Are Bananas a Superfood?

banana-A superfood is a term used to describe a food with a high nutritional content and associated health benefits. So do bananas make the cut?

When it comes to nutrition, bananas are packed with 400 – 600 milligrams of potassium. With just over thirty carbohydrates, a multitude of vitamins and minerals, about 120 calories and a few grams of both protein and fiber, bananas are certainly nutritionally-dense. In fact, because of the carbohydrates, bananas are a great pre-workout snack that will give you an extra boost at the gym.

But the benefits of bananas don’t stop there.

Here’s a non-exhaustive list of health benefits and claims associated with bananas:

  1. Treat anemia
  2. Lower blood pressure
  3. Reduced risk of some cancers
  4. Alleviate bowel issues and constipation
  5. Increase energy levels
  6. Boost brain functioning
  7. Fight depression
  8. Relieve heartburn
  9. Lessen hangovers
  10. Decrease morning sickness
  11. Calm nerves
  12. Lessen seasonal affective disorder
  13. Reduce stress
  14. Prevents weakening of the bones

Beyond these benefits, many cultures hold bananas to be sacred. For some Hindus, the banana can be associated with fertility (maybe because they’re quite phallic?) and prosperity. In India, the banana flower is considered to be a sign of good luck – and it’s often tied to the head during important ceremonies.

For the rest of us, bananas are an inexpensive, portable and nutritious treat that’s widely available all year long. Spread on some peanut butter (or use them for a healthy cookie recipe base) and you’re good to good!

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  1. Kam Xevious says:

    Well this is music to my banana-loving ears. A couple of questions, though. . .ounce for ounce, is there a difference between a standard Johnson banana and a red banana (or a mini, for that matter?) How about plantains? And recently, I’ve started using dried fruits and veggies for snacks (especially dried kale–yummy stuff, that). Does drying bananas cause a loss of nutrition at all? Thanks!

  2. Whole grain cereal, milk & a sliced banana is my go-to breakfast a half hour before the gym. For variety I sometimes substitute yogurt for the cereal & milk.

    Nice to see you talking about real food instead of some high priced powder.

  3. christopher says:

    one banana-oatmeal-multi-vitamin-thats how i start my morning.after reading this article-i can have a banana-just before my workout at the gym.its good to know.

  4. So ARE THEY (a superfood)?

    You never said.

  5. Sliced banana in weetabix in the morning with a cup of tea, what more could you ask for?

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