Health and Fitness Benefits of the Banana
A Cluster of Bananas
The Healthy Fruit
There is an obvious fitness craze that's been going on and pretty much everyone is always looking for different ways and new things to improve their health, wellness and fitness levels, provide some good, sustainable natural energy or aid in the growth and development of muscle mass. There is a large variety of fruits and vegetables that have many health and fitness benefits that come along with eating them, but the banana is actually one that is on the top of the list and has significantly more advantages/benefits than most other fruits. That old popular cliche' you've always heard that says "an apple a day will keep the doctor away" should probably be changed to having a banana a day. A banana has more carbohydrates, more phosphorus, nutrients and vitamin content than an apple does and is also filled with an abundance of potassium. With all of the vitamins and carbohydrates that it consists of, bananas will supply you with a very high level of natural energy without the crash/let down that some of the coffee/caffeine or energy based stimulants/pre-work out drinks will give you. There are multiple other benefits to consuming bananas regularly.
Fruit Bowl Banana Hanger
Peanut Butter & Banana Smoothie
Ingredients for PB & Banana Smoothie
- 1 Banana, I prefer them yellow, not green
- 1/8 cup Peanut butter
- 1/2 cup Soy Milk
- 2 tablespoons Honey
Directions for PB & Banana Smoothie
- In a blender, combine banana, peanut butter and soy milk. Blend until smooth. Pour into glasses and drizzle with honey for garnish.
Peanut Butter & Banana Smoothie
Fitness Benefits of Bananas
Normally bananas are considered as a source for energy/carbohydrates because of the sugars they contain that your body converts for energy use. They replace the muscle glycogen (sugar) that is used during your intense workout sessions. In fact, downing a couple of ripe bananas before a grueling training session could provide you with enough natural energy to power you through an hour and a half long workout with no problem. The high potassium content found in them will/can assist in reducing any cramping you might be having, which is not only good from the fitness aspect but can be very advantageous to the women who may be going through their monthly menstrual cycle. The high levels of the vitamin B6 eases the menstrual cycle pains by controlling blood glucose levels. They have also been associated with fighting morning sickness during a woman's pregnancy. Potassium has also been directly related to the decreasing of blood pressure and stroke potential as well. Bananas also assist the body's circulatory system by providing increased levels of oxygen to the brain (making you more alert and increasing brain power), contributing to the regulation of proper water balance to the body and maintaining a regular heart beat. High in soluble fiber, bananas can work as a natural laxative that improve your bowel health and can prevent constipation from occurring without annoying you with the dreaded diarrhea that will constantly have you running to the bathroom. For all the fitness fanatics/body builders/gym rats that consume a large amount of protein/red meat on a regular basis, this will be extremely beneficial in aiding normal, daily bowel functions.
10 Health Benefits of the Banana
Health Benefits of Bananas
You can add mood enhancer to the long list of benefits for this super fruit. Containing a chemical called tryptophan, which your body converts into serotonin (the hormone that regulates your moods, sexual behavior, reduces appetite and suppresses your perception of pain) bananas can give you a natural high and decrease irritability. For all you people that still like to smoke (despite all the health risks associated with it), the B vitamins and minerals can diminish the withdrawal feelings experienced when you come off of the nicotine. For those individuals that like to enjoy a good drink, or two, or three. Whenever you go a little overboard with the alcohol consumption, bananas will naturally calm the stomach, replenishing the body's vitamins and re-establish normal blood sugar levels, lessening the effects of a party hangover. They also consolidate stomach acids, limiting irritation to the digestive system and promoting intestinal health for those that consume a lot of acidic foods, suffer from heart burn and/or ulcers.
More Health Benefits of the Banana
Banana vs Apple
Still More Health Benefits
If your anemic (have an iron deficiency), bananas have a high iron content that stimulate the production of red blood cells and hemoglobin (allows the blood to clot quicker), which is imperative when you are bleeding/cut or have some type of serious injury. Research has also linked bananas to assisting/maintaining low pressure, decreasing the risk of kidney cancer, type 2 diabetes, and aiding in the proper functioning of the nervous system. Studies have also shown that the resistant starch that is found in carb rich foods such as the banana, act as a natural appetite suppressant keeping you feeling fuller, longer, thus raising your metabolism. As you have read, the banana is extremely versatile. It can not only be used for natural energy before your workout (could actually be a healthy alternative to sports/pre workout drinks), it also works great in recovering from a hard work out. The sugars in bananas distribute proteins to your muscle cells after your rugged workout has depleted you. Adding bananas to your post work out shake/ replacement meal will assist in recovering tremendously. More often than not, something that is healthy and good for normally taste like stir fried crap. But not in this case, the banana is a great tasting snack that you can carry with you anywhere. I wouldn't recommend walking out of the grocery store without a bundle or two.
Other Links with Health and Fitness Benefits Information
- 10 Healthy Super Foods that Naturally Burn Fat
Losing excessive weight isn't an easy process for most people, but you can help yourself by adding these healthy foods to your shopping list to make the journey a little bit easier.
- 6 of the Best Fruits and Vegetables with Health and Fitness benefits
When trying to develop muscle mass, animal proteins are a must, however the body does require other types of proteins & things to maintain that muscle and keep the body at an optimum level.