If someone asked you to design the ideal natural snack, a banana would likely be your template. Commonly touted as natures muesli bar, these guys are ideal for all occasions. Think breakfast porridge, morning tea smoothie, afternoon tea grab and go, and dessert Sunday… bananas are literally your best friend when it comes to dressing up meals or thinking fast for a healthy snack.
And so, without further ado, here’s 5 things you might not know about bananas.
1. Low G.I
Ever heard of the glycemic index (G.I). It’s a scale for rating the affect carbohydrate foods have on causing a blood glucose rise. Carbohydrate foods that break down quickly during digestion, have a higher G.I (e.g. white bread)... This ain’t good for your health. Carbohydrate foods that break down slowly, release glucose gradually into your bloodstream, resulting in longer lasting energy and better long term health outcomes, for example better weight management and better cholesterol control. Bananas have a low G.I, which means they are ideal for longer lasting energy and helping to prevent chronic health conditions.
2. High in fibre
Bananas contain an amazing combination of both soluble and insoluble fibres. These types of fibre assist healthy bowel motions. Soluble fibre forms a soft gel in our bowels, which helps to increase the mass of our stools, aiding an easy passage for our motions. Insoluble fibre absorbs water, which bulks and softens the stools, making them easier to pass.
3. Rich in Potassium
Potassium is an essential mineral that helps to keep your heart healthy. It's involved in muscle contractions, which means your heart needs it to pump all that blood of yours around your body. And guess what? One medium banana contains around 420mg of potassium, making it a generously rich source of potassium. Perfect.
4. Good source of prebiotics
Unripe (green) bananas contain a type of prebiotic known as resistant starch. Just like it’s name says, resistant starch resists digestion, which means it ends up in our large intestines, and in turn, is fermented by our gut bacteria. As a result, our gut bacteria grow stronger in both their health and numbers, as well as produce these things called short chain fatty acids (SCFA). One such SCFA is called butyrate, and this guy provides you with a bucket full of benefits, including fuelling your intestinal cells as well as providing anti-inflammatory affects.
5. Probably one of the best snack foods out there
Bananas are literally one of the most convenient snack foods out there. They come wrapped up in their own natural skin. They are delicious and full of nutrition. And they can be added to almost anything, for example, into smoothies, yoghurt, cereal, toast, on their own, and the list could go on.
Thank you bananas.