Bananas are a great portable, economical and energy boosting snack. They can be found all year round. Bananas provide quick and sustained energy, hence are a favourite fruit for endurance athletes.
One medium (118 g) banana contains 27 g carbs and 105 calories. Sugars make up about half (14g) of the total carbs. Dietary fiber is 3 g.
Bananas are a good source of:
- vitamins B6, C and biotin
- dietary fiber
- minerals (potassium, manganese, copper)
Health Benefits of Bananas
1. Heart health
Potassium in bananas helps to control blood pressure and maintain heart function. Vitamin B6 reduces the risk of heart disease.
Green (raw) banana has been shown to reduce amounts of stoll, oral rehydration solution, numbers of vomiting and diarrheal duration in children with persistent diarrhea. Green banana contains starch that is resistant to digestion in the small intestine. Instead, the starch is fermented by gut bacteria into short chain fatty acids that stimulate salt and water absorption.
3. Energy Booster
As banana is rich in carbs and sugars, it is a high calorie and high energy fruit. It provides a steady source of energy (as well as nutrients) at low cost.
Are Bananas A Good Late Night Snack?
Bananas are a good snack for satisfying sweet cravings at night.
They are high in sugars so enjoy them in moderation. Nevertheless, bananas have a mixture of vitamins, minerals and fiber, so are a much healthier alternative to refined carbs and sugary snacks.
Some people may experience spikes in blood sugar levels after eating ripe bananas. If you have blood sugar problems, consider eating bananas with a protein and/or fat source to minimise insulin response caused by sugar in bananas.
Banana Snack Ideas
1. Banana smoothie – blend frozen banana and berries (optional) with yogurt or milk.
2. Banana protein shake (Add your favourite protein powder).
3. Greek yogurt with banana.
4. Cottage cheese with banana.
5. Banana with peanut butter.
6. Banana ice-cream (Blend frozen banana until you get a creamy soft serve texture. You can add a spoonful of peanut butter, chocolate chips, cinnamon or tablespoon of cocoa powder).