Are Bananas Really That High On The Health Benefits List?

Woman holding a bunch of bananas with a yellow jumper and background

Should you be eating bananas daily?

I’m on a mission to eliminate sugar for good.
I can’t stand the stuff since it causes so much inflammation and is one of the predecessors of disease.
Sugar also diminishes the quality of your skin and increases fat storage in your body.
What does this have to do with bananas?
Many conflicting pieces all over the internet claim that bananas are healthy and aid in weight loss. In contrast, others proclaim bananas are nothing more than a sugary treat, causing as much damage as sugar.
Part of the reason that bananas get a bad wrap rests on their high sugar and starch content.
But people fail to realise that they are also filled with nutrients and vitamins B6, fibre, potassium and a great source of prebiotics.
Bananas might cause a few issues since they contain sugar alcohol called sorbitol. Sorbitol can cause gas in many people and perhaps a bout of diarrhoea.
Sorbitol can be tolerated in very tiny amounts, but the carb content might cause discomfort in the gastrointestinal region.
Bananas might be an issue for you if you suffer from IBS or other gastrointestinal issues.
In saying that, I’d like to point out the differences in bananas because I also react to them positively and negatively.

One: Unripe bananas are best
Although some might argue that green or unripe bananas are hard to eat, they become much easier to tolerate with time. In addition, green bananas are wonderful (if you can get the skin off!) to chop, freeze and add to a smoothie.
Green bananas give smoothies a creamy texture; the bitterness is disguised with all your other additional ingredients.
In addition, these bananas are higher in resistant starch, lower in sugar and provide your guts with good bacteria and lots of nourishing food to keep thriving.
Resistant starch isn’t digested in the small intestine. So as the banana ripens, that wonderful starch is lost and turned into simple sugars.
Green bananas have a good source of pectin, a dietary fibre in fruits that keeps their structural form, and Pectin slowly disappears as the banana ripens.
Resistant starch and pectin in green bananas have many health benefits, such as keeping your blood sugar in check and helping your digestive health.
Therefore, if you suffer from gut disturbances when eating a banana, try green or unripe varieties and see how that feels.

Two: Ripe bananas should be saved for banana bread or ice cream
I accidentally leave my bananas for too long, and then they ripen to become somewhat inedible.
When this happens, bananas are best mashed and used in bread or to make nice cream.
However, it’s a far better option to chop and freeze bananas before they get too ripe. Then, adding a few slices to a smoothie will give it a sweetened boost without needing any additive sugars.
Ripe bananas might cause problems for those who already suffer from high blood sugar or a person with diabetes.
Do be mindful.

Overall, we should all eat bananas.
If we eat when they are yellow and not as ripe, we get the best possible nutrient value from a banana, including potassium.
Unfortunately, most Americans don’t eat enough potassium (or fibre, for that matter!) daily.
Men and women need different amounts. Inadequate amounts of potassium are linked with cardiovascular disease and stroke.
Eating bananas often could help lower your risk of high blood pressure.
Bananas are also high in fibre, which benefits our gut health.
In addition, prebiotics in bananas helps increase our gut’s health, which is very important for health, longevity and weight loss.
When our gut works as it should, we have better immunity and cardiovascular health, and our brain functions optimally.
One study showed that eating two bananas daily might help you grow probiotics in the gut.

When to eat bananas?
Bananas are great as a pre-workout since they are abundant in carbohydrates, and that’s our main energy source when we exercise.
A particular study assessed the effects of bananas and sports drinks on cycling performance.
Both the banana and sports drink resulted in very similar performance outcomes.
Another study showed that fructose and phenolic compounds within bananas might help one to enhance athletic performance.
So, ditch the sugary performance drink and try bananas instead.

Bananas make us feel good.
Eating bananas can give you those ‘feel-good vibes’ since they contain tryptophan, an amino acid in many foods (like turkey).
Some people believe that tryptophan induces tiredness and sleep.
But that’s not entirely true. It’s just a precursor for serotonin, which only stabilises the chemical.
So, it makes you feel good rather than putting you to sleep.
If you need help sleeping, use magnesium instead.

Key take away
Although some might react negatively to bananas, I would try the green or yellow alternatives before putting them on your ‘do not eat list.
Bananas contain so many benefits that It would be a shame to miss them.
Since they are readily available, cheap and tasty, it pays to try different alternatives to see how your gut reacts.
I love that you can freeze bananas and add them to smoothies.
Although I don’t make nice cream, it’s a lovely way to indulge in an ice cream craving without the junk that store-bought ice cream contains.
How do you eat your bananas?

Sign up here for your medium subscription.
I get a portion of your monthly fee at no extra cost to you, and it will go a long way in supporting me as a writer.

Download your FREE Fat Loss Recipe book here.


Leave a Reply