The many health benefits of the humble banana

Whether eaten for breakfast, dessert or as a snack, bananas are an excellent source of energy. And its benefits don't stop there.

The health benefits of the humble banana
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The health benefits of the humble banana

It is beloved for its sweet and delicate taste, but also for its satiating aspect. 82% of those questioned appreciate it in particular for its practicality. Why? It's easy to eat, peel, and it can be taken anywhere. But that's not its only advantage: whether you like it green or ripe, the banana has many health benefits.

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What are the nutritional values of the banana?

Vitamins, minerals, fibre... Bananas contain many nutrients that are essential for the body. Its richness in vitamin C makes it the perfect snack for a boost of energy during the day, while the vitamin B9 it contains, also known as folic acid, is a major ally for pregnant women as it helps prevent certain malformations. And that's not all: bananas also contain manganese, a trace element with antioxidant properties. Eating this fruit thus helps to slow down cell ageing. Bananas also contain potassium, magnesium and beta-carotene.

The banana, an ally for the gut

This fruit is rich in fibre, containing 2.7 g per 100 g. As a result, the banana promotes intestinal transit. This is not its only impact on the digestive system. A study published in 2001 in the journal Gastroenterology revealed the effectiveness of bananas in the management of persistent diarrhoea in children. This fruit is said to reduce the quantity of stools, the occurence of vomiting and the duration of diarrhoea.

Other studies, including a study published in 2013 in the journal Pharmacognosy Research, have already highlighted the usefulness of bananas in the management of ulcers. This fruit is said to protect the gastric lining, and may even stimulate its growth when it has been damaged.

The banana helps against stress

Work obligations, managing children and domestic tasks... These everyday worries can be sources of stress. To combat anxiety, bananas are ideal, as they contain a good quantity of magnesium (28 mg per 100g). This trace element, which is essential to the body, plays a role in the nervous system. Bananas also contain tryptophan, a protein that stimulates the production of serotonin. This substance is involved in the regulation of behaviour and moods and therefore also has an impact on anxiety. Another strong point of the banana is its richness in vitamin B6.

Banana helps to prevent certain illnesses

Thanks to its potassium content (320 mg per 100 g), the banana is a boon for heart health. This mineral plays a central role in the contraction of the heart and muscles. Eating more bananas would reduce the risk of stroke by 24%, according to a study conducted by researchers from the World Health Organisation (WHO) and published in 2013 in the British Medical Journal.

The banana, a weight loss complement

The banana is not considered a slimming fruit per se, as it contains a certain amount of sugar. However, it can be an strong ally in your weight loss journey, as it is particularly satiating thanks to its richness in fibre but also in complex carbohydrates. The latter are digested more slowly than simple carbohydrates and therefore have less impact on blood sugar levels. This makes it possible to reach satiety more quickly and thus avoid snacking. However, be careful not to overindulge in bananas: like all foods, they should be eaten in moderation and food variety should be sought.

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