Bananas are the most easily accessible fruit across the globe. They are available at cheap rates and are considered to be the most versatile fruit.
Even though bananas are full of nutrients yet there are many myths revolving around the role of bananas in weight loss.
Some people say that they are not the right fruit for weight loss diets whereas some people consider them as one of the best fruits for weight loss.
Well, the right answer to this question is that bananas, when consumed in the right amount, are a wonderful source of fiber and carbohydrates with a very small count of calories.
Bananas have been tropical fruits with various health benefits since ancient times. It could be consumed in raw form or may be used as an ingredient in various recipes.
Apart from weight loss, there are many more health benefits that we have discussed in this article.
How Do Bananas Help In Weight Loss?
May Support Your Gut Health
Bananas consist of soluble fiber, pectin, which has a soothing effect on your gut. This not only helps in maintaining low cholesterol levels but also improves your bowel function.
Bananas may help you in reducing your appetite and prevent bloating.
The resistant starch in the bananas could have a prebiotic effect which may fuel the gut bacteria that produces beneficial compounds called short chain fatty acids.
Could Prevent Overeating
Bananas when eaten along with a balanced diet may help you in weight loss as it contains a good amount of fiber which helps in curbing your overeating habits and reducing your appetite.
May Maintain Blood Sugar Levels
Bananas consist of resistant starch which has a positive impact on insulin resistance. It helps in improving insulin sensitivity which helps in the efficient breakdown of glucose that ultimately aids in weight loss.
Could Assist With Sleep
Bananas contain a natural chemical responsible for sound sleep, melatonin which helps in improving the quality of sleep.
A proper sleep schedule may be important for better functioning of your body throughout the day.
Bananas could help in improving the quality of sleep which would ultimately result in faster weight loss.
May Improve Your Workout Efficiency
Bananas are packed with the mineral potassium whose deficiency may cause muscle cramps.
Muscle cramps are associated with an electrolyte imbalance which happens mostly because of a lack of this nutrient.
Workouts are performed to build muscles and tone your body and having bananas could help to keep your muscles safe and healthy and even give you a burst of energy that is needed for a workout.
Nutritional Properties Of Bananas
Bananas consist of an ample amount of fiber, carbohydrates and vitamins, and minerals.
In a calorie count of 105 one banana may provide you with almost 7% of your daily intake of fiber. Fiber is a kind of carbohydrate that our body cannot digest.
Fiber doesn’t break down into sugar molecules called glucose instead it passes out of your system undigested.
Most people add a good amount of fiber to their weight loss diets to reduce appetite and overeating.
Fibers suppress the diet and help you in maintaining your calorie deficit which ultimately leads to weight loss.
Most people opt for a low-carb diet for weight loss due to which bananas have a bad reputation as they are high in carbs.
The high carb content of bananas are the sugar molecules called fructose which is a healthy substitute for glucose.
The carb content present in this yellow fruit could be a good component in your weight loss diet if consumed in the right amount and in the right way.
How Can We Include Bananas In Our Diet?
Your body is a complex structure that needs an adequate amount of all the nutrients to function properly and the best way to ensure this is to provide your body with an arrangement of foods from each group.
The right amount for consumption of bananas varies from body to body as everybody has different nutrient needs. There are some healthy and yummy ways to include bananas in your diet.
- The easiest way to consume bananas is to have them in the form of fruits. It’s also considered the best way to consume fructose.
- People who don’t like bananas in fruit form may consume them with cereals like oatmeal, muesli, etc. This way of consuming bananas also balances out the nutrient content of the whole meal. You could also add honey and nuts to your cereals. This recipe may be included in your breakfast. It’s healthy and super delicious.
- Bananas could be added to your post-workout meal as it helps to boost your energy level and also satiates your hunger by providing you a feeling of fullness.
- You may make unripe banana smoothies in your post-workout meal as it contains a higher amount of starch which makes it a better choice for the energy booster. You could add nuts, dry fruits, superfoods, nut butter, or honey to your smoothie as unripe bananas are a little bitter.
- Bananas may also be a great substitute for your sweet tooth cravings as they are almost as sweet as chocolate or desserts and much healthier than both of these.
Why Are Bananas Not The Best Choice Of Fruits For Weight Loss?
When you eat a banana, all the carbohydrates break down into simpler forms to make glucose, which causes a rise in your blood sugar levels.
That is the reason why bananas are not preferred by people who are diabetic or have any other blood sugar level-related problems.
But if you are following a proper workout routine for weight loss then you could include bananas in your diet guilt-free as they provide you with just as enough carbs as you may need for or after burning calories.
And it’s important to consume only the right amount of bananas per day or preferably on alternative days.
No miracle food would help you in losing weight. It’s important to eat a varied and balanced diet that contains all the nutrients that our body needs.
The important thing you need to remember while consuming bananas is how much and how are you having it.
The right amount of everything you consume is an important factor that determines your weight loss rate.
Bananas are only good for you when you are working out regularly and try not to eat them every day. Try to switch to different fruits every week or have it on alternate days.
Working4Health prefers using primary and verified references. We have strict sourcing guidelines and our primary references include peer-reviewed research, academic, and medical institution studies.
- E K Mitsou, E Kougia, Tz Nomikos, et. al. Effect of banana consumption on faecal microbiota: a randomised, controlled trial. Anaerobe. 2011 Dec;17(6):384-7. doi: 10.1016/j.anaerobe.2011.03.018. Epub 2011 Apr 16. Available from: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21524710/
- Isao Muraki, Fumiaki Imamura, JoAnn E Manson, et. al. Fruit consumption and risk of type 2 diabetes: results from three prospective longitudinal cohort studies. BMJ. 2013; 347: f5001. Published online 2013 Sep 28. doi: 10.1136/bmj.f5001
- David C. Nieman, Nicholas D. Gillitt, Dru A. Henson, et. al. Bananas as an Energy Source during Exercise: A Metabolomics Approach. PLoS One. 2012; 7(5): e37479. Published online 2012 May 17. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0037479
- Bananas, raw. Date of Publication: April 1, 2019. Available from: https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/173944/nutrients
- How to Use Fruits and Vegetables to Help Manage Your Weight. Date of Review: June 3, 2022. Available from: https://www.cdc.gov/healthyweight/healthy_eating/fruits_vegetables.html
- Alan Brown and Angelia M. Courtney. The Effect on Digestion and Assimilation of including Bananas in the Mixed Diet of Some Children over Five Years of Age. Can Med Assoc J. 1929 Jul; 21(1): 37–42.
- Jorge L. Ble-Castillo, María A. Aparicio-Trápala, Mateo U. Francisco-Luria, et. al. Effects of Native Banana Starch Supplementation on Body Weight and Insulin Sensitivity in Obese Type 2 Diabetics. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2010 May; 7(5): 1953–1962. Published online 2010 Apr 28. doi: 10.3390/ijerph7051953
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Alisha Matthew has been a practicing nutritionist since 2016. She holds a master’s degree in nutrition from the University of IOWA. She is a staunch believer in improving the human health index by educating people about nutrition and the importance of nutrition in leading a healthy and happy life. Her long-term goal is to keep educating people on general health and keep herself updated with the latest trends in the field of health.