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What are the benefits of Eating Bananas?

Updated on June 19, 2013

The perfect banana

Near ripe medium bananas
Near ripe medium bananas
Sports banana
Sports banana

The Versatile Banana

January 16, 2008 © Liam Bean

The riper a banana the better it is for you. In fact sugar content in a banana is at its peak when the skin has turned completely black. This is the point at which all the starches in a banana have been converted to sugars. Also, contrary to popular opinion, bananas can and should be refrigerated to extend their edible life.

Dietary Supplement: Because bananas are so high in vitamins B6 and B12 and so low in sodium they are a perfect dietary supplement. They also contain magnesium and potassium along with the sugars sucrose, fructose and glucose.

Nicotine Withdrawal: It is said that the two B vitamins and minerals help with nicotine addiction withdrawal.

Sugar Fix: The sugars fructose and glucose are known to enter the bloodstream rapidly which is a good thing if you are experiencing low blood sugar. This makes them a good food choice for hypoglycemics and diabetics.

Diet Aid: A typical medium banana has less than 100 calories and, with a glass of water, can be very filling. The effect of one banana on blood sugar and protein levels is good for up to two hours. This makes it a near perfect dietary snack.

Digestion Aid: They are also the "B" in the Banana, rice, applesauce, and toast (BRAT) diet, a food regimen recommended for children recovering from gastric upset. Note that the BRAT diet is not recommended for extended periods as it lacks protein.

Ingredient List: A medium banana contains a gram of protein, three (3g) grams of fiber, twenty-seven (27g) grams of of carbohydrates, twenty-four (24g) grams of sugars, forty-three (43mg) milligrams of magnesium, and perhaps most importantly of all, four hundred sixty (460mg) milligrams of potassium.

Sports Tonic: The potassium and magnesium makes in a near perfect sports food for those lactic acid related cramps. I have personally found that a banana, after a particularly grueling run or bike outing, will relieve muscle cramps within fifteen minutes.

Other Uses: Once you've finished eating the banana don't throw the peel away; put it to good use. Because the banana peel is also loaded with potassium it can be used to reduce wrinkles around the eyes. Rubbing a fresh banana peel, yellow side out, under and around the eyes can reduce worry lines and bags. A banana peel can also reduce the itching and swelling from an insect bite. Again just rub the peel on the bite or for extended relief tape some peel to the bite.There's a strange rumor going around that the Gabor sisters (Zaza and Eva) would line their bras with bananas for perkier body effects.

Gardening: Rose bushes thrive on potassium so try scattering a few peels around the base of these bushes. In a pinch I even used a banana peel to shine my shoes.

So, a banana is not just good to eat, its peel is also good for your skin and good for certain plants.

Less than Usual Banana Recipes

Banana Ice Cream
Warning: This recipe requires an ice-cream maker.

Ingredients

  • 6 ripe bananas (about 2 1/4 pounds)
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 3/4 Cup light corn syrup
  • 1 vanilla bean, scraped down
  • 1 1/2 Cup heavy cream

Directions

  1. Place bananas in freezer and freeze overnight. This will enhance the banana flavors
  2. Remove the bananas from freezer and allow to thaw for 45 minutes to 1 hour.
  3. Peel the bananas and place in bowl of food processor along with the lemon juice.
  4. Process for 10 to 15 seconds. You want a puree.
  5. Add corn syrup and vanilla bean seeds and turn processor on; blend until incorporated then;
  6. Slowly pour in the heavy cream.
  7. Process until smooth.
  8. Chill mixture in refrigerator until it reaches about 40 degrees.
  9. Transfer mixture to an ice cream maker and process according to manufacturer's instructions.
  10. Place mixture in an airtight container and freeze for 3 to 6 hours before serving.

Banana Sour Cream Coffee Cake

Ingredients

  • 1/2 Cup Butter or margarine (unsalted)
  • 1 Cup Sugar (can be half brown half white granulated)
  • 2 Eggs (or three egg whites to avoid cholesterol)
  • 1 Cup Mashed bananas (frozen overnight is best)
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla (or one fresh vanilla pod)
  • 1/2 c Sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon Baking Powder
  • 1 teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon Salt
  • 1/4 Cup Chopped nuts (pecans or walnuts are great)
  • 1/4 Cup Sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon Cinnamon
  • 2 Cups Flour

Directions

  1. In bowl, cream butter with sugar.
  2. Beat in eggs.
  3. In one medium bowl combine mashed bananas, vanilla and sour cream. 
  4. If using a vanilla pod cut the pod lengthwise, scrape out the pulp and seeds, and add what sticks to the knife to the bowl in step three above.
  5. In another medium bowl sift together flour, baking powder, soda and salt.
  6. Fold the dry mixture into the creamed mixture, stirring just to blend.
  7. In the now empty "dry" bowl, combine finely chopped nuts, 1/4 cup sugar and cinnamon.
  8. Sprinkle half over bottom of well greased bundt or tube pan.
  9. Spoon in half the batter. Sprinkle with remaining nuts and cover with balance of batter.
  10. Bake at 350 degrees approx. 45 minutes or until cake is nicely browned. Do a toothpick test to check for done-ness.
  11. Rack cool in pan on rack for 10 minutes.
  12. Turn out onto a serving place by placing the plate on the top of the bundt pan and turning both so the plate becomes the bottom. This will prevent accidents.
  13. I will sometimes add a 1/4 Cup from a package of trail-mix instead of the 1/4 Cup of nuts for a different flavor/texture.

Comments

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  • LiamBean profile image
    Author

    LiamBean 4 years ago from Los Angeles, Calilfornia

    StanMuphy: I hadn't heard that one. Let me see what I can find out and maybe add it to the article. Thanks for the heads-up.

  • stanmurphy profile image

    Stan Murphy 4 years ago from Kansas

    I can't get enough of bananas, so your hub piqued my interest. Most everyday I include a banana with my breakfast and use them often as an evening snack or prior to my workout for the day. I have heard recently that if you separate them from their bunch they last longer. Do you know if this is true?

  • Harsha Vardhana R profile image

    Harsha Vardhana R 5 years ago from Bangalore

    LiamBean: Sure, please give a thorough search. Interestingly, an article associated with an Insurance website also mentions that.

    http://lifeinsuranceandmore.com/2012/03/29/the-hea...

    I believe insurance folks accept any health benefits after recommendations by medical field, because the better health reduces health expense claims!

  • LiamBean profile image
    Author

    LiamBean 5 years ago from Los Angeles, Calilfornia

    Harsha: Thank you for pointing that out. I might add that information to this article, but I want to do a bit of research before I do. See if the scientific community is embracing the research.

  • Harsha Vardhana R profile image

    Harsha Vardhana R 5 years ago from Bangalore

    Recently a Japanese study has proved that a ripe banana has a special compound TNF which has anti-carcinogenic effects. More ripe a banana is, the better

  • saday profile image

    saday 5 years ago from India

    Here are some benefits of eating Banana

    1) It controls Blood Pressure.

    2) It increases Brain Power.

    3) Helps to cure Constipation problems.

    4) Helps in curing Heartburn.

    5) Reduces Depression.

    6) Purifies blood

    7) Maintain Sugar level.

  • profile image

    shopkins22 5 years ago

    Great information! I just incorporated a banana before my workouts. Any information about this? It gives me the extra jolt I need to get a good workout in. Also, going to the dermatologist this morning and going to talk about bananas as a treatment for wrinkles around the eyes...Thanks again for the info!

  • LiamBean profile image
    Author

    LiamBean 5 years ago from Los Angeles, Calilfornia

    Deborah: I haven't found that it makes me feel bloated. Of course I'm probably larger than you and can hold more. If you aren't sure just eat a part of a banana with water instead of a whole one. What it does do is make me feel comfortably full; not excessively so.

  • LiamBean profile image
    Author

    LiamBean 5 years ago from Los Angeles, Calilfornia

    There you go Hendrika!

  • Hendrika profile image

    Hendrika 5 years ago from Pretoria, South Africa

    I love bananas and now I do not have to make excuses for eating them any more!

  • LiamBean profile image
    Author

    LiamBean 5 years ago from Los Angeles, Calilfornia

    Thanks Jason. I like to try to cover "everything" when writing about a topic.

  • Jason Lim profile image

    Jason Lim 5 years ago from Singapore

    Awesome way to put the simple banana in the spotlight. I love it with my morning yoghurt!

  • tarajeyaram profile image

    tarajeyaram 6 years ago from Wonderland

    Thank your sharing the information. Its well written.

  • profile image

    leenaaa 6 years ago

    I think this article is really helpful because it gives many information about the benefits of banana.

    Actually i don't like eating banana. Still i just like the information given about bananas.

  • Dr Rockpile profile image

    Dr Rockpile 6 years ago from USA

    Ha, love the "Sports banana" pic. Great info on a favorite fruit.

  • Kim M Gregory profile image

    Kim Morgan Gregory 6 years ago from The Coast of The South Carolina Lowcountry

    Nice hub... The recipes are a nice touch. I love bananas... You can do so much with them. I like to add them to homemade milk shakes to give them a smoother texture. Also just wanted to mention, please don't substitute bananas for potassium that is prescribed by your Dr. My Dr. says it would take a truckload of bananas to = a prescription dosage. Anyway thanks for the hub, it was great.

  • elqalatawy profile image

    elqalatawy 6 years ago from Egypt

    Interesting hub! My next hub is about banana but for face.

  • profile image

    naturalsolutions 6 years ago

    I love banana whether it is cooked or just a ripe one. The ripe one is perfect for desert, and still it has a lot of nutrients to serve us. And i believe that banana help us to have a smooth and younger looking skin.

  • bjornborgboxers profile image

    bjornborgboxers 6 years ago from The Netherlands

    Sweet. I'm heading to the grocery store on the corner to get some banana's. Thanks! Very informative

  • LiamBean profile image
    Author

    LiamBean 6 years ago from Los Angeles, Calilfornia

    selfdefenselesson: I consider banana a summer fruit. I crave them more then. I think part of it is the increased physical activity and the potassium bananas provide to make such activity easier. They also just seem to taste better in the summer.

  • selfdefenselesson profile image

    selfdefenselesson 6 years ago

    Nice list there!

    I'm not the biggest fan of bananas. But I've always wondered about the healthy benefits without having to read through pages of nutritional mumbo jumbo. Thanks for this.

    Short and sweet.

  • LiamBean profile image
    Author

    LiamBean 6 years ago from Los Angeles, Calilfornia

    Thanks for reading funmontrealgirl! I like them in shakes too.

  • funmontrealgirl profile image

    funmontrealgirl 6 years ago from Montreal

    Nice to know. I put bananas in shakes.

  • profile image

    rehdge 6 years ago

    hi, just want to ask how many banana should i eat everyday..?

    ..does eating more, can give harm to the body? tnks and gbu!

  • cheneats profile image

    cheneats 6 years ago from Sunshine State

    Hello LiamBean, thank you for sharing. I like the picture 'Sports banana' :) I eat banana peels in smoothies to get the extra nutrients. Check https://hubpages.com/food/I-Eat-Banana-Peels

  • profile image

    Donna W 6 years ago

    I have been on a diet and started eating a banana every morning for breakfast and this has helped me sooo much. I also used to take medicines for my stomach acid and colon issues, now since eating a banana everyday I no longer need any medications and have not had ANY stomach problems!!!!! This has been one of the best foods I have found yet. I also was getting a lot of cramps in my feet and toes, which have stopped since eating just one banana a day!!!!!

  • Carolyn Moe profile image

    Carolyn Moe 6 years ago

    We used to freeze bananas, put them on a buster bar stick and dip them in chocolate at our Dairy Queens!... yum!... now I just cut extras in chunks and freeze them in bags... delicious and I don't need to go into the white flour with banana bread... congrats on this being your first post... very good!

  • edw4rdcull profile image

    edw4rdcull 6 years ago

    I love Bananas and so good to be a healthy fruit

  • jstelletello profile image

    jstelletello 6 years ago

    People really underestimate the power of natural normal food!

  • LiamBean profile image
    Author

    LiamBean 6 years ago from Los Angeles, Calilfornia

    Excellent!

  • hotwebideas profile image

    Bruce Chamoff 6 years ago from New York

    Great article on bananas and I just wrote a hub on the health benefits of potassium at https://hubpages.com/health/Yes-we-hear-that-banan...

  • WriterDJ profile image

    WriterDJ 6 years ago

    very good to know, we often eat banana don't know its benefits...not only made us full

  • midnightbliss profile image

    Haydee Anderson 6 years ago from Hermosa Beach

    i love bananas and its good to know that it has lots of health benefits, plus the skin can also be useful.

    nice hub.

  • profile image

    Eczema in Babies 6 years ago

    I never realised they could be so good! Thanks for all the useful info and for taking the time to put this hub together! Voted up!

  • kasiapl profile image

    Kathy 6 years ago from New Jersey , USA

    Bananas are awesome :)

  • profile image

    fatma 7 years ago

    I like banana

  • profile image

    Jay Padillo 7 years ago

    Hello, Eversince I eat Bananas though I really don't know the benefits of eating such bananas. Anyway, also eating bananas make me easy release bowel everyday.

  • timonweller profile image

    timonweller 7 years ago

    I love bananas and i also heard they help reduce depression so there is another bonus.

  • Allanknowhow profile image

    Allanknowhow 7 years ago from Singapore

    Today i learn a little more about Banana, thank you! great page. Cheers.!

  • LiamBean profile image
    Author

    LiamBean 7 years ago from Los Angeles, Calilfornia

    anup: Avocado has almost the same nutrient makeup as the banana, including potassium.

  • LiamBean profile image
    Author

    LiamBean 7 years ago from Los Angeles, Calilfornia

    tngold: The peel contains oils that are hard to digest. If she gets an upset tummy afterward that might be the cause.

  • profile image

    tdngold 7 years ago

    my little princess eats her banana peel after dealing with the banana itself. I hope its NOT harmful to her health...?

  • LiamBean profile image
    Author

    LiamBean 7 years ago from Los Angeles, Calilfornia

    Damianna: Absolutely! The best banana for banana bread is one that is either extremely overripe or has been frozen (which has the same effect as waiting until the banana is extremely overripe). The reason is more of the banana oil is released if the peel is damaged or frozen.

  • profile image

    Damianna 7 years ago

    are Bananas good that has turned completely black for cooking or anything else?

  • profile image

    Kevin 7 years ago

    I eat two bananas after lunch everyday. I like bananas, and I am quite sure that it's good for my health. Thank you for your information and the tips. I am young painter from China, engaging in creating different kinds of oil paintings.

  • profile image

    Meme 7 years ago

    thanx for the information, I will start using it

    love banana

  • profile image

    pareshkumar 7 years ago

    Thank you. Banana is the god gift to us.

  • LiamBean profile image
    Author

    LiamBean 7 years ago from Los Angeles, Calilfornia

    Thanks Rudra. There are many vegetables that are absolutely excellent nutrition. All we need to do is (re)discover them.

  • Rudra profile image

    Rudra 7 years ago

    always liked banana but never knew there were so many benefits .

  • profile image

    Sahil Khan 7 years ago

    Thank you for information provided.

  • AdamCairn profile image

    AdamCairn 7 years ago from UK

    I love bananas, even when they are brown and over-ripe.

  • LiamBean profile image
    Author

    LiamBean 7 years ago from Los Angeles, Calilfornia

    Thanks for reading silver. This was my first hub.

  • Silver Poet profile image

    Silver Poet 7 years ago from the computer of a midwestern American writer

    I knew bananas were high in nutrition, but this hub spells it out for me. I'm glad to know just exactly why I feel so much better when I eat them.

  • pinkhawk profile image

    pinkhawk 7 years ago from Pearl of the Orient

    ..i like banana but didn't know how great it is for the body! thank you for sharing :)

  • ComputerGuy profile image

    ComputerGuy 8 years ago

    And I just thought it was just a banana...

  • rylittleton profile image

    rylittleton 8 years ago

    Never thought of a banana that way, great stuff!

  • profile image

    Ed Hurley 8 years ago

    Great blog.

    Very appealing.:-).

  • TrudyVan profile image

    TrudyVan Curre 8 years ago from South Africa

    Hello there TrudyVan here. You hub is on my favourite fruit. I was told to have a banana a day because it helps the body absorb calcuim. Keep up the great work

  • fastfreta profile image

    Alfreta Sailor 8 years ago from Southern California

    This is one of the best hubs that I've ever read. I am going to print this one and share it with all of my friends. I always throw bananas out when they are completely ripe and turning brown. And I have never refrigerated them, but I will now.

    Oh but is it true that the peel is somewhat poisonous, due to spiders loving banana trees? I read that when you juice that banana peels are the only peel you should not juice, due to the poison from spiders. Is that true? Great, great hub!

  • LiamBean profile image
    Author

    LiamBean 8 years ago from Los Angeles, Calilfornia

    Lmoovbuff: This is a great way to recycle too. Used coffee grounds also contain potassium so you could scatter those around the base of your roses too.

  • Lmoovbuff profile image

    Lmoovbuff 8 years ago from Colorado

    Wow, this was very interesting to read. I never knew so much about a banana and I am glad I had the privilege of reading about them. I will definitely try next spring and summer the banana peel around the rose bushes. Thank you!

  • LiamBean profile image
    Author

    LiamBean 8 years ago from Los Angeles, Calilfornia

    Ha! Thanks Kim. How odd that my very first hub is now number one. It's over two years old.

  • profile image

    Kim Garcia 8 years ago

    Very true, and very beneficial. Thanks for going bananas for us!! Peace ~ K

  • Om Paramapoonya profile image

    Om Paramapoonya 9 years ago

    Very informative hub! I think I'll eat bananas everyday from now on :)

  • Annette Rozen profile image

    Ann Martin 9 years ago

    I love bananas. Especially in banana bread. Was happy to now aout all the health benefits i can gain. Great picture of the banana in the bicycle!

  • funride profile image

    Ricardo Nunes 9 years ago from Portugal

    Great hub! And I can tell you I never frown when someone ask me about bananas nutricional benefits :D

    I´ve loved the "Sports banana" lool, and perhaps that´s one of the reasons for some nutricionists frowning: for someone who don´t practice regular exercise and needing losing weigh bananas aren´t the ideal fruit to recommend ;)

    I´m some how suspect cause banana is one of my favorite fruits.