Bananas are gaining immense popularity as a Weight Loss Diet option.
They are high in calories, which is why many people carry the impression that eating bananas can cause them to gain weight. I myself used to avoid eating bananas due to the same reason.
There was a lot of debate on the topic of whether Bananas are good or bad for weight loss. But the truth is that bananas are a very healthy option for weight loss diet. They are one of the healthiest options that one should keep in mind when in need of instant energy. It can be considered a wonderful snack to munch on in situations of those sudden hunger pangs. The best part about the banana is that it is commonly available across the globe.
Banana Nutrition/ How many calories do a Banana have?
A medium sized banana contains about 90 – 110 calories and per 100 grams, a banana contains 0.3 gm total fat, zero cholesterol, 1 mg salt, about 360 mg potassium, 2.6 gm dietary fiber, 12 gm sugar and 1.1 gm protein. Bananas provide a range of nutrients, like potassium and vitamin B6 and also vitamin C as well as minerals like magnesium, copper, and manganese.
The carbs in unripe (green) bananas consist mostly of starch and resistant starch, but as the banana ripens, the starch turns into sugar (glucose, fructose, and sucrose).
Do Bananas help you Lose Weight?
Banana is a fruit with high fiber content and low GI, and so if it is included in the weight loss diet, it helps to control hunger and maintain the sugar levels for a longer time. So it is a myth when people say that Bananas make you gain weight (& I thank God for that!) Eating more fiber from fruits and vegetables has repeatedly been linked with lower body weight and weight loss, as it slows digestion, keeping the stomach full.
Bananas contain resistant starch, fiber (both soluble and insoluble) along with 75% water, making it low-energy-dense food, that not only supports weight loss but also helps keep the digestive system on track.
Why are Bananas considered healthy?
Other Health Benefits of Bananas:
- Eating a Banana gives instant energy as it provides proper carbohydrates that are required to replace the muscle glycogen.
- Banana helps to overcome depression. It releases a mood-regulating substance called tryptophan, which gets converted to serotonin in the brain and improves the mood.
- Banana aids in digestion and the soluble fiber present in it helps to normalize bowel movements.
- Bananas are rich in Potassium, which is known to regulate heartbeat, control blood pressure and keep proper water balance in the body.
- Potassium contained in banana also assists in keeping the brain alert.
- They help to reduce swelling, act as a protection against Type II diabetes and strengthen the nervous system.
- They provide relief from acid reflux and heartburn.
- Bananas provide protection against many chronic diseases related to heart and cardiovascular systems.
- Bananas are rich in iron and can help individuals with anemia by stimulating the production of hemoglobin in the blood.
- They help to keep Skin Healthy.
- Eating a Banana also helps to lower chances of Asthma.
- Reduces morning Sickness among pregnant women and also helps to regulate the blood glucose levels of women during PMS.
- Bananas contain Vitamin B6 as well as many minerals that help to lessen the effect of nicotine withdrawal in a person, which helps smokers in quitting.
How to Choose Perfect Banana for your Weight Loss Diet:
Bananas tend to ripe very quickly, and when it does, its peels turn black and the flesh turns gooey (while you can use these as a face mask, but that I will discuss some other day).
Some people say that if you cover an area of the banana bunch where they are tied together, with an aluminum foil, they would last longer… I tried it, but it does not work. So it is advisable to buy bananas in small quantities only, enough for 2-3 days consumption at one time and enjoy them fresh.
But if you don’t have a choice and have to buy bananas for more than 3 days, you should always go for the slightly greener skinned bananas for the days later than day 3 of your purchase. For days 1-3, buy bananas with yellow skin, firmer and without any blemishes or squishy spots.
Bananas are not required to be refrigerated. You should leave them outside of the refrigerator.
When is the best time of the day to eat a Banana:
- Early in the morning.
- With your Breakfast.
- As your mid-day snack.
- At any time when you want instant energy.
- Before working out or after working out.
How to include Bananas in your Weight Loss Diet
I prefer to eat it raw. It actually is the best form.
But I know there are people who do not like bananas. While I find it very hard to believe, considering how awesome bananas are, I would suggest them to include bananas somehow in their diet.
Some of the healthy banana snacks options are given below:
- Banana pancakes
- Oats Topping
- Fruit Salad: Add some lemon juice, salt, and pepper
- Tamarind sauce with Banana: eat it as a side dish
- Banana in a Sandwich
- Ice Cream (flavor) of your choice with Banana
Just be creative with bananas, but try to keep them as raw as possible to get maximum benefits out of it.