Banana is an edible fruit produced by large herbaceous flowering plants belonging to genus Musa.
The word banana is said to be of West African origin.
There are various varieties of banana that vary in size, colour and taste.
Nutrition Profile of Banana
Constituents of banana in one serving (about 126 grams):
- Calories: 110
- Carbohydrates: 30 g
- Proteins: 1g
- Vitamin B6: 0.5mg
- Manganese: 0.3mg
- Vitamin C: 9mg
- Potassium: 450mg
- Dietary fibers: 3g
- Magnesium: 34mg
- Folate: 25mcg
- Riboflavin: 0.1mg
They are naturally free from fats, cholesterol and sodium
Why Banana is Your Friend in Weight Loss and Management
Bananas are rich in fibers, vitamins and minerals. Since cholesterol and fat content in bananas are negligible, it helps in weight loss.
Let’s have a look at how bananas help in weight loss and management.
1. Banana is a low calorie food
A low calorie diet is the key strategy in weight loss and management regime. Banana is a low energy food. It provides only 89 calories per 100 grams. Compare it with say a thin crust pizza which has approx 266 calories per 100 gms.
Low energy dense foods help to satisfy hunger at a low total intake of calories.
These foods work wonders in weight management as the net calorie intake is low even if high bulk of food is consumed. So, these foods can be consumed without worrying about their energy content.
Eating less is never a good option during your weight loss regime. It can make you sick.
Instead, prefer low calorie foods like bananas. Eating an extremely low calorie diet can result in fatigue, constipation, diarrhea and constipation.
Hence, it is better to have low calorie food like banana which will help you to manage your weight and health in an effective way.
What it means? Low calorie diet is extremely important for any weight loss regime. Bananas are a low calorie food, working wonders for all dieters.
2. Banana enhances satiety, promotes better appetite control
Dietary fiber is extremely important in weight loss regime. Dietary fiber is insoluble, withdraws water and forms a gel like mass that adds bulk to the food.
As a result, a feeling of fullness is experienced thereby preventing over eating. Thus, total calorie intake is low and weight is managed effectively.
Bananas are a great source of dietary fiber providing 2.6g of it per 100g.
A review conducted in the University of Minnesota, USA concluded that increasing the consumption of dietary fiber in the diet is a critical step in ameliorating obesity prevalent today. Dietary fiber promotes satiation, decreases absorption of macronutrients and alters the secretion of gut hormones.
Another review conducted at Tufts University, Boston, USA concluded that dietary fiber helps to considerably lower the total energy intake. Besides, they help to enhance the post meal satiety.
What it means? Bananas are a great source of dietary fiber that helps to enhance satiety, appetite control and prevent over eating. Thus, bananas are highly effective in weight loss.
3. Bananas boost metabolism, increase energy expenditure
It has been observed that some people inspite of considerable food intake, do not gain weight easily.
This is mainly because of the amount of energy utilized by these people. Obese people tend to have low energy expenditure because of sedentary lifestyle.
Hence, it is essential for such people to consume foods that boost their metabolism.
Bananas contain a plethora of B vitamins like riboflavin, folate, thiamine and pyridoxine. These vitamins play an important role in the energy metabolism.
They work as a team and help metabolize glucose and fats.
So, if you are distressed with your sedentary lifestyle and want to stimulate your energy expenditure, it is wise to shift to foods like bananas.
What it means? Metabolism rate is a characteristic of an individual.
For those people who have a low metabolism rate and are distressed with sedentary life, it is essential for them to consume foods like bananas to stimulate their energy expenditure.
4. Bananas are a low fat food
Energy density is referred to as the amount of calories present in a particular food. Fats (9kcal/g) are the most energy dense food component providing double the calories per gram than carbohydrates or proteins (4kcal/g).
As mentioned above too, for people living a sedentary life, it is essential to consume a low energy dense food to prevent fat accumulation and weight gain.
Bananas contain only 0.3g fat per 100g. A study conducted at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, USA concluded that there exists a definite relationship between the energy dense diet consumption and obesity.
It provided evidence that it is essential to consume a low energy dense food to prevent weight gain.
It is essential to understand that a high fat diet is bound to increase your total energy content. Consuming a low fat food like banana can help you to overcome your hunger in a better way.
What it means? Banana is a low fat food. Although, fats are essential for the body, excessive fat consumption can seriously increase the total calorie consumption thereby leading to weight gain.
How to incorporate bananas in your diet?
An important note, as one can eat either ripe or unripe banana.
Bananas can be mixed with low fat yogurt to make an ideal food for dieters. This dish provides the essential nutrients at required quantities and is a wonder food for dieters.
Bananas can be added to porridge and fruit salads.
Bananas contain substances known as chitinases that are associated with latex fruit allergy syndrome. Hence required precaution should be taken before consuming bananas if you are prone to this allergic syndrome.
There is a common perception that banana is unhealthy for obese people.
Scientific studies have shown that bananas when consumed in adequate amounts can indeed help to stimulate weight loss and manage weight in a better way.
Banana is a low energy dense food, stimulates satiety and energy expenditure.
Consuming banana alone cannot bring in drastic changes in weight. It is essential to consume a balance diet along with bananas.
Bananas are good hunger busters and can be used to satisfy hunger that crops up in between the meal.