No, I’m not talking about Go Bananas Indoor Playgrounds (although they ARE pretty awesome for kids, and I’ve taken my son on a birthday playdate there) I’m talking about REAL bananas! Do you have any idea of how healthy they are for you? I had no idea. I can’t count how many times that I saw an article encouraging me to eat a banana per day. Really? Why? I have normally ignored those ads, but one day I decided to check it out, and see what the banana rave was all about.
I also wanted to investigate bananas, because my Grandma Clifford (my mom’s mom) was an avid banana eater. In fact, she had to have one every day. And I’m using the word HAD here people!! My mom used to help my Grandma buy groceries, but when mom died, my sister helped out with groceries, and it was “don’t forget to buy bananas!” Seriously, I think my Grandma had a banana per day for at least over 20 years. Could be more. Probably! Wow huh! So, in thinking of Grandma Banana, and seeing articles encouraging me to eat them, I decided to do some research. Turns out that bananas ARE surprisingly good for you, and in ways I had no idea.
I was surprised, you’ll be surprised, and for all you out there who are proficient and know all things banana, you can read smugly along, and give us the “I knew that, told ya!” eyes.
Okay, here goes with some banana facts:
- Bananas have naturally occurring sugars along with vitamins and minerals
- Bananas are rich in fibre (OoOOoOoOOo – doesn’t that make you want to eat one right now?)
- Bananas help you feel full
Hmm, I don’t know about you, but just reading that much makes me want to eat one, and have one handy when I’m craving something sugary. My problem is – I only like bananas when they are JUST turning yellow. Not green, not barely yellow, but JUST turning yellow. Once they are too yellow, I don’t like them anymore. And if they have brown on them? YUCK! They taste funny to me. If I eat one that is unripe, it gives me furry sweaters on my teeth. YUCK! And I’m sure some of you know exactly what I mean.
Okay, let’s get back to the banana facts that are going to help you know about them, and want to eat them every day. If you can handle all shades of banana, more power to you. This won’t work for me, unless I was buying bananas all the time, to get that “just turning yellow” – so I’m just going to be a mediocre banana eater, and buy them on my shopping trips. I won’t be going out of my way to head to the store because I’m out of bananas, I can tell you that! Ha ha Okay, here we go:
Bananas are full of potassiumB
MMmmMMmMMMmMMmMMmm – potassium! Apparently one banana has approximately 422 milligrams of potassium, providing about 12% of your daily intake needs. How great is that! Your body won’t function properly if you don’t have potassium. It’s a very very very important electrolyte in your body. If you don’t have enough, it will affect your blood pressure, it could cause kidney stones, make you feel tired, and give muscle cramps. I’d like to point out here that you would get more potassium from potatoes (Okay, now I’m drooling because potatoes are my absolute favorite food in the whole world, and I could easily eat 10 potatoes per day, every day, every hour, every minute…..!!!) but I should probably just stick to bananas since this IS a banana post after all!
Bananas help keep you hydratedB
Yup! Not making this stuff up! Apparently that little lovely bit of potassium helps regulate and balance all the fluids in your body. We lose a lot of vitamins and minerals when we work out and sweat, but your potassium helps regulate everything. Isn’t that GREAT! Thirsty? Chow down on a banana!
Bananas are good for your guts
Bananas have prebiotics, (AKA as probiotics) which is a fermentable fibre that helps the good bacteria in your gut. Apparently these “bugs” help improve digestion, can shorten the length of your cold (I need to hand out bananas at work, apparently) and they can even help with weight loss. Whaaaaaaaaat? I better get me some bananas STAT!
Bananas are the BEST pre-workout food.
Seriously, before you work out, honk on a banana. But only if it’s just turned yellow. Just kidding, any banana colour is fine. Because of it’s natural sugars, it’s the best thing you can eat for energy, and it’s easy on your tum-tum too! Some research as even said that bananas have unique compounds that enhance athletic performance. Go bananas, GO!
Bananas are good for your ticker
No, not the stock ticker, your heart silly! The potassium in a banana helps regulate your blood pressure, which keeps your heart all ticktey-boo, and you’ll have a decreased risk of having a stroke. I don’t know about you, but that sounds good to me! I do happen to have high blood pressure, so even MORE reason to go PIG OUT on some bananas.
Bananas can replace sugar in baked treats
Whaaaat? I had no idea! I love me some banana bread, but I have never put bananas in anything else. Ever. Hmmm, I guess I should start experimenting? I am trying to reduce the amount of sugar I eat, so this sounds like a very good plan.
Bananas are rich in Vitamin B6
Well doggone it, I didn’t know that either! B6 is important, especially for brain development during pregnancy. Oh dear. It seems that there were quite a few mothers out there that didn’t eat enough bananas. Oh, oops, can I say that? I guess I just did.
Bananas could keep your appetite in check
Oh really?! I wonder who set about proving that! Apparently bananas also have a type of fibre called resistant starch, and this starch helps you eat fewer calories. One banana has about 100 calories, that’s not so bad! Hmm. Maybe I DO need to shop for more bananas. Hey – I could always order in, now that there are so many grocery places that deliver! An idea I’m going to have to think about. How badly do I want a banana every day? Well, I’m not there yet….
Bananas keep your kidneys healthy
Well, okay, that’s a clincher for sure. I’ve had four kidney stones. Very unpleasant, let me tell you. My hubby has had over five himself, all very painful, requiring hospital visits and morphine. Ouch!
Bananas can make you happy
I’m IN! Do we really need to hear any more reasons? lol
Okay, I have convinced myself that I need to eat more bananas. I need to GO BANANAS!
Summing up bananas:
So, to wrap things up, this is what I’ve learned:
Eat a banana EVERY DAY to become the most hydrated, gutsy, self-controlled athlete that ever was!
Joking aside, eat a banana. GO BANANAS!
Not only did I learn all this great stuff about bananas, I found out that I’m a banana. Definitely a banana. This picture is proof! ha ha ha