Bananas are such a great fruit. Not only are they tasty and versatile, but they are also super nutritious. There are great added to smoothies to hide the taste of bitter greens! I’ve also used them as binders in cake and cookie recipes, as well as making delicious banana soft scoop ice cream!
But what’s so great about them?
- They’re high in the amino acid tryptophan. This is then converted into serotonin which is a neurotransmitter linked to mood. If we’re low in serotonin, we increase our risk of depression (medications for depression are usually SSRI’s- selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, therefore increase our levels of serotonin). But that’s not all, serotonin is then converted into melatonin, which is needed to regulate our sleep pattern. If any of my clients are struggling to get to sleep, I recommend a banana before bed to increase serotonin and melatonin levels.
- Everyone knows they’re great to eat before a workout. They are a high quality carbohydrate which will increase energy levels for the workout ahead.
- They contain high amounts of potassium. This is great if you’re training as it can help prevent muscle cramps during exercise. It can also help prevent night cramps as these can be caused by an imbalance of electrolytes. Due to the high potassium levels they can help lower blood pressure and protect against heart attacks and strokes.
- Bananas are rich in the fibre pectin. This aids digestion, normalise bowel movements and helps improve gut health.
- They can help stimulate the growth of good bacteria in the gut as they act as a prebiotic.
- They contain a high amount of B vitamins which are essential for adrenal health, creating energy, cardiovascular health and much more.
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