Why it’s a superfood?
- High in vitamins B6 and C, fiber, potassium, mangansese;
- Good source of riboflavin, folate, magnesium, copper;
- Contains antioxidant phenols.
One of the reasons eating bananas is beneficial is because bananas are high in potassium. Potassium is an electrolyte and we require it to help our bodies function optimally. One banana contains more than 300mg of potassium. The recommended daily intake according to the National Health and Medical Research Council is 3,800mg per day for males and 2,800mg per day for females.
Bananas are high in potassium, a mineral that promotes heart health and normal blood pressure. This meta-analysis published in 2011, found that a daily consumption of 1,300-1,400mg of potassium is linked to 26% lower risk of heart disease.
In addition, bananas contain antioxidant flavonoids that have also been associated with a significant decrease in the risk of heart disease.
Making the most of Bananas
The high content of heat-sensitive and water soluble vitamins B6 and C means that fresh bananas are the best choice (vitamin B6 may decrease by as much as 50% if heated). For added nutrients, combine bananas with fruit high in vitamin A, such as mango or peach and mix with cottage cheese to add slow digesting protein.
Bananas and athletic performance
The unique mix of vitamins, minerals, and low glycemic carbohydrates in bananas has made them a favorite fruit among endurance athletes.
Bananas have long been valued by athletes for prevention of muscle cramps. Since bananas are a good source of potassium, and since low potassium levels are known to contribute to risk of muscle cramps, it is logical to think that the potassium content of bananas as being a contributing factor for a reduction in muscle cramps whilst conducting physical activities.
When is the best time to eat bananas
Generally, the taste and nutritional value of bananas change as they ripen.
Pre-ripened bananas tend to have greener skins and are less sweet than well-ripened bananas because the starch hasn’t fully broken down into simple sugars. The upside to eating pre-ripened bananas is that you stay full for longer and enjoy the benefits of the resistant starch.
On the other hand, a well-ripened banana with some dark patches on the skin is easier to digest and may give you the energy boost you require before playing sports.