In this article, we will know about banana which is an edible fruit grown on the large herbaceous plant belonging to Musa genus. The article covers main nutrients present in banana, health benefits provided by banana, beauty benefits provided by the banana for skin and for hair, risks and side effects of overeating banana and finally some interesting facts about the banana. So, without further delay, let’s move ahead.
Nutrients of Banana
Banana is not only a tasty fruit but is also good for our health as it provides us with many benefits. All the benefits (be it for health or for our skin & hair) provided by banana is because of the nutrients present in banana. Take a look at the below-mentioned nutrition chart to know about the major nutrients present in banana.
Health Benefits of Banana
Banana is full of nutrients and that make it a wonderful product when it comes to health. Some of the major health benefits provided by bananas are as follows:-
- Provides Instant Energy– We need energy for functioning throughout the day and therefore, it is important for us to have something “good in breakfast” which is not only healthy but also provides us with instant energy. Banana is one such fruit which can provide instant energy and is therefore recommended at the time of breakfast for both kids and adults. The magic behind the instant energy of banana is because of natural sugars present in it that break down quickly and release energy. It is also consumed by sportsperson during intervals/breaks for the same reason (Instant energy).
- Helps In Regulating Blood Pressure– Blood pressure is nothing but the pressure of blood in our body. However, there are times when this pressure of blood goes up and down than its normal level, and this can cause serious health problems. High blood pressure is a primary risk factor for cardiovascular problems like stroke, heart failure and also for increased risk of kidney diseases (source). For a healthy heart, it is important for us to take care of our blood pressure level. Banana is an amazing fruit which helps in keeping blood pressure level under control and also decrease high blood pressure. This amazing benefit of banana is because of the presence of potassium, calcium, and magnesium in banana which not only regulates blood pressure but also brings down the high blood pressure level.
- Lowers Bad Cholesterol-Banana is very good when it comes to keeping cholesterol level down, and this way it also keep our heart healthy as bad cholesterol is one of the main reason behind the increased risk of cardiovascular diseases and other heart problems. The presence of soluble fiber like pectin in banana helps in lowering bad cholesterol level without putting any impact on the good cholesterol or HDL cholesterol.
- Good For Kidneys (Renal Health)-Banana is rich in potassium which makes it suitable for regulating blood pressure, and at the same potassium also make it suitable for promoting renal health. As per International Journal of Cancer states, consumption of banana (regularly but in moderation) along with cabbage and root vegetables can protect renal health because of the presence of potassium and antioxidant phenolic compound in banana.
- Improve Nerve Function -Banana is good not only in providing instant energy to our body but is good for our brain too as it sharpens our brain by improving nerve functions. Potassium present in banana also helps in boosting learning abilities of a person and the presence of B vitamins in banana helps in improving nerve functions.
- Decrease Risk of Various Cancer– Banana is very effective in reducing the risk of several types of cancers, especially bowel cancer. Cancer-fighting abilities in banana are because of the presence of antioxidants in banana. These antioxidants fight with the free radicals of our body and stabilize them, and thus prevent them from damaging our skin cells and cause cancer.
- Make Bones Stronger– Banana is good for making bones stronger as consumption of banana increases the ability of our bones to absorb calcium (which is an important compound for stronger bones). This, bone strengthening ability of banana is because of the presence of probiotic bacteria in banana.
- Improves Digestion– Banana is good for our digestive system as it enhances the digestive ability of our stomach. This is because of the presence of a probiotic named as “fructooligosaccharide” in banana. This healthy bacteria stimulates the growth and activity of probiotics in the colon and produces enzymes that enable absorption of nutrients, and enhance digestive ability. It also prevents unhealthy bacteria from damaging our digestive system.
- Helps Fighting Stomach Ulcers– Banana is helpful in fighting against stomach ulcer and in destroying bacteria responsible for stomach ulcers. This is because of the presence of certain substances in banana which stimulates the cells of the inner lining of stomach and trigger them to form thicker mucus membrane for protection against stomach acids. Along with this, banana also contains a compound known as protease inhibitors which help our digestive system from getting rid of bacteria responsible for stomach ulcers.
- Helps In Controlling Diarrhea-Raw Banana is good for controlling diarrhea because of its astringent property. Banana also helps in regulating fluid balance which is an added advantage.
- Provides Relief From Constipation– Banana is good for digestive system not only because they enhance digestion and helps in fighting stomach ulcer, but also helps in elimination of waste smoothly and give relief from constipation. Pectin present in banana is the main factor in providing relief from constipation, and in improving bowel functions.
- Helps In Curing Piles– Banana improves bowel movement and allows the waste to excrete out of the body smoothly and without putting any stress on the rectum, and thus helps in the curing of piles.
- Helps In Controlling Anemia– Bananas are good for people suffering from anemia because of the presence of high level of iron in them, which helps in regulating hemoglobin levels in the body and prevents anemia.
- Prevents Allergies– Banana is good for combating various allergies because of the presence of amino acids in them.
- Helps Withdrawing Smoking Urge– The biggest problem with smoking is that once you start it, it becomes very difficult to quit it because of the strong urge you feel for smoking. As food lovers crave for food, smokers crave for smoking because of their addiction towards nicotine. Banana is helpful in decreasing the urge for smoking because of the presence of vitamin B6, Vitamin B12, Magnesium and Potassium in banana.
- Helps In Recovering Hangover-Taking Banana blended with honey and yogurt can help in recovering from the hangover and stop the spinning of your head.
- Good For Weight Gain– Banana is good for weight gain. For this drink banana in the form of shakes. The presence of natural sugar in the banana will provide you necessary calories and the milk will bless you with protein.
- Good For Weight Loss– Presence of natural sugar in banana make it more suitable for weight gain but at the same time it is important to remember that banana is also rich in dietary fibers which not only helps our body absorb essential nutrients and excess water from food we eat, but also make us feel fuller for a longer duration and thus decreases our urge to eat again and again. Eating again and again, which is also known as “overeating” is one main reason behind weight gain. Banana prevents us from overeating and thus helps in losing weight. There are around 90 calories in 100 grams in banana.
- Helps In Getting A Good Sleep– A good sleep is must for healthy living and banana helps in enjoying a good sleep because of the presence of Tryptophan and serotonin amino acid in it. Our body converts these amino acids to sleep-inducing hormone (known as Melatonin) and thus helps in getting a good sleep. Other than these hormones, banana is also rich in carbohydrates which helps brain in this conversion and make the process faster. To enjoy good sleep, eat banana few hours before going to sleep.
- Reduces Inflammation Caused Mosquito Bites– Rubbing inside of banana on mosquito bites can reduce itching and swelling caused by mosquito bites.
Beauty Benefits of Banana– Benefits of banana are not just limited to health and there are some beauty benefits associated with this fruit. These are:-
Benefits of Banana for Skin – Some of the major benefits of banana for skin are as follows:-
- For Curing Acne & Blemishes– The antibacterial properties of banana make it suitable for curing acne and blemishes. For this, a homemade banana mask can be used. In order to make a banana face mask, chop a banana and mix it with one teaspoon of milk, a pinch of nutmeg, a teaspoon of oatmeal powder. Mix all these ingredients thoroughly and apply the mixture so formed on your face. Let it be there until it dries completely and then wash off. Regular use of this banana face mask will make your skin spotless.
- For Treating Dry Eyes– If you are suffering from dry eyes problem then it’s time for you to make a habit of eating one banana a day. The presence of potassium in banana helps in controlling sodium level in our body, and also in controlling release of fluids in our cells, thereby curing dry eyes effectively.
- For Providing Pinkish Glow To Our Skin– Banana helps in curing acne & blemishes and makes our skin spotless. Along with this, banana also helps in providing a pinkish glow to our skin. For this, mash two bananas completely and apply this paste on your face (avoid eyes). Let it on for twenty minutes and then rinse it off.
- For Skin Exfoliation– Banana is helpful in making our skin soft because of the presence of vitamin A and potassium in it. For this, mash a banana completely and mix it with granulated sugar. Apply this mixture (banana sugar scrub) on your face and hands. This banana sugar scrub will help in removal of dead skin cells and will make your skin irresistibly soft.
- For Providing Soft & Silky Complexion To Skin– In order to get soft and silky complexion, make a banana mask as follows- Take one teaspoon of milk, two spoons of lemon juice and pulp of banana. Mix them together and apply it on your face. Wash your face after twenty minutes. Regular use of this banana face mask will provide you a soft & silky complexion.
- For Young & Glowing Skin– Banana can make your skin young and bring back the lost glow of the skin. For this add one spoon of banana pulp and one spoon of sandalwood powder, and mix them together. Apply this mixture on your face for some time and then wash off with water.
- Getting rid of Dry Skin-Banana is helpful in dry skin condition. For this purpose, make a banana face mask by mashing up banana and adding a spoon of honey to it. Apply this mask on your skin for 15 minutes and then wash off. This will reduce the roughness of your skin to a great extent, and will make it smooth. If you are facing dry & dull hair problem then you can use this mask on your hair too.
- Using Banana Peel For Skin-Just like banana, peel of banana is also good for our skin. Rubbing a banana peel on the skin can help in soothing skin and prevents the outbreak of acne. It can also reduce the inflammation of mosquito bites & bug bites, and also speed up the recovery process of bruises. Regular application of banana peel can help in removal of warts.
- As A Skin Moisturizer– Banana is very effective in moisturizing our skin and providing proper nutrition & hydration to it, because of the presence of potassium & other minerals to it. For using banana as a skin moisturizer, mash a ripe banana completely and apply it on your face (avoid eyes and mouth) for 15 minutes, and then rinse it off with cold water. This banana face mask will make your skin soft and is very effective against peeling and dry skin.
- For Getting Rid of Excess Oil – Banana face mask (with honey & lemon) is good for people with oily & greasy skin as it helps in oil control. For this, mash up a ripe banana in a bowl and add one teaspoon of raw honey and a half teaspoon of lemon juice to it. Mix them thoroughly and apply this mixture (as a face mask) on your face (avoid eyes and mouth) for 20 minutes, and then rinse off with cold water.
- As Anti-aging– Banana is rich in antioxidants that prevent the free radicals from damaging our skin cells. There are also some other nutrients present in the banana that fades signs of aging like age spots, wrinkles, fine lines etc.
- For Lightening Dark Spots– Applying mashed banana on your face at least twice a week helps in lightening of general dark spots and also in lightening dark spots formed by acne scars, tiny moles etc.
- For Healing Cracked Heels-Banana is a very good moisturizer and, for this reason, it can be used for getting relief from cracked heels. For this, mash two bananas and apply the pulp on your clean & dry feet. Let it be there for 10 minutes and then rinse off with water. The banana will heal cracked & damaged skin by penetrating deep into the skin, and will make your skin soft and subtle.
- Get rid of puffy eyes– Banana is rich in potassium which draws out excess fluid from under the skin & reduces swelling. For this, mash a banana and apply carefully around puffy eyes ( or you can also place banana peels on your puffy eyes) for 15-20 minutes and then rinse your eyes with cold water.
- Treating Warts and Psoriasis-If you have warts and/or Psoriasis then you can rub the affected area with banana peel for 10-15 minutes twice a day. This will help in treatment of warts and Psoriasis. Result will not be instantaneous and might take some time, but results will be way better than results achieved by applying artificial creams.
Benefits of Banana for Hair – Some of the major benefits of banana for hair are as follows:-
- For Treating Hair Loss & For Shinning Hair– If you are suffering from hair loss problem and your hairs have lost their shine, then banana is for you. For using banana for hair loss treatment, mash one banana completely and mix one teaspoon of yogurt to it. Mix them thoroughly and then spread the mixture evenly on your hairs. Let it be there for an hour. Follow this home remedy for hair loss for one month and it will drastically reduce hair loss problem, and the nourishment provided by banana will add a glamorous shine to your hairs.
- For Getting Rid of Dull & Frizzy Hair– Banana works like a magic spell on dull and hair frizzy hairs and also on hairs affected by dandruff. For this, mash 2-3 bananas completely and add 2-3 spoons of honey to it. Mix them thoroughly. Now, wash your hairs properly (with plain water) and make sure that they are completely wet. Massage the mixture you have formed on scalp of your head and on roots of hair. After this, wrap your hairs either with a towel or a shower cap to ensure that your hairs absorb all the nourishment provided by banana-honey mask. At the final step, wash your hairs and condition them.
- For Soft Hair– Applying mixture of banana with avocado and coconut milk for 15-20 minutes can make our hair soft. This mixture repair damaged hair and will make them soft. You can also use cocoa instead of avocado. Cocoa will help in bringing out the natural color of hair.
Risks and Side Effects of Eating Too Many Bananas
There is no doubt that banana is good for our health and it is wise to include them in our diet but at the same time it is important to remember that excess of everything is bad and same is true with banana. Some of the common risks and side effects associated with overeating bananas are as follows:-
- Headaches– Banana contains certain amino acids that can dilate blood vessels and trigger headaches. But this problem generally arises when you eat too many bananas in short time (like eating a dozen bananas in a day). If you are eating bananas in moderate amount (like 1-2 banana per day) then it’s fine.
- Sleepiness-Banana is good for people who face difficulty in sleeping as it can help in enjoying a good sleep because of the presence of certain amino acids in banana that gets converted to sleep-inducing hormones. However, some amino acids can create problem of sleepiness and drowsiness. Other than this, banana is also rich in magnesium that relaxes our muscles. Avoid over eating bananas if you don’t want to be sleepy and drowsy all the time.
- Hyperglycemia–Banana is rich in potassium which is very good for our health and is one of the main compounds that make banana good for our health. However, too much of potassium can lead to Hyperkalemia. Hyperkalemia is a condition that can cause nausea, slower pulse and irregular heartbeat, and even cardiac arrest. Hyperkalemia is treated by diuretics and kidney dialysis. For this reason, it is better not to enjoy too many bananas in short span.
- Nerve Damage– Banana is rich in Vitamin B6 which is good for our brain and improves nerve health. However, overdose of vitamin B6 can cause permanent nerve damage. For this reason, it is better to not to eat too many bananas in short span (like eating 100 bananas in a day) and limit it to just one or two bananas a day.
- Tooth Decay– Banana is rich in natural sugar which is not as harmful to our teeth as processed sugar but having too many bananas can do as much damage as the processed sugar, and give rise to tooth decay. Eating too many bananas can also destroy the enamel of our teeth and damage our dental health.
- Lack of Fat-Banana contains no fat which is both good and bad. Good because it is ideal for dieters. Bad because little bit of fat is must for healthy living as dietary fat is essential for brain development and also for our joints. There are also many more benefits of dietary fat (it’s the overdose of fat that give rise to health problems). As there is no fat in banana so it is better not to go with banana only diet.
- Lack of Protein-On an average, banana contains about one gram of protein, which is nowhere compared to our body’s daily protein requirement. Proteins are building blocks of our body and also help body to repair damage cells and make new cells. For this reason, it is better to add almond butter or peanut butter to your banana snack. This will provide the fat and the protein which banana lacks.
Interesting Facts about Banana
We have read about all the major health benefits of banana, beauty benefits of banana, risks and side effects of banana and also the compounds (nutrients) responsible for all these benefits. Now, it’s time to look at some of the interesting facts about banana.
- Banana tree can grow up to a height of 20 feet and scientifically (botanically) speaking they are not even considered as tree but as herb because they never form woody steam and all the plant material that stays above the ground dies at the end of the yearly cycle. Banana is a herbaceous plant which owns the title of being world’s tallest herb.
- It’s the corm of banana that helps banana to keep growing every year. Corm is around 10 inches in diameter and looks like a brown ball. When plant dies at the end of yearly cycle, then new offshoots develop from this corm.
- Banana fruits grow in the form of large clusters and away from the main stem. These large clusters of banana can weigh over 100 pounds with around 400 individual bananas per cluster.
- Banana is a tropical plant that originated in Indonesia but now is grown in over 100 countries.
- Bananas are exported unripe green and are later ripened in large storage chambers using ethylene.
- About 75% of banana weight is water. (This sounds like a lie when we think about the firm texture of banana and dry mouth feel we experience on consuming it)
- The Gold ginger banana is a palatable banana variety which looks like banana but taste bit like apple. It’s a hybrid breed of banana created by Philip Rowe.
- Worldwide annual consumption of banana is around 100 billion bananas per year (which makes it 4th largest agricultural product of the world).
- Highest per person per year consumption of banana is in Uganda with an average consumption of around 500 pounds banana per person-year.
- Botanically speaking, banana tree is not a tree but a herb. In the same way, banana fruit is not a fruit but a berry.
The information contained in the post is for general purpose only and shouldn’t be considered as a medical advice or as an alternative to medical advice. Although I’ve tried my best to keep the information contained in this post as accurate and updated as possible, but I make no guarantee of the accurateness of the same.
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