Bananas are one of the most favored fruits available almost everywhere in the world. They are native to Southeast Asia but today they are grown in at least 107 countries because of their fantastic sweet taste and great nutritional value. Bananas posses a rare combination of energy value, tissue building elements, protein, vitamins and minerals. They are also excellent sources of calories, as a fruit that is richer in solids and lower in water content than any other fresh fruit. One large banana, weighing approximately 125 grams, provides more than 100 calories. Bananas also contain a large amounts of easily digestible sugar, making it a fine supply of quick energy and an exceptional means of recovery from fatigue.
Controversy about bananas
Bananas are often banned from the list of approved foods for people who are trying to lose weight. Most people believe that bananas have high number of carbohydrates and sugar, and that they are simply not suitable for restricted dieting. Moreover, some of them are even proposing to remove the right to call a fruit healthy if it contains more than 16 grams of sugar per one serving. Bananas contain approximately 17 grams of sugar per serving, but their sugars are natural and they should not be treated in the same way as added processed sugar. But, does this amount of sugar and carbohydrates affect those who are watching their weight?
Is eating bananas fattening?
As previously mentioned, bananas contain lower amounts of water than any other fresh fruit. This practically means that bananas contain more calories per one serving – but only in consumed fresh. Dried bananas, most commonly added to cereals, contain the very same proportion of sugars as any other average fruit. Still, many people believe bananas are fattening. This is one of the greatest diet myths as bananas contain almost no fat at all, no cholesterol and no sodium. An average banana contains modest 0.5g of fat, which is not enough to say it is “fattening”.
The other great nutritional points about bananas are that they are packed with potassium, vitamin B6, vitamin C and other essential nutrients. Health benefits of bananas are numerous: blood pressure regulation, strengthening the immune and nervous system, maintaining blood sugar levels, alleviating pre-menstrual symptoms in women.
One of the greatest healthy nutrients from bananas is dietary fiber, which is not only beneficial for complete digestive system, but also promotes the feeling of fullness and prevents food cravings. It takes 45 minutes to digest banana, and after that period banana will be completely digested and no carbohydrates will be stored in the body. But what is even better is that during the period of digestion one feels full and satiated, which is very important if one is trying to lose weight.