Banana is omnipresent in almost all households across the globe as a staple fruit. Its ubiquity can be put down to its great taste. It is one of the sweetest fruits available throughout the year. It can be eaten as is or can be used as a base for milkshakes, smoothies, desserts, pancakes and the list goes on. Banana has largely been stereotyped as a weight-gain-causing food while the fact is that this humble fruit may greatly help in weight loss. Bananas contain good carbohydrates in the form of resistant starch and are low in fats, which create an optimum environment for burning excessive calories. Banana is a great source of energy, which replenishes the body with energy that is lost during exercise, sports or other physical activity. According to the book, 'Healing Foods' by DK Publishing House, "The fruit contains both quick-release glucose and slow-release fructose, so it supplies energy in two ways."
Banana also has high fibre content that helps in smooth bowel movements and improves digestion. As fibre takes a longer time to digest, it keeps the body satiated for more time.
Banana Nutrition Facts
Dietician & Nutritionist, Dr. Sunali Sharma, informs, "A medium-sized banana contains 27 grams of carbohydrates, 3 grams dietary fibre, 14 grams of natural sugar, just 105 calories, and many essential micro-nutrients. The fruit also increases the metabolism rate of the body and makes the stomach feel full for a longer time, preventing unhealthy snacking in between the meals."
Bananas are loaded with potassium, which controls water retention in the body and reduces bloating.
So how many bananas can be consumed per day?
To round it off, bananas can be beneficial for both weight loss and weight gain. What matters is the quantity you consume. As per the USDA guidelines, you should consume two cups of fruits per day, which amounts to two big bananas. Under normal circumstances, two bananas are safe to be consumed.
However, if you are on a weight loss diet, Dr. Sunali Sharma suggests eating only one medium-sized or 5" banana a day. Also, it should be ideally eaten as a pre or post-workout meal, as it will build up stamina and will help the body recover after a rigorous physical activity.
Nutritious foods are good for health but too much of a particular nutrient can prove to be just the opposite. Bananas are rich in carbohydrates, but too much of it will lead to digestion problems, which in turn can cause weight gain. Also, banana is a satiating food and too much of it will leave little room for other foods that are rich in nutrients that are lacking in banana; for instance, proteins. Proteins are an indispensable part of weight loss diet.
So if you want to lose weight in a healthy way, do not give up on bananas. Instead, limit its consumption to one, not-too-large piece a day and let its individual characteristics work its way to assist you in your fitness journey.