From athletes to patients, everyone could benefit from bananas. Available all across the globe, bananas are found in a wide variety. Learn the full extent of raw banana benefits and how this nutrition rich fruit can help you lead a healthier life.
Bananas are a great way to give your health a boost. They're sweet, delicious, filling, and affordable. However, before we dive deep into the banana benefits for your well-being, here are a few things you might find interesting. Although this fruit is native to Southeast Asia, bananas are easily available worldwide.
It can be eaten raw or blended with milk to make a nutritious smoothie, or can even be cooked to prepare various delicacies like the famed Banoffee pie. You can also slice bananas to add to fruit salads, cereals, oats, and even peanut butter sandwiches. And of course, who can say no to banana bread or muffins?
Now, let’s explore the different types of bananas and the benefits of eating bananas in detail.
Types of bananas
Did you know that around the world there are more than 1000 types of bananas? Even though they are nutritionally almost the same, they mainly differ in their physical appearance. Some of the popular varieties are listed below:
Commonly found large, yellow bananas:These bananas are the most common variety that you can find in the market and are quite large too. Once they ripen, their skin turns from thick and stiff to thin and flexible. These bananas contain lots of soluble fibre and potassium if you are wondering about banana nutrition benefits.
Red bananas, commonly found in South India:These are short and plump when compared to other bananas. Red banana benefits include constipation relief because of the pectin content in them.
Small yellow bananas:These are also called Yelakki or Lady Finger bananas. These bananas are plump and shorter than other varieties but sweeter. They are commonly found in the central and southern states of India. They are one of the tastiest varieties of bananas present. They contain lots of vitamins, minerals and fibre in the form of pectin.
Green unripe bananas:The skin of these fruits is green in colour. The core of these bananas has many medicinal properties. They are mainly cooked as a vegetable to make fries, curries, or stews. You can also check out some quick and healthy green banana recipes like millet banana pockets that you can whip up at home.
Health Benefits of Bananas
Bananas are a powerhouse of nutrients and help you manage weight and improve digestion. There are multiple benefits of eating bananas daily. Some of them include:
Banana nutrition benefits are truly unprecedented. One normal-sized banana (100g) gives 106 calories, mostly carbohydrates and water. It is also a good source of fibre and antioxidants.
Some minerals and vitamins in bananas are:
- Vitamin B6, which helps in brain development, strengthens the immune system and aids in metabolism.
- Vitamin C is also one of the vitamins in bananas that helps protect you against cell damage by free radicals.
2. Aids digestion:
A regular-sized banana has around 2.33g of fibre per 100g, which helps in digestion. One of the top unripe banana benefits is that it is rich in resistant starch, which is a prebiotic and helps in the growth of beneficial bacteria in the digestive tract. Another one of the banana benefits is that it helps manage urinary tract infections. Bananas also contain good amounts of pectin. And one of the major benefits of ripe bananas is that they ease constipation by softening stools.
3. Good source of antioxidants:
One major health benefit of eating bananas is that they are rich in antioxidants like flavonoids and amines, which help in regulating free radicals in our body. Free radicals, if left unregulated, can negatively affect our immunity and overall health.
4. Helps with satiety:
Bananas keep you full for a long time due to their high content of soluble fibre while providing relatively fewer calories. This is one of the important benefits of eating bananas in the morning. For a filling breakfast, combine bananas with a protein source such as curd or egg whites.
To cut a long story short, bananas are easy to find and incredibly healthy. Banana benefits are many, as listed above, and that is mainly due to their fibre and antioxidant content. These fruits are nutrient-dense and low-calorie yet very filling. They are versatile too and can be eaten in different ways, either raw or cooked. However, if you suffer from any health issue or are on a special diet, do speak to your doctor or nutritionist before including bananas in your diet.