These days everyone is into getting healthy, and it’s not hard to see why. It’s a stressful enough world as it is, with hectic schedules and toxic environments being part of everyone’s day-to-day lives. As such, we need to fortify our bodies and keep healthy in order to get through the day and make the most of it without getting weighed down. This includes working out and eating healthy, and for many people these two aspects go hand in hand. Lots of effort is always needed in order to get both of these things going, but the benefits are always sure to make it worth it.
Banana is a Super Food!
Indeed, what you eat can often handily fuel what you do in order to stay healthy, and this is why certain foods have drawn more attention from many people. Whether it’s body building exercises or contact exercises, many workouts are seen to be boosted by a good diet. You might have heard of certain superfoods, or to a lesser extent many foods that are actually quite recommendable when it comes to designing a diet to partner up with your physical fitness efforts. One of these great foods is the old standby, the banana.
Yellow is a Healthy Choice
The banana might not be your first thought when it comes to picking a food that is a sure hit in providing physical fitness needs, but there are many benefits offered by the traditional long yellow fruit. After all, fruits are always a good idea when it comes to deciding what to eat in tandem with working out, not least due to the amount of natural carbohydrates a fruit tends to provide. While there are of course many others you can choose from, the simple banana is fairly high up on the list of fruits with something extra to offer.
1. Great Source of Fiber – For a food that typically has only 108 calories, a banana can provide 11% of the RDA of dietary fiber. This is a fairly good deal in terms of balancing calorie count and what the food has to offer. Fiber is one of those less glamorous elements that makes a type of food beneficial, as it mainly serves to keep digestion regular. However, the other more interesting benefits of fiber include helping curb overeating by managing blood sugar.
2. Helps Build Muscles – A banana provides about 3 grams of fiber, 2 grams of protein and 7 gram of potassium. All of these are important if you want to build muscle. For instance, potassium helps diminish and prevent muscle soreness.
This consequence of working out can bring a level of pain that would make it less conducive to work out again, but lowering it can help you maintain a good level of momentum. Potassium is also important in lowering blood pressure, which in turn can help minimize the risks of strokes, heart problems and atherosclerosis.
3. Prevent Muscle Cramps – Perhaps the most familiar benefit of potassium is how it helps prevent muscle cramping, which can occur during strenuous exercise and really disrupt the momentum you’ve got building up. The banana’s high potassium content promotes proper muscle contraction and extension, preventing cramping.
4. Maintains Body’s Calcium Level – One other benefit of potassium is that it helps guarantee a healthy level of calcium in the body. Alongside potassium is the FOS – fructooligosaccharide – that helps promote good calcium absorption. Aside from promoting the absorption of calcium, FOS nourishes good bacteria dwelling in the colon, allowing them to keep producing vitamins and even digestive enzymes that help the body break down and absorb nutrients.
5. Replenish Electrolytes – One more function of potassium is the aiding of the body in replenishing electrolytes (especially given it’s also itself an electrolyte), and both the potassium and the pectin the fruit has to offer is why bananas tend to be recommended when experiencing diarrhea or constipation.
6. Anti- Inflammatory Nutrient – As noted above, the calorie count of a banana is counterbalanced by a wealth of nutrients, including magnesium, iron, Vitamin C, copper, and Vitamin B6, all of which are instrumental in helping build muscle. Vitamin B6 is in good supply in a banana, with each banana typically delivering about 34% of the RDA of the vitamin. This anti-inflammatory nutrient can help stave off cardiovascular disease, obesity, and type 2 diabetes. It’s worth noting that B6 also helps the body produce more of the white blood cells that keep it from getting infected.
7. Great Energy Supply – Carbohydrates are always a plus when considering a fruit, and bananas – yellow, ripe ones in particular – have a good amount to offer. The natural sugar in fruits in general and bananas in particular can help us maintain a good energy supply. Like other fruits, bananas bring fructose, glucose and sucrose to the table. This is one reason why bananas are often cited as part of a healthy breakfast, because they can help top up the body’s glycogen levels and that’s always a good early step.
8. Workout Supplement – It’s worth noting that while bananas are a great source for vitamins, minerals, and fiber, they’re not a great source for protein, which means you can pair them up with a food that is. However, the glycogen and carbs that bananas have to offer are also appreciated by the body both before and after a workout. Before a workout you’ll want to have enough energy on hand to accomplish everything you want to, and afterwards is when the body’s glycogen stores tend to be burned through thanks to the rigors of exercise. Eat about 1g of carbs per 1kg of body weight within half an hour after your workout finishes.
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