Are bananas good or bad for you?

When I first started running over ten years ago, I ate at least one banana a day. When discussing this with another runner, they cautioned me not to eat so many as it’s hard on the body and can lead to weight gain. I never thought much of this warning and continued to eat bananas at the same rate, but while running today I thought I’d check it out further (just in case.)

    

This is what I found on the website Nutrition Uncovered Bananas are:

  • high in natural sugar; researchers have found that eating just two bananas was enough to sustain a strenuous 90 minute workout
  • high in iron; good for anemic people
  • high in potassium, but low in salt; makes them good at regulating blood pressure in people. Potassium is a vital micronutrient that helps our body regulate heart beat to maintaining the body’s water balance.When under stress our metabolism increases and we tend to lose potassium faster. Having a few bananas restores your body’s potassium quickly
  • The high potassium content in bananas is also very good for the brain; in one study of 200 students, it was found that having bananas regularly during meals and breaks improved their ability to concentrate.
  • improve bowel action hugely because they are full of fiber. Many times they’re more effective than laxatives and safer too
  • People who suffer from heartburn often should include bananas with their meals. It has an antacid effect preventing heartburn
  • In one research, overweight people who snacked on sweets and chocolates often reduced weight dramatically just by switching over to bananas
  • have a chemical called tryptophan which gets converted in the body to serotonin which influences mood and makes us feel better. Although this may not be enough as a treatment for depression it is still enough to make normal people feel good
  • eating bananas daily has been found to reduce the incidence of stroke in people by up to 40%.
  • have a cooling tendency in the body and some people even believe that this cooling tendency extends to the emotions. Eating bananas regularly is supposed to have calming influence on the person
  • have curative properties dermatologically. For instance if you have warts of pimples, applying a piece of banana peel, skin side up on it and leaving it there overnight is supposed to remove them painlessly very quickly

In my experience, I always felt that bananas were natures power bar. If I had a banana before a run I always felt energized (and I still eat them either before or after a run.) Besides being cheap to buy, they’re one of the most effective fruits to eat. One banana has 4 times the protein, 2 times the carbs, 3 times the phosphorus, 5 times the Vit A and iron in comparison to Apples. Pretty cool, eh?

Finally, let’s tackle the myth that bananas make you fat. Well, that’s just BS. It’s true. Bananas are approximately 100 calories each and they aren’t empty calories either (calories from fruit are different from calories from fat). Because bananas have a low glycemic index they get broken down more slowly, leaving you feeling fuller longer.

Sadly, I can’t eat PB anymore, but I love bananas so I’ll keep eating them. What do you think?

2 thoughts on “Are bananas good or bad for you?

  1. Thank you so much for writing this. As a dietitian I tell people all the time that bananas are NOT bad for you. Some people demonize fruit like bananas but buy 100 kcal granola bars void of any nutrition. Glad you are still enjoying them as a super food for your runs. Keep up the good work!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s