Banana is one of the most popular fruits that exist. Thanks to its ease of consumption, they are a perfect snack full of nutrients, fiber and antioxidants. However, its high sugar and carbohydrate content raises certain doubts about its healthy benefits.
Is it Good to Eat Banana?
Learn the nutrients and properties of this fruit and know the latest scientific studies that reveal whether the consumption of bananas is beneficial or harmful to your health.
Banana is a fruit belonging to the Musaceae family and native to Southeast Asia, although it is grown in numerous warm-weather areas throughout the world. Banana is made up of more than 90% carbohydrates, which are made up of starch or sugar depending on the degree of ripeness of the fruit:
Green bananas: carbohydrates are mainly starch and resistant starch.
Yellow bananas: carbohydrates are mostly sugar.
Regarding the nutritional contribution, a medium-sized banana contains:
- Vitamin B6: 22% of the RDA (recommended daily amount).
- Vitamin C: 17% of the RDA.
- Manganese: 16% of the CDR.
- Potassium: 12% of the RDA.
- Magnesium: 8% of the CDR.
- Fiber: 3.1 g
- Calories: 105
Likewise, bananas are rich in other bioactive plant compounds, such as dopamine and catechin, which act as potent antioxidants.
What Benefits Does Banana Have?
1. It is Rich in Fiber:
Each banana contains 3 grams of fiber, an important amount that makes this fruit a good source of fiber. Fiber is carbohydrates that cannot be digested in the upper digestive system and its high consumption is associated with multiple health benefits:
- Reduce insulin spikes that occur after a meal rich in carbohydrates.
- It contributes to weight loss: decreases appetite and causes lower calorie intake.
- Fight constipation.
Likewise, green or immature bananas are also rich in resistant starch, a kind of non-digestible carbohydrate that acts like fiber. According to various scientific studies, resistant starch can: Prevent colon cancer: inhibits the growth and development of tumor cells.
- Reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes: regulates glucose levels and increases insulin sensitivity.
- Reduce the formation of stones.
- Improve lipid profile: lowers triglycerides and blood cholesterol.
- Inhibit fat accumulation.
- Reduce the risk of obesity: increases satiety and decreases appetite.
- Increase the absorption of minerals.
Finally, it should also be noted that immature bananas contain pectin, another type of dietary fiber that helps regulate blood glucose, prevents colon cancer and decreases appetite .
2. Improves Cardiovascular Health:
Bananas are an important source of potassium: a medium banana contains 12% of the RDA.
“Potassium is a mineral that many people lack and essential for the control of blood pressure and renal function”.
In addition, it has been shown that increasing potassium intake to 4.7 g daily decreases the risk of stroke by 8-15% and the risk of myocardial infarction by 6-11%. In other words, consuming bananas improves the markers of heart disease, thus reducing the risk of this disease.
3. Promotes Digestive Health:
Green bananas, that is, those that have not yet ripened, are rich in resistant starch and pectin. Both types of fiber act as prebiotic nutrients that feed the benign bacteria that inhabit the digestive system and stimulate their growth. As it passes through the colon, benign flora ferments resistant starch and pectin and produces butyrate, a short-chain fatty acid that promotes intestinal health.
Can I Eat Banana If I Am A Diabetic Person?
Bananas are made up of more than 90% carbohydrates, which are in the form of resistant starch or sugar. As I have explained other times, carbohydrate intake is not recommended for diabetics because it causes peak glucose levels. However, the glycemic index of the banana varies according to the maturity of the fruit: a green banana has a much lower glycemic index than a yellow banana. The glycemic index is how quickly food causes spikes in glucose levels. In this way, diabetic people could safely consume moderate amounts of bananas, as long as the bananas are greener than yellow. Even so, it is recommended that people with diabetes do a glucose check after eating foods with a certain amount of carbohydrates.
Is There Any Risk to My Health?
Definitely not. There is no scientific evidence that has proven that bananas negatively affect health. However, certain studies have found that about 30-50% of people suffering from latex allergy are also often sensitive to certain plant-based foods. On the other hand, some people also experience episodes of constipation by consuming many bananas, while in other people the opposite effect occurs.
Banana is a highly nutritious and healthy food for most people. If you are diabetic, you can consume green or unripe bananas by taking more careful control of your glucose levels.