ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Health and Fitness Benefits of the Banana

Updated on December 05, 2016

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.

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

  1. 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

Cast your vote for Peanut Butter & Banana smoothie

Banana Cake

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

Banana Pancakes

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.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • catmalone profile image

      catmalone 3 years ago

      I aways wonder when I ate bananas, they seem to settle my stomach when it was upset. Very great hub with a lot of useful information.

    • prospectboy profile image

      Bradrick H. 3 years ago from Texas

      Very useful article here my man. I'm very proud to say that I regularly eat bananas. I was already previously aware of some of the benefits of this fruit, but I learned some more valuable benefits that they provide from reading your article. I haven't eaten a banana today as of yet, but I'm definitely going to have one after my walk later. Thanks for the valuable information bro. Voted up, rated useful, shared and Facebook and Twitter.

    • Alphadogg16 profile image
      Author

      Kevin W 3 years ago from Texas

      Thanks for the read, Catmalone & Prospect boy, I love bananas myself, pretty much eat them daily.

    • tobusiness profile image

      Jo Alexis-Hagues 3 years ago from Bedfordshire, U.K

      We tend to take the humble banana for granted, thank you for reminding us what an incredible healthy fruit the banana is. Very informative hub, voting up and awesome.

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 3 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Health and fitness benefits of Bananas great hub, and bananas are one of my favorite treats.

    • Marie Flint profile image

      Marie Flint 3 years ago from Jacksonville, Florida USA

      Voted useful.

      This could be a more interesting hub by adding a nutritional capsule giving the breakdown of a medium banana's minerals, carbohydrates, fats, etc.

      You mention the apple. Perhaps a table comparing the banana's and apple's nutritional values. fiber content, and calories would push home your point.

      I know Hub Pages would like to see you use a couple more pictures. And how about a banana-shake recipe? Bananas always transform those bland tasting protein powders into a delicious shake.

      One interesting aspect of the banana is that mosquitoes are attracted to the oil scent exuded from our bodies after eating one or two. So, if you're an outdoor person, it's wise to avoid bananas during the mosquito season.

      Some diet theorists also advocate only eating local fruits and vegetables. The banana, they say, is not appropriate for those living in northern climates.

      Finally, my mother always told me to put her banana peel in the rose bed. Bananas, she said, were good for the roses.

      A question about your advertised Potassium Citrate: A homeopath suggested to me that I should take an enzyme supplement to rid myself of the aging/liver spots on my hands. He said 'potassium' something. Is potassium citrate an enzyme? (I can probably do an engine search, but I thought you might know.)

      Blessings!

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Isaac Weithers 3 years ago from The Caribbean

      For me, it is a banana a day. Thank you for pointing out all these nutritious benefits.

    • Marie Flint profile image

      Marie Flint 3 years ago from Jacksonville, Florida USA

      I just got done commenting about the pregnant lady that's eating ten bananas for breakfast. Her friends seem to think she's not eating right, but I think she's doing just fine. Maybe her friends need to read this hub.

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 3 years ago

      I try to eat a banana a day for all the reasons you have listed. I'm off to buy some at the grocery.

    • finalreview profile image

      finalreview 3 years ago

      This is such a clever article! I love bananas, too because they are filling and not full of water like other fruits. You get lots of nutrients without getting your hands covered in juice and that's why I always go for bananas in the first place and eat all other fruits just for variety. Alpha, you definitely have a bent for writing health related stuff, I will read your other articles, too.

    • profile image

      Mondi 2 years ago

      I wish to show some appreciation to the wrietr for rescuing me from this type of matter. Right after surfing through the search engines and coming across suggestions that were not beneficial, I believed my life was over. Existing devoid of the strategies to the difficulties you've sorted out by means of your main blog post is a crucial case, and ones that might have adversely damaged my career if I hadn't encountered the blog. Your own personal training and kindness in maneuvering every item was priceless. I'm not sure what I would have done if I had not come upon such a step like this. I'm able to now look forward to my future. Thank you very much for your professional and sensible guide. I will not think twice to propose your web blog to anybody who would need guidelines about this topic.

    Click to Rate This Article