DUBAI: Devinder Bains, personal trainer and nutrition coach at Fit Squad DXB, shares her expert advice on the superfood that will help you lead a longer and healthier life.
Bananas are one of the tastiest and most versatile foods around, and the good news is that they are packed with healthy nutrients. Use them in smoothies, fruit bowls, on their own as a snack or dessert, or in the lockdown favorite bake — banana bread. Perfect before or after training, this fruit is a nutritional powerhouse.
The abundance of vitamin C and manganese contained in bananas makes them a superfood for the skin. Manganese works by helping the body utilize vitamin C, and they work together to protect against cell and tissue damage from free radicals. Both also help produce collagen, the protein that builds and holds your skin and bones together.
Bananas are a good source of potassium, which can help relieve the leg cramps that are common in pregnant women. They also contain vitamin B6, which is essential for fetal development and which can also help with nausea and vomiting during the first trimester. In addition to super nutrient vitamin C, which keeps immunity in order, bananas are also rich in fiber, which can help with constipation, something that affects half of all pregnant women.
The average banana has around 100 calories, which is pretty low considering how filling, nutritious and tasty they are. Opt for unripe (greener) bananas, which are higher in resistant starch and therefore more filling, helping to reduce appetite. Bananas can also help moderate blood sugar levels and may reduce appetite by slowing stomach emptying.
Bananas keep high blood pressure in check due to a combination of high potassium and low sodium. One large banana provides over 10 percent of your daily potassium requirements, which means it can also contribute toward maintaining a healthy heart and kidneys.
Bananas are fat-free and contain three natural sugars — sucrose, fructose and glucose — making them an excellent source of energy, especially for growing kids and exercise lovers. They have been labelled the perfect food for athletes due to their mineral content and quick-digesting carbs, making them an energizing addition to breakfast, a filling reboot between training sessions, and an excellent post-workout filler food with a protein shake. As mentioned, they may also play a part in reducing cramps that exercise can bring on.