What use is a banana? In addition to being high in vitamin B6, bananas are a good source of vitamin C, manganese, and fiber. What does this mean? The food department at Tiong Bahru Community Health Center explains.
Are you wondering what the goodness of a banana is? In addition to being high in vitamin B6, bananas are a good source of vitamin C, manganese, and fiber. Bananas are also fat, high in cholesterol, and virtually sodium-free. What does this mean for your health?
Peggy Tan, a nutritionist and SingHealth member, explains at the Tion g Bahru community health center, why bananas are so good for you and when you should eat them.
Health benefits of bananas:
Bananas are one of the best fruit sources for vitamin B6
Your body can absorb the vitamin B6 in bananas quickly, and a medium-sized banana can provide about a 1/4 of your daily vitamin B6 needs.
Vitamin B6 helps your body:
- produce red blood cells,
- metabolize fats and carbohydrates and convert them into energy,
- metabolizes amino acids,
- remove unwanted chemicals from the liver and kidneys e
- maintain a healthy nervous system.
Vitamin B6 is also good for pregnant women as it helps meet their babies’ developmental needs.
Bananas are a legitimate source of vitamin C
Don’t confuse a banana with vitamin C, but one medium-sized banana daily provides about 10% of your vitamin C needs.
Vitamin C helps:
- Protect your body from damage to cells and tissues,
- your body absorbs iron better,
- Your body makes collagen, the protein that holds the skin, bones, and body together.
- Supports brain health by producing serotonin, a hormone that affects our sleep cycle, moods, and experiences with stress and pain.
Manganese in bananas is good for the skin
A medium-sized banana provides about 13% of your daily manganese requirement. Manganese also helps your body produce collagen and protects your skin and other cells from free radical damage.
The potassium in bananas is good for heart health and blood pressure
One banana provides between 320 to 400 mg of potassium, which is estimated to be around 10% of your daily potassium needs.
Potassium helps your body maintain blood pressure and a healthy heart. Also, bananas are low in sodium. The combination of low potassium and sodium helps control high blood pressure.
Bananas can aid digestion and fight gastrointestinal problems
A medium-sized banana provides around 10-12% of your daily fiber requirements. The Singapore Health Promotion Council recommends a daily fiber intake of 20 g for women and 26 g for men.
Both soluble and insoluble fiber plays an important role in your health. Soluble fiber helps your body control blood sugar levels and eliminate fatty substances like cholesterol. Insoluble fiber gives stool weight and softness and makes regular bowel movements easier. Help keep your intestines healthy and free from harmful bacteria.
Bananas, especially recently ripened ones, contain starch that cannot be digested in the small intestine (resistant starch) and can get into the colon. These bananas will help you manage your weight better by staying full longer.
That said, bananas can help you overcome gastrointestinal problems like:
- stomach ulcers,
Bananas give you energy, less fat, and less cholesterol
Bananas contain three natural sugars: glucose, sucrose and fructose, which provide you with a source of energy that is free of cholesterol and fats. Bananas are therefore particularly ideal for children and athletes for breakfast, as a snack at noon or before and after exercise.