensures your body has enough blood circulating to function well.

They Make Bones Healthier

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One indirect advantage of eating bananas is the fructooligosaccharides in them. Fructooligosaccharides are probiotics that improve intestinal function. They increase your intestine’s ability to absorb magnesium, iron, and calcium. As you may know, calcium is the nutrient that strengthens your bones, and bananas will help you get them more easily from calcium-rich meals in your diet.

They’re Loaded With Antioxidants

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While bananas contain antioxidants like flavonoids and amines, their peels are rich in polyphenols, carotenoids, and gallocatechin. All these are potent when it comes to detoxifying your body of cancer-causing free radicals. Blending banana peels with smoothies is one way of including them in your diet.

They Improve Digestion

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Pectin is also great for your digestive health. The NIH shares that it helps to slow down gastric emptying and improves bowel movement. It also absorbs water well, binds material in your intestines, and normalizes your stools, reducing the chances of constipation and diarrhea. Green (unripe) bananas are particularly beneficial in this regard.

They Fight Against Diabetes

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For one, the stomach-filling fibers in bananas help you avoid diabetes-inducing eating behaviors. The fibers also have a low glycemic index (GI), especially if you consume greener (unripe) bananas. This means you have food that reduces your blood glucose and sugar levels, which is important for managing type 2 diabetes.

They Help With Memory

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If you’re studying hard for a test, bananas can make memorization easier for you. They contain an amino acid called tryptophan that increases your brain’s serotonin metabolism levels. Increased activities with these neurotransmitters help to improve cognitive functions, one of which is short-term memory retention.

They Boost Your Mood

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What if you find it difficult to regulate your mood? The tryptophan in bananas also comes as an excellent solution. Alongside boosting serotonin activities, it also helps to increase melatonin production, which makes sleeping easier and reduces irritability, stress, and sleep-related mood disorders.

They Help Against Asthma

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If you’re looking for a fruit that works great against asthma symptoms, then bananas can be your go-to option. They have more water-soluble phenolic acid than many fruits, and an NIH report reveals that phenolic compounds engage in anti-asthmatic activities. Consuming phenolic acids in bananas regularly helps reduce inflammatory tendencies.

They Keep Your Skin Glowing

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The vitamin C content in bananas is also known to be an effective nutrient that helps with collagen synthesis, improves wound healing, and evens out skin tone. It’s commonly used in skincare products, and consuming vitamin C through bananas is one of the easier, cheaper alternatives to getting it.

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