The health benefits of eating bananas – sweet bananas!

Bananas are one of my favourite foods. They are delicious packed full of goodness, versatile and easy to grab on the go. Most people can safely eat several bananas throughout the day. There are 2 main exceptions. The first being if you have an existing high potassium level and the second is type 2 diabetes. (I’ll talk more about this later).

The Benefits…

The health benefits of bananas is truly amazing. Bananas basically consist of carbs, water and very little fat. They contain potassium, magnesium, copper, fibre, vitamins C and B6. They are slow to digest so give a wonderful slow release of energy. I find them great for post workout/run not too filling but restore energy and help balance electrolytes. They are a fantastic way to kick start your health journey. Remember a sugary snack will spike your blood sugar and leave you starving hungry within a short period of time while that sugar goes into storage and eventually turns to fat, Try replacing that sweet snack with a banana or 2 and a handful of nuts. You will feel satisfied and full of energy. You will find in a short space of time that your mood is more stable, you are full of energy and your sweet cravings will be a thing of the past.

Ripe or Unripe

So should banana be eaten green or spotty. The general consensus is to eat bananas when they are ripe with brown spots. They are nutrient dense at this point and more easily digestible. The one exception to this rule is in type 2 diabetes. Unripe bananas are high in resistant starch so instead of being broken down in the small intestine into sugar and absorbed into the bloodstream, they are fermented in the colon which won’t significantly raise the blood glucose level.

Organic?

The general rule with organic produce is thick-skinned fruits don’t require the fruit to be organic. Having said that organic fresh produce is always the number one choice. Your body won’t have to fight through chemicals which means the nutrients are more readily available for absorption. But its not only our own body’s that suffer, the environment is affected by pesticides and chemicals. The people that work closely with the pesticides are at high risk and the chemical get into the soil, rivers and lakes which destroy natural habitats. So even if produce, such as bananas has a thick skin, the chemicals from sprays will be in the soil where they grow, so they will contain some of these harmful substances.

All I would say is, where possible eat organic and buy local produce to support local business ( this cuts down on transport as well). Even better grow your own where possible. If you have to buy non organic fruit and veg make sure it is washed thoroughly. You can fill a large bowl or sink with water and add a half cup of apple cider vinegar. Soak for up to 30 mins and rinse thoroughly. Dry and store. This will at least remove some chemicals.

The versatile banana

As I have already mentioned bananas are great at any time of day for a snack. If you have bananas that have gone very mushy you can make banana bread. They can also be a main meal. Smoothie bowls are amazingly delicious and great for you. Buy organic frozen bananas or chop them up and freeze them. Blend 2 or 3 in a high speed blender (you’ll need a robust one but a great investment) with a bit of fresh banana. You can add anything you like, frozen berries, psyllium husk (for bowels), cacao, the list goes on. This will whip up into a delicious ice cream. Decorate with nuts, buckwheat, seeds, tahini, molasses, grated lemon. This is a delicious bowel packed with antioxidants and nutrition. You’ll feel great!!

Made and photographed by my daughter Sian x

Please message me with any questions.

Take care

Deb

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