Bananas are full of surprises. For example, did you know that botanically speaking, a banana is a berry? Bananas are also low in saturated fat, cholesterol and sodium. They are a good source of fiber, vitamin C, potassium, manganese and B6. In fact, one banana contains about one-quarter of your daily requirements of B6.
Bananas are also a great snack choice to enjoy on the go. They are one of the original “fast foods” since they already come pre-packaged in their own containers. At about 100 calories, they also make a healthy and creamy base for your favorite smoothie combinations.
Bananas also may help prevent high blood pressure. Multiple studies have shown that those who ate diets higher in potassium-rich foods, such as bananas, had a much lower risk of stroke. Bananas are a very low-fat food with less than four percent of their calories coming from fat. They also contain sterols that look similar to cholesterol but can actually block bad cholesterol.
Even though bananas taste sweet when they are ripe they receive a relatively low rating in their glycemic index value (glycemic index measures the impact of food on our blood sugar levels). Bananas also help maintain the balance of friendly bacteria in our digestive system and support our overall digestive health.
But most importantly, bananas may be good for acid reflux. Patients with laryngopharyngeal reflux were asked to follow a strict diet where fruit was excluded except for bananas and melons. On this diet, the symptoms of 19 of the 20 subjects improved and three subjects became completely asymptomatic (Koufman, 2011).
So next time you need a snack, go ahead and reach for a banana