Bananas are sort of like the middle child of fruit – often overlooked in place of ‘trendier’ or ‘exotic’ alternatives. But we don’t understand why! First of all, you do not have to look for specialty stores or spend ungodly amounts of money for it. It’s as simple as walking to your nearest grocery store to find them, regardless of what time of the year it is.
Besides being one of the most delicious things you could ever eat, they also come with their own set of incredible health benefits. Everyone’s heard the saying ‘an apple a day, keeps the doctor away’. Well, I think it would be more appropriate to say ‘a banana a day, keeps the doctor away’.
Sadly, many people tend to throw bananas away when they start to develop black spots. That’s a travesty, because blackened bananas haven’t really gone “bad”, and they have a bunch of added benefits than the regular ones. Here are some of the reasons why eating black spotted bananas are good for you:
1. Prevents Cancer
Research indicates that the black spots on ripe bananas have a form of TNF, or Tumor Necrosis Factor, which is one of the most important proteins capable of interfering with the growth of tumor cells.
They also help in the fight against keeping them from spreading by causing the cells to die. Bananas also contain high levels of fiber. Both of these factors aid in the prevention and cure of cancer. The riper the banana, the more of the cancer-fighting property it had. Along with an increase in the number of white blood cells, it also improves immunity and the production of TNF.
2. Helps Control Blood Pressure
Potassium is a mineral that is essential for maintaining heart health. But despite this fact, many people tend to not have enough of it in their daily diets. Bananas are a great nutritional source of potassium. A regular-sized banana contains about 9-10% of an individual’s recommended daily intake. The potassium in bananas helps control blood pressure and prevent strokes and heart attacks.
Bananas also contain sterol, a unique type of plant fat that is a great aid in keeping your cholesterol levels in check. We also know bananas are a rich source of fiber, and these too come to the rescue of the heart by reducing the overall risk of heart disease over a lifetime.
3. A Great Energy Booster
Bananas are calorie dense and contain many important nutrients that will help give your body and mind the boost it needs. They are comprised entirely of water and carbs, contain little to no fat and a very small amount of protein.
They are also a great addition to your diet if your an athletic person or simply love to exercise. The abundance of health properties a banana carries, like vitamins and minerals and more help you stay energized and fit. The potassium in bananas also assists in the prevention of muscle cramps during exercise.
4. Cure for Heartburn
Bananas are the great remedy that helps soothe heartburn because they have naturally low levels of acid. The potassium in bananas helps resist heartburn via reducing the acidity of the stomach by increasing the pH level of the stomach contents. When the pH levels are high, the acidity levels are low.
Bananas are also known to produce a lot of mucus, which sticks to the intestinal walls and act as a deterrent that keeps the gastric acid away. In addition to this, they contain prebiotics, which are good stomach bacteria that help achieve the right amount of food bacteria in the stomach to keep it all running like a well-oiled machine.
5. Reduces Depression
Tryptophan is an amino acid present in bananas that researchers conclude play a starring role in refining memory and improving your mood. Research also shows that bananas can help in the fight against depression by causing the production of serotonin, or the “happy hormone”, through the conversion of tryptophan with the combination of B vitamins. This gives people a mood booster as well as making them feel good in general.
Feelings of irritability or stress can be curbed through the help of B vitamins that are available in bananas in abundance. These vitamins also help regulate blood glucose levels, which could be the reason that you’re feeling down. It can also help effects of PMS and relieve stress in menstruating women.
6. Digestive Benefits
Along with the high levels of vitamins and minerals present in bananas, they are also a great source of dietary fiber. Fiber is essential in the speeding up of the digestive process. Bananas have two types of fiber, where the soluble fiber keeps the sugar in the fruit from metabolizing too quickly and keeps your insulin in check while the insoluble fiber helps speed up the digestion process, which is why its a great remedy for constipation.
Bananas are also a good source of pectin, a kind of fiber which is the main reason that bananas get softer as they ripen. Pectin is also a major player in helping maintain a healthy digestive system.
7. Food For The Brain
No, eating a banana isn’t going to instantly propel you to Einstein status, but it can significantly help improve brain activity and cognitive function with regular intake. This is why bananas are considered a brain food because they can help your brain function better.
The main reason why we say this is because of the abundant levels of Vitamin B6 present in bananas, which is vital for improving cognitive function and helping you concentrate better. Magnesium is another property of bananas that can help in the process of keeping you sharper. This is because ammonia in the brain – even small levels of it can mess with your concentration skills. Magnesium helps by converting this ammonia into urea, which the body finds easy to dispose of.