Banana Nutrition Facts
Quick Guide to Banana Nutrition Facts
Many of us know that bananas are a great source of potassium, but that tends to be the extent of the general public’s knowledge of banana nutrition facts. To most of us, bananas are mostly seen as a tasty and convenient fruit, but the truth is that this fruit has a lot of great health benefits to offer. We are going to take a look at some basic banana nutrition facts and discover why this fruit is so healthful. By the end of this, hopefully we can all make a special effort to include bananas in our everyday diet.
We are going to start with the most obvious nutrient found in bananas, simply because everyone knows that bananas are high in potassium. –But do you know why potassium is so important to the human body? Potassium is an essential mineral that is responsible for helping the body to regulate its blood pressure as well as maintain proper heart function. Many of us are told to eat a banana when we feel shaky. This is because the body requires a certain balance between potassium and calcium in order for the muscles to work properly. When either potassium or calcium becomes low (in most cases it is potassium), one may experience involuntary muscle shakes or spasms, twitching, and even cramping. Potassium is also a friend to those of us who don’t watch our salt intake. Studies have shown that a diet rich in potassium will drastically reduce one’s risk of hypertension, even if their salt levels are not monitored. It is thought that because potassium helps the body to maintain a healthy water balance, that excess deposits of salt are able to be expelled from the body more easily.
Vitamins B6 and C
Bananas actually have nearly double the amount of vitamin B6 than they do potassium. This vitamin is essential in helping the body to process amino acids (metabolize proteins). B6 is also a key player in synthesizing antibodies for our immune system. Vitamin C is also found in bananas and also plays a huge role in the body’s immune system. Vitamin C helps to heal from infections as well as defend the body against potential infections. This vitamin is also responsible for the creation of red blood cells and collagen, which keeps the skin looking and feeling supple and youthful. As a major antioxidant, vitamin C actively works to eliminate the free radical cells which cause premature signs of aging in the skin as well as tissue disorders.
Magnesium, Riboflavin, and Copper
Magnesium is very important to the human body because it enables the absorption of calcium, which is essential to maintaining strong bones. Magnesium is also important to bone health because it helps form bone tissues and keeps them from becoming brittle. Even bones dense with calcium can be brittle if they lack the proper amount of magnesium. Magnesium also helps to reduce one’s risk for experiencing heart spasms.
Riboflavin, or vitamin B2, also plays a key role in metabolizing protein, carbs, and fast—as most B vitamins do. Tissues in the hair, skin, and eyes are also maintained and repaired thanks to the help of riboflavin. Riboflavin is a water soluble vitamin, which means that it cannot be created or stored in the body, only ingested through dietary means. Any excess amounts of this vitamin are simply flushed out through the urine. Because this vitamin cannot be stored, we have to consume it daily through food or vitamin supplements.
Copper is another important aspect in the formation of collagen—and most of us are definitely happy to get a youthful boost in the skin department! Copper also plays a key role in the formation of several hormones as well as the absorption of iron. Without proper levels of copper, we would be more prone to developing osteoporosis, anemia, low energy, and even skin sores.
As you can see from this basic overview of banana nutrition facts, this fruit contains several nutrients which are vital to the proper function of several bodily processes! To reap the health benefits that bananas have to offer, try adding a few more bananas to your weekly diet. Don’t be afraid to get creative, either. Add them to fruit salad, ice cream, or even to peanut butter (and jelly) sandwiches for a snazzy twist to an old favorite.