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Benefits of Eating Bananas

written by: Diana Cooper • edited by: BStone • updated: 7/11/2011

Bananas are a great alternative to sweets. They are delicious, nutritious, and low in calories. There are many health benefits of bananas, including helping those who want to lose weight. Learn what else bananas are good for and why they should be included in your diet.

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    Health Benefits of Bananas Not only are bananas tasty, they are highly nutritious. One medium-sized banana has about 100 calories, very little fat, and no cholesterol. It consists mainly of simple carbohydrates and is high in fiber (a complex carbohydrate), making it an excellent source of food to boost energy levels quickly over a fairly decent period of time. Bananas are also high in B vitamins, vitamin C, iron, magnesium, and potassium.

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    Health Benefits of Bananas

    Bananas are often the first solid food parents give their babies because of its sweet taste. Bananas are easily digested and the risk of allergies (which can be responsible for many problems in children, including eczema and ear infections) are extremely low.

    Because bananas are delicious and low in calories, they are a healthy alternative to sweets for those who are craving sugar and/or trying to lose weight. Bananas are a convenient snack and can easily be added to other healthy foods, such as whole grain cereals and yogurt.

    Helping individuals with depression is another benefit of bananas because they contain tryptophan and are high in B vitamins. Tryptophan is believed to increase serotonin levels in the brain. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that some refer to as the brain's own tranquilizing and mood-elevating drug. Many people who are depressed have low tryptophan and serotonin levels.

    Other benefits include:

    • promoting healthy bones by helping in the absorption of calcium
    • preventing peptic ulcers by producing thicker mucus in the digestive tract and reducing acidity (also helpful in treating heartburn)
    • preventing high blood pressure and reducing the risk of stroke because bananas are high in potassium and very low in sodium
    • maintaining normal bowel function due to its high content of fiber
    • relieving nausea and vomiting during pregnancy when eaten between meals
    • stopping the itch and swelling from mosquito bites by rubbing the inside of the banana peel on it.

    Eating bananas can also help improve nerve function, decrease the risk of developing kidney cancer, and help the body recover from nicotine withdrawal.

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    Banana Smoothie

    Enjoy the health benefits of bananas with this delicious recipe:

    • blend 1 cup of milk (whole or skim), 2 scoops of vanilla ice cream (or low fat yogurt), and 1 ripe banana (sliced) till smooth
    • add 2 kiwis (peeled and finely diced) and blend briefly
    • pour into a chilled glass and serve immediately.

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Health benefits of fruits.
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