Bananas! One of the bodybuilding community’s favorite fruits and the best friend of chocolate and peanut butter. There are so many ways that they can be used, you can put them in pancakes, on top of oats, freeze them, turn them in to ice cream, blend them in shakes, make banana chips or even eat them on their own. Whatever way you prefer, there’s no denying that bananas are a great and healthy fruit.
Who doesn’t love bananas? Here’s a few reasons why they are so great:
Quick pick me up
Bananas are high in carbohydrates and natural sugars that are great when you are feeling slow, lethargic and fighting the afternoon blues. Just one banana is enough to provide you with a quick and significant boost in energy to help you get through the day.
High in minerals and vitamins
These suggestively shaped fruits boast an incredible nutritional profile. They are high in fiber (both soluble and insoluble), potassium, manganese, biotin, copper and vitamins B6 and C.
One medium banana contains just over 3 grams of fiber at a measly 100 calories. Fiber regulates the digestive system and controls the insulin spike that you get from eating foods high in sugar. Bananas also contain a type of fiber known as ‘pectin.’ Pectin, has been found to increase the amount of the good bacteria (probiotics) within the intestines. This results in a healthy digestive and immune system.
Just one medium banana contains just over 400mg of the heart healthy mineral, Potassium. This is great news, especially considering that most supplements only provide a 100mg per capsule. Potassium is responsible for maintaining a healthy blood pressure as well as ensuring that the heart is functioning normally.
Bananas also contain a small amount of fat. These are heart healthy fats known as sterols and along with fiber, they help to block the absorption of the bad (LDL) dietary cholesterol. This in turn results in a healthy heart, healthy blood flow and prevents the risks of strokes.
These sweet little fruits contain high levels of the amino acid, Tryptophan. This is converted in to serotonin within the body, which is the feel good chemical, and helps to fight depression. Before reaching for those anti-depressants, try having a banana or two.
Prevents muscle cramps
Don’t you just hate it when you are working out and suddenly you get a muscle cramp, or when you are trying to sleep and your leg just keeps having cramp attacks. Muscle cramps occur when your body is either, not properly hydrated and/or lacking in electrolytes such as Potassium. Have a banana half an hour before your workout and/or bed time and you should notice immediate relief.