15 Health Benefits of Bananas That Might Surprise You

dancing banana illustration with caption health benefits

Whoever coined the phrase “an apple a day keeps the doctor away,” came up with it before bananas came about. Believe it or not, the health benefits of bananas are numerous, diverse and potent. We’ll take a look at 15 health benefits of bananas in a moment, but before we do, let’s break down the potent nutritional content found in bananas.

This delicious superfruit should have you going ape. Bananas have an abundance of nutrients to promote overall wellness in our bodies when we ingest the, but they also have a few other special uses in the treatment of some other common health conditions. Let’s break down the nutritional content of bananas first. Here are the daily value (DV) percentages of one medium banana:

  • Vitamin B6 25%.
  • Manganese 16%.
  • Vitamin C 14%.
  • Fiber 12%.
  • Potassium 12%.
  • Biotin 10%.
  • Copper 10%.

Ten different amino acids and an antioxidant known a lutein are additional benefits that come from bananas. The benefits of bananas as a food source are only a part of this fruit’s wondrous array; there are also several benefits that you can derive from using banana peels. Before we talk about the 15 health benefits of bananas, let’s look at a few precautions involved in using and consuming them.

Precautions for Using Bananas

You would think that a fruit would be relatively harmless, but there are a couple of cautions that you need to consider before for you go wild over bananas. The first precaution is concerned with a rare allergy known as latex-fruit syndrome. This is an immune system reaction to a particular set of proteins that are found in rubber trees. Bananas happen to be related to those trees and can sometimes trigger this reaction.

Additionally, if you’re trying to maintain or regulate your blood sugar levels, then bananas should be used in moderation rather than as a steady part of your diet, because of their high rating on the glycemic index.

Some Information About Bananas

Bananas are among some of the most important crops on earth.

They come from a family of plants known as Musa which are native to Southeast Asia. They are grown in many of the warmer parts of the world.

They are a very healthy source of fiber, vitamin B6, vitamin C, potassium, and a wide variety of antioxidants and phytonutrients.

Many different types and sizes of bananas exist. Their colors usually range from yellow to green, however, some varieties are also red.

15 Health Benefits of Bananas That Might Surprise You

Boost Your Mood

One of the health benefits of bananas that will get you excited is the fact that it helps to boost your mood.

What to do:

  • When you’re feeling blue, just peel and eat a banana.
  • You might even sneak in a banana split if nobody’s watching.

How it works:

Bananas contain antioxidants which help boost dopamine levels in your body and brighten your mood.

stack of bananas

Healthy Skin

Glowing, healthy skin is another item on the long list of the health benefits of bananas.

What to do:

  • A banana smoothie or a banana as an addition to your favorite smoothie two or three times a week.
  • You can also puree a ripe, peeled banana and mix it with honey to make a facial mask.
  • Apply the mask, let it sit until it dries thoroughly and then rinse it off.

How it works:

The vitamin C and manganese found in bananas contribute to collagen production. Additionally, the antioxidant properties of bananas fight inflammation and free radicals, which damage skin health.

Constipation Relief

Another of the many health benefits of bananas is that it can help bring relief to constipation.

What to do:

  • Consume a medium banana daily as a snack.
  • Add bananas to your high fiber cereal.
  • Puree a banana with a little honey and drink it to get things moving in your colon.

How it works:

The fiber content in bananas helps to keep you regular and prevents constipation. They can also work as a gentle laxative when necessary.

Lowers Blood Pressure

Lowering your blood pressure is another of the excellent health benefits of bananas.

What to do:

  • Try out a delicious banana smoothie several times a week to maintain blood pressure levels or every day if you need to get your blood pressure under control.

How it works:

The high concentration of potassium in bananas helps to counteract the effects of sodium on your blood pressure.

Increased Bone Density

Also included our list of health benefits of bananas is its ability to increase bone density.

What to do:

How it works:

Studies show that manganese deficiency is a contributor to bone loss and osteoporosis.

Immunity Boosting

Boosting your immunity is also among the health benefits of bananas.

What to do:

  • You can use up over-ripe bananas by making banana bread and adding it as a special dietary treat.

How it works:

The vitamin C and the antioxidants, dopamine, and catechins, which help eliminate free radicals that damage tissues and make you more susceptible to common illnesses as well as more serious diseases.

Improved Kidney Health

You can also improve the health of your kidneys; another winning item among the health benefits of bananas.

What to do:

How it works:

Studies indicate that due to the high level of potassium, eating bananas 3 to 4 times a week can reduce your chances of developing kidney disease by 50%.

bananas and strawbberries
Add in a few strawberries to get the power breakfast of champions!

Reduce Muscle Cramps

Bringing relief muscle cramps and workout stiffness is yet another of the many health benefits of bananas.

What to do:

  • Consume a medium banana before your workout or competing in an athletic event.
  • Follow up with a whole ripe banana or banana smoothie afterward as well.

How it works:

The high potassium content in bananas is one of the most effective remedies available for preventing muscle cramps and boosting post-workout muscle recovery.

Better Sleep

Believe it or not, one of the health benefits of bananas you probably weren’t expecting to find was better sleep.

What to do:

  • Consume bananas in a fruit salad or smoothie 30 to 45 minutes before bedtime.

How it works:

The amino acid Tryptophan aids in the regulation of serotonin and melatonin hormone balancing, which helps you sleep better and makes you feel more rested when you’re awake.

Energy Boost

You can also get an energy boost as one of the many health benefits of bananas.

What to do:

How it works:

Vitamin B6, carbohydrates and fiber content in bananas all contribute to giving your body a boost of energy.

Hair De-frizzing

As a treatment for frizzy hair, the health benefits of bananas add another surprising twist.

What to do:

  • Mash up a ripe banana until it’s a smooth paste. Add a ¼ cup yogurt, preferably plain, 2 Tbsp of olive oil and 2 Tbsp of honey.
  • Massage this creamy banana paste into your hair and scalp.
  • Cover with a shower cap and let it sit for 45 to 60 minutes.
  • Rinse your hair, and then shampoo as usual.
  • Repeat a couple of times a week.

How it works:

The vitamins, oils, carbs, and minerals found in bananas help to maintain a hydrated, healthy scalp and eliminate frizzy hair.

Removing Warts

You probably never thought you’d see wart removal on a list of the health benefits of bananas, but it actually works.

What to do:

  • Rub the inner side of a banana peel over your warts for 10 to 15 seconds before going to bed.
  • Repeat for a couple of weeks or until the wart is gone.

How it works:

Enzymes and Amino acids in the peel of a banana help break down and dissolve warts.

Removing Splinters

Another on our list of the health benefits of bananas is helping to remove splinters.

What to do:

  • Clip off a small piece of a banana peel and place the moist side against the area of the splinter.
  • Cover it with an adhesive bandage to hold it in place overnight.
  • Remove and easily pluck the splinter out.

How it works:

The enzymes and amino acids in the banana peel help to soften the skin and dislodge the splinter. In addition, there are anti-inflammatory properties, which will help ease the sting of the splinter.

Natural Whitener for Teeth

Would you believe that among the many health benefits of bananas whitening teeth was one of them? It is.

What to do:

  • Rub the moist side of a banana peel against your teeth for a couple of minutes every night before brushing your teeth.

How it works:

The oils and acids in the banana peel will help get rid of discolorations on your teeth.

Healing Bites and Burns

Last, but in no way the least on our list of health benefits of bananas is their ability to help heal bites and burns.

What to do:

  • Peel and eat the banana to induce the antioxidants and healing properties internally.
  • Rub the moist side of the peel against the affected areas.
  • Repeat as needed.

How it works:

The nutrients in bananas help encourage wound healing, but the anti-inflammatory and oils in the peel can also help to soothe the itch and sting of burns and bites as well.

green unripe bananas, health benefits of bananas
Did you know bananas travel halfway across the world to get here? That’s why they’re harvested green.

Final Thoughts

After reading out the list of 15 health benefits of bananas that might surprise you, you’re probably about to get excited to try some of them out. The high nutrient content of bananas and the fact that everybody loves bananas makes it easy to see how “a banana a day can keep the doctor away.” Include bananas in your diet or make use of the peels in one or more of the remedies we’ve listed above and then feel free to comment on your success with bananas.

Images from depositphotos.com and unsplash.com.