The Good, the Bad, the Ugly…. the Banana

Americans like their bananas, eating more than 10 pounds per person a year, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Like other fruits, bananas make a healthy addition to your diet. They are a good source of energy and contain nutrients that keep your body healthy.  Bananas are packed with benefits for your body, and they make a convenient snack for any time of day. Bananas may even be good for your brain and help prevent chronic diseases such as heart disease and diabetes. They benefit athletes, too, since they can help prevent muscle cramps

Nutritional Highlights…

One medium-sized banana contains 110 calories. Bananas are naturally free of fat, cholesterol and sodium. Each banana holds about 3 grams of fiber, which is 12 percent of your daily requirement. Bananas contain the minerals potassium and manganese. They also contain B vitamins, including folate, riboflavin and niacin. They’re a particularly good source of vitamin B-6, which helps produce antibodies and hemoglobin while maintaining healthy nerve function and blood glucose levels. One medium banana contains 15 percent of your daily requirement of vitamin C. Potassium is required for healthy functioning of your nervous system and muscles. If you’re deficient in potassium, your muscles can get tired and weak, and you may experience painful cramps.

Medicial Highlights…

In a study published in the “Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture” in 2014, scientists investigated the effect of bananas on glucose levels. In an animal study, they induced diabetes — a condition of glucose levels being too high — and then gave the rats banana extract. They concluded the banana extract hindered carbohydrate absorption, which has an anti-diabetic effect. But the effects of eating bananas on diabetes in humans hasn’t been examined. In another study on rats, published in the “Journal of Dietary Supplements” in 2009, scientists found that banana flavonoids lowered levels of cholesterol, triglycerides, phospholipids and fatty acids. This effect hasn’t been tested in humans.


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