Bananas really are a wonderful fruit. They come in their own neat packaging, so you carry them around as a snack, they taste sweet, but they don’t cause a spike in your blood sugar levels, and they provide one of the best energy sources that nature provides. Before we get into the many health and beauty benefits of bananas though, here are a few interesting facts that you may not have known about the neat yellow fruit. Did you know that a banana tree is not a tree? The banana is an herbaceous flowering plant, and bananas themselves are, botanically speaking, berries. Did you also know that bananas are very slightly radioactive? Don’t worry, bananas won’t make you glow in the dark, because the levels of radiation are far too low to do you any harm, but the banana is sometimes used as a unit of radiation when describing levels of exposure to radiation. So, now you have a few random facts about bananas to drop into a conversation with friends, here are thirty of the amazing health and beauty benefits of the wonderful banana.
1. It improves eyesight
Just like carrots, bananas contain a lot of Vitamin A, which is vital for the health your eyes. Vitamin A maintains the health of your eyes and it also helps your eyes adjust to variations in light, so they will help you see more easily in the dark. Vitamin A is also needed to ward off macular degeneration when you get older.
2. Maintains a healthy digestive system
Eating bananas is good for the digestive system, because they contain a compound called fructooligosaccharide, which produces the enzymes that assist with the absorption of nutrients from the food that you eat. There are also ingredients in bananas that will ease constipation and help protect you against gastric ulcers.
3. Controls blood pressure
Another one of fabulous health benefits of bananas is that eating this wonderful fruit can help control blood pressure. Bananas are a rich source of the minerals: potassium, magnesium and calcium. These minerals, potassium in particular, are known to be very good at stabilising blood pressure. The eating of bananas is often recommended for people who suffer with hypertension, as a part of an overall treatment plan.
4. Prevents heart disease
Healthy heart is another one of great health benefits of bananas. Bananas are also good for your cardiovascular system in a number of different ways. They contain sterol fat, which helps to stop cholesterol being absorbed by the body, they are a good source of Vitamins C and B6, which promote a healthy heart and they are rich in potassium that can help prevent heart disease.
5. Recommended for diabetics
Because of the potassium that we already mentioned that bananas contain, they are often recommended as a fruit that diabetics can eat. As well as the blood sugar stabilising effect of the potassium, bananas have a low glycaemic index, so they don’t cause the spike in blood sugar levels that some other fruits do.
6. Prevents Osteoporosis
Eating bananas regularly is also good for the health of your bones and teeth. The potassium in bananas helps the body to absorb calcium, which is essential for maintaining strong teeth and bones. Eaten as a part of a healthy diet, bananas can help prevent the development of the bone disease osteoporosis.
7. Protects against Alzheimer’s disease
Bananas contain antioxidants that protect the brain cells form being damaged by free-radicals. It is believed that a diet that is rich in antioxidants protects the neurons in the brain from oxidative stress and may reduce the risk of degenerative brain disorders, such as Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.
8. Helps you sleep better
One of health benefits of bananas is that they can also be very useful if you have trouble sleeping at night. If you do suffer with insomnia, try eating a banana before you go to bed. The magnesium and potassium in bananas act as a muscle relaxant and that, along with the carbohydrates that bananas contain, will help you get to sleep and make you sleep more soundly.
9. Help with depression
Bananas can boost your mood and they may be able to help to reduce the symptoms of depression. They contain the a amino acid tryptophan and vitamin B6, which help the body to produce the feel good hormone serotonin, which promotes a general feeling of well-being and can lift you out of a bad mood.
10. Help with weight loss
Next one of health benefits of bananas it that eating them for a snack can help you lose weight. Many people think that bananas contain fats that will make you put on weight, but that is not true. What they do contain, though, is lots of soluble fibre. Soluble fibre will make you feel full, but give you very few calories, so you won’t feel that you need to eat anything else later on. Eating a high fibre diet is one of the easiest ways that you can lose weight.
11. Reduces the risk of cancer
Health benefits of bananas are truly numerous and another one of them is that adding bananas to your diet can reduce your risk of cancer. Like many fruits, bananas are a good source of antioxidants, which fight the cancer inducing damage that can be caused by free-radicals in your body. The high fibre content of bananas also keeps your bowels working properly, which can help prevent the development of bowel cancer.
12. Lowers cholesterol
The list of health benefits of bananas is really long. The water soluble fibre in bananas can reduce the levels of bad cholesterol in your blood. Bananas contain a number of such soluble fibres including psyllium and pectin, which help the body expel the bad LDL cholesterol, which causes clogging and hardening of the arteries, but these fibres do not have the same effect on the good HDL cholesterol that your body needs to function properly.
13. Prevents anaemia
Iron deficiency, or anaemia, can cause dizziness, weakness and headaches and can, in extreme cases, be fatal. Bananas are a good natural source of iron, which the body needs to produce haemoglobin in the blood. Eat more bananas and you will have a lot more energy, and you will have a rosy complexion too.
14. Remove warts
Even the skin of the bananas has its uses, and one of those uses is to remove warts from the skin. If you rub the inside of a banana skin on a wart regularly, or you hold a small piece of banana skin over a wart overnight with a Band-Aid, it will gently remove the wart and you won’t have to use harsh chemical treatments that can burn and sting.
15. Relieves heartburn
If you wake up in the night with heartburn, try eating a banana, because another one of wonderful health benefits of bananas is that eating them can help relieve heartburn. Bananas contain a natural antacid that neutralises the stomach acids that are the cause of heartburn. A banana will quickly restore the balance of the digestive system and bring quick relief for indigestion and heartburn.
16. Cures cracked heels
Bananas also have many uses when applied topically to the skin as well. If you have dry and cracked heels, try massaging some banana pulp into them and leaving it on for ten minutes. When you wash it off again, the anti-bacterial agents in bananas will have helped to remove any infection, and the banana pulp will have moisturised and nourished your skin.
17. Thickens hair
Benefits of bananas go even further. Bananas make a great ingredient for homemade hair masks. If you make up a hair mask of one mashed up banana mixed with some natural yoghurt and a tablespoon of coconut oil, it will add volume to your hair and promote new hair growth. It works best if you apply the mask to your hair and then leave it on for about twenty minutes before you wash it out again.
18. Removes excess oil for the skin
If you have greasy skin, then bananas can help you with that too. You can make a wonderfully effective facial scrub for oily skin by mixing together one mashed up banana, a tablespoon of oats, a tablespoon of honey and two tablespoons of almond milk. Massage this into your face and it will gently exfoliate the skin and it will remove excess sebum too.
19. Whitens teeth
Another one of beauty benefits of bananas is that banana skins contain a natural whitening agent that will work wonders on stained teeth. Teeth can easily get stained by coffee, red wine and foods like curries. If this has happened to you, try rubbing the inside of a banana skin over your teeth and leaving it for ten minutes before you rinse out your mouth. If you do this daily, you will soon have sparkling white teeth again.
20. Reduces wrinkles
Gently rub the inside of a banana skin over any fine lines in your skin that you may have and it will nourish and soften the skin and bring back some of its elasticity. Wash off after about five minutes. If you do this daily, you should be able to see a noticeable reduction in the lines in your skin in just a few weeks.
21. Cures acne
Next one of fabulous beauty benefits of bananas is that banana contains some fantastically effective anti-bacterial agents that are great for treating acne. To make your own natural anti-acne face mask, mix one mashed up banana with a pinch of nutmeg and a teaspoon of honey (make sure you are not allergic to these natural ingredients). Apply this to your face, leave it on for about five minutes, and then wash it off again with warm water. Watch those pimples disappear!
22. Treats frizzy hair
Dry, frizzy hair can be treated with a banana hair mask. Mash up two bananas and add three tablespoons of honey and one tablespoon of argan oil. Massage the mixture into your hair, right down to the roots and scalp, and leave it in for half an hour. Then, you can wash and condition your hair as usual, and you will find that the banana hair mask has rehydrated your hair and tamed the frizz.
23 Treats dry skin
The moisturising effect that bananas have can also be of great benefit if you have dry skin. A mixture of pulped bananas and honey will clear up blemishes and rehydrate the skin. Simply apply the mixture to your face and leave it in for about five or ten minutes, then wash off.
24. Reduces the itching from insect bites
If you get bitten by an insect, then rubbing the inside of a banana peel on it will reduce the swelling and soothe the soreness and itching that insect bites and stings cause. It’s another great reason to pack bananas in your picnic hamper this year!
25. Reduce puffiness around the eyes
Beauty benefits of bananas are almost unlimited. The potassium in bananas will draw excess fluid out of the skin and reduce the appearance of puffy eyes almost instantly. Gently rub some mashed up banana into the areas under your eyes and leave it to it for about five or ten minutes. When you wash it off, your puffy eyes will be gone.
26. Banana and olive oil hair mask for shiny hair
Here’s another great banana hair mask recipe, this time for shiny hair. Peel and mash one ripe banana and then mix in a quarter of a cup of olive oil and the white of one egg. Massage the mixture well into your hair and scalp and leave it in for fifteen minutes before you wash it out again with shampoo. Bananas contain some wonderful nutrients that will condition your hair and bring back the shine and bounce.
27. Tones the skin
Another one of great beauty benefits of bananas is that bananas will also help tone the skin and make it look younger and fresher. For a clear, glowing complexion, mix one tablespoon of mashed banana with a spoonful of honey, tablespoon of sweet almond oil and teaspoon of sandalwood powder. Apply the moisture to your face and leave it in for about fifteen minutes and your skin will feel fresh and smooth and you have a beautiful, natural looking, glowing complexion.
28. Cures dandruff
The anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties of bananas are great for treating dandruff. Mash up one banana and mix in a tablespoon of coconut oil, a few drops of lemon juice and a teaspoon full of natural honey. Massage the mixture well into your scalp and leave it in for twenty minutes. This hair mask will hydrate your scalp and fight any fungal infection, so your hair will soon be free of flakes of dandruff.
29. Cleanses and gently exfoliates the skin
Because bananas are rich in Vitamins A, C and E, they provide a gentle and natural way to cleanse the sin. To give your skin a deep down clean, lift dirt and grease from the pores, and exfoliate dead skin cells, make up a mixture of mashed banana and coffee grounds. Rub it gently into your face and will leave your skin fresh and clean.
30. Treats chapped lips
If you get dry, chapped lips, then bananas can help you here too. Just rub a little banana pulp on your lips and then apply sweet almond oil, before you go to bed and leave it on overnight. If you can resist licking your lips, it will moisturise the skin and help to heal any cracks in your lips. If your lips are very sore, then this might sting a bit at first, but it really does work