Lately I’ve been fielding a lot of questions about one of America’s most popular fruits: bananas. On average, Americans eat about 20 pounds of bananas per person each year. Yet many people aren’t quite sure if this convenient fruit is really a healthy choice. In recent years some diets have put bananas on their ‘banned’ lists and some online rumors insist that they are a cause of weight gain.
Here are 5 reasons to peel open this fantastic fruit:
1. They Won’t Make You Fat
That’s right, bananas are diet-friendly. With just 110 calories per medium-sized banana, you get 30 grams of healthy carbs and 3 grams fiber. In addition to filling fiber, bananas contain resistant starch, a type of carbohydrate you can’t digest, but helps you feel fuller longer. A banana can have 2-3 grams of resistant starch (the greener it is, the more resistant starch it contains). This makes them a great mid-afternoon snack, or a perfect pre-workout energy booster.
2. They May Help Lower Your Blood Pressure
You may already know that bananas are a high potassium food. But did you know that means they may help to lower your blood pressure? A medium banana has 422 mg potassium while being sodium-free. Research shows that having a diet rich in potassium reduces the likelihood of high blood pressure and stroke.
3. They’re a good source of Vitamin C
Usually citrus fruits like oranges and grapefruit come to mind when we think of Vitamin C. But don’t overlook bananas for this important nutrient: a medium banana provides about 17% of the daily requirement for vitamin C. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that plays an important role in immune function. It also helps to give you a gorgeous glow, as it helps to build collagen that provides structure for our skin.
4. They’re nature’s perfect on-the-go snack
Need a quick energy boost that will also fill you up when you’re on the go? Don’t forget to bring a banana. With healthy carbs and fiber, bananas are the ideal pick-me-up that will help keep you satisfied between meals. Plus they come in one of nature’s most ‘mess-free’ packages, so you’ll never have to worry about sticky hands.
5. Just smelling one could quash your cravings
According to a study performed at the Smell and Taste Treatment and Research Foundation in Chicago, smelling certain foods when you are hungry can trick you brain into thinking that you’ve actually eaten them. One of those foods is bananas. If that’s not enough to convince you that you can enjoy bananas while losing weight, smell one next time you are hungry.