Is Banana For Breakfast Healthy?
Bananas are considered to be one of the healthiest fruits available with several nutritional and medicinal benefits. In fact, a Japanese pharmacist has devised a unique weight loss diet called “Bananas for Breakfast,” or "The Morning Banana Diet,” which has turned out to be a meme of sorts. However, one cannot deny that they are calorie laden and have a high glycemic index (ability to raise blood sugars). So, is it really healthy to eat bananas for breakfast or is it just a dieter’s myth. Read on to find out
Bananas are available in all shapes and sizes, plus there are over a 100 varieties of bananas. However, the nutrient composition of most varieties is similar with only nominal differences. Here are the average nutrient values available in each serving of bananas.
Total calories – 100 kcal
Total carbohydrates – 23 gm
Free Sugars – 12.5 gm
Dietary fiber – 3 gm
Protein – 1.3 gm
Health benefits of eating Bananas for breakfast:
Research proves that bananas promote the production of neurotransmitter proteins like serotonin and is a good source of tryptophan. These proteins help to elevate mood, prevent aggravation of depressive symptoms, and acting as mental stress busters. A banana breakfast easily helps one to start the day on a positive note.
Bananas are a good source of dietary fiber and provide a type of pre biotic called resistant starch. Dietary fiber adds roughage to the bowel and promotes easy clearance, while resistant starch promotes the growth of probiotic bacteria in the gut. These 2 actions together help maintain GI health.
Promotes brain function
Glucose is the primary source of energy to the brain. Bananas, being medium to high glycemic fruits, help raise the blood sugar levels and energize the brain. This promotes better concentration and greater brain activity.
Trove of trace nutrients and essential vitamins
These fruits are a rich source of several nutrients including potassium, manganese, Vitamin B6 and Vitamin C. These nutrients help manage high blood pressure, boost immunity, improve vision, and prevent progression of CVD.
Side effects of eating Bananas:
Even though, bananas are a healthy fruit, excess consumption can lead to several side effects. One needs to be aware of these before including this fruit regularly in their breakfast…
It is not a complete food
For a food to qualify as complete food, it must have all 3 proximate principles in right proportions. Bananas, though, fail to meet this criterion. It has way too much carbohydrates, very little proteins and negligible fats.
Can lead to headaches
Bananas are a rich source of tyramine, phenyethyamine, and potassium. While potassium directly affects blood pressure, the 2 amino acids are known to increase the blood flow to brain – a major precursor to migraine like headaches.
Can aggravate diarrhea
The high fiber content of these fruits, which act as stool softeners in regular doses, can lead to resorbtive diarrhea if consumed in excess.
Can cause weight gain
Bananas are isocaloric, that is each gram of banana can provide approximately 1 Kcal of energy. Excessive intake of these fruits will derail one’s calorie goals and lead to weight gain.
However, one must remember that most of these side effects are a cause of excessive intake and moderate consumption of bananas as a part of a balanced diet cannot be considered as unhealthy.
Bananas, thus, are not a tainted fruit. They are quite healthy and one can surely start their day with a banana. However, it is not a good idea to follow fad diets like Banana Diet. Over indulgence of any kind is unhealthy and the same is true for this funny shaped fruit.