Is that candy bar looking like your only option for a quick snack? Well, step away and grab a nutrients-filled banana instead.
For roughly 4,000 years, bananas have held a reputation as the go-to for portable snacks. They offer tons of nutritional value including potassium, a critical mineral nutrient that today’s processed foods lack. The journal Mayo Clinic Proceedings conducted a review of 52 studies showing bananas are associated with reduced blood pressure. The review also confirmed that consuming potassium is linked to lower risk of stroke and heart disease.
Fiber is another loophole in modern diets that bananas help close. A third of the fruit’s fiber is soluble—great for escorting waste from your body. Soluble fiber is also linked to a decreased risk of heart disease.
In general, fiber regulates digestion also slows the conversion of carbohydrates to simple sugars or whisks them away before complete absorption. Fiber itself contains fructooligosaccharides (FOS)—often referred to as prebiotics—which ensure the balance of good bacteria, such as Bifidobacterium, in the lower intestine. As a result, FOS helps keep the entire digestive system healthy.
Other nutritional power comes from sterols, which block dietary cholesterol from being absorbed, and the antioxidants vitamin C and manganese, which help protect the body from free-radical damage on the cellular level.
Just try to get that kind of satisfaction from your Milky Way!