Let's talk bananas. I try to eat one every day (even though 6-7 days it's blended up in my protein shake), but I really didn't understand why I was eating them or the benefits. So I decided to find out more.
First thing I find. Banana's are actually a berry - who would have known?! They also help you lose weight, reduce bloat, increase energy, and more! It seriously sounds like a super food, but I mean what exactly does eating a banana do?
Help you build lean muscle via magnesium. Banana's help with muscle contraction, relaxation, and protein synthesis, which increases lean muscle mass. Along with magnesium, banana's are also high in potassium which helps your muscles recover from a workout faster as well as strengthen their development which allows you to work out more.
Need more nutrients? Banana's also have vitamin B9 that may help fight depression - via helping serotonin (the feel-good chemical) enter your thinking cap faster and tryptophan - a precursor for serotonin (the natural anti-depressant found in your brain). Not only do they make your muscles feel good, they can help you feel good by reducing stress and anxiety, insomnia, fatigue, anger, etc. etc. etc..
One of my favorites, bananas help with bloating! How many of us wake up and just feel like BAM, where'd that little belly bulge come from?! I know I'm not pregnant so what happened?! Our yellow berry fruit friend fights against gas and water retention. One study even found that women who ate a banana twice a day (as a pre-meal snack) for 2 months reduced their belly bloat by 50%! LOVE!
As a serial snacker, I was thrilled to learn that banana's also help to stabilize your blood sugar and reduce cravings. By getting your daily banana fix with protein and healthy fats, your body slows down the absorption of sugar (from the banana) into your blood stream. This helps keep your energy stable / avoid spikes in being the energizer bunny and a sloth.
Banana's are also a staple for marathoners (before, during, and after a race) due to being rich in glucose, which is the most easily digestible source of sugar that provides energy for your run!
If you need more, consider these benefits (summarized super short here): they'll help you burn fat, feel fuller, digest easier, be more regular, lower blood pressure, improves your vision, and is an all natural detox! I could have gone on and on and on and on, but I think you get it. I'm so glad I've already been on the daily banana kick - if you aren't, now is a good time to start!
PS - if you're looking for ways other than eating a banana straight up or blended up in a smoothie, here are some amazing recipes to try from My Fitness Pal - the recipes are for breakfast, but who are we kidding, these would be yummy any time of the day!