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Unlike most other fruits, bananas are a bit high in calories (105 calories per medium banana); however, because of the many nutrients in bananas, including even moderate amounts in the diet may boost digestive and immune health, lower LDL cholesterol and blood pressure, and increase energy. Although known for being high in potassium (422 mg per medium banana), bananas are also a good source of other essential nutrients such as: Vitamins B6 and C, fiber, manganese, folate, magnesium. In trace amounts, bananas also contain: copper, calcium, zinc, iron, vitamin E, and selenium. Bananas contain fructoogliosaccharides (FOS) which act as food for the “good bacteria” or a prebiotic in the digestive system. Studies show bananas contain the most of this health-boosting prebiotic. Because of being both an excellent source of FOS and a good source of fiber, bananas boost digestive health. Studies show eating high-fiber foods may also help prevent heart disease. The potassium found in bananas is not only a boost to those who eat a banana after a strenuous workout, but potassium also helps to keep blood pressure in check and preventing cardiovascular disease. The FOS found in bananas helps to improve the body’s ability to absorb nutrients, especially calcium, thereby boosting bone health. Bananas are also a popular natural remedy for diarrhea. Bananas are a very good source of vitamin B6, a vitamin essential to new cell formation, a healthy nervous system, a healthy liver, and brain functioning. Vitamin B6 also boosts energy and immunity and also promotes healthy skin. Although rich in complex carbohydrates, the glycemic load of a small banana is 11. Glycemic load, a measure of a food’s impact on blood sugar, is considered low at 10 or less, medium at 11 to 19, and a rating of 20 and over is considered high. Since bananas rank on the low end of medium, the impact of bananas on blood sugar is not as great as once thought. In addition, the American Diabetes Association suggests bananas are low on the glycemic index scale and should be included as part of a healthy diet.
The information here is intended for interest only and must not be used as a treatment for health problems. Please consult a qualified nutritional therapist for more information and recommendations
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