Bananas are delicious, recognizable, versatile, and easily transportable. It’s no wonder that they have become one of the most popular fruits in the entire world. Many dietitians recommend eating these nutritious snacks as part of a healthy diet, but does that mean that it’s OK to eat a banana every day? Some research indicates that it might not be such a good thing after all.
Is it OK to eat a banana every day?
That all depends. Bananas, on their own, aren’t a bad thing. They are vitamin-rich snacks full of essential nutrients, but as with any other food, banana fans must be wary of the old adage “too much of a good thing.” There are a number of factors to consider when eating bananas in excess; these include caloric intake, carbohydrates, ripeness, and preexisting health conditions.
Why bananas are good for you:
There are many reasons why bananas make a great healthy snack. Bananas are high in fiber and protein, which means that they help you feel full for longer. They also provide a significant boost in energy due to carbohydrates. According to Live Science, bananas are a good source of vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin B6, magnesium, and antioxidants.
Most people choose to eat bananas for breakfast to give them that extra pick-me-up in the morning, but oddly enough, bananas can also help you sleep better. According to Eat This, Not That, bananas contain 11 milligrams of tryptophan, an amino acid often found in turkey that can make people feel sleepy. A banana in the evening can relax you and provide a healthy alternative to other, more sugary nighttime snacks.
In addition to helping maintain a healthy heart, blood, eyes, and muscles, bananas are also conducive to good digestion. Gut health has become a matter of significance in recent years, and a healthy gut often begins with healthy gut flora. According to Scientific Wellness, bananas are high in prebiotic fiber, which helps to increase the number of healthy gut bacteria and improve digestive health.
A 2017 study corroborated these findings by revealing that bananas contain resistant starch, which increases the production of fatty acids and improves gut health.
Why eating too many bananas can be a bad thing:
Bananas aren't usually thought of as a high-calorie snack but they do contain a fair amount of sugars. Unripe bananas have less sugar but more starch, which converts to sugar as the banana ripens. Either way, according to Healthline, 90 percent of the calories in a single banana come from carbohydrates, so if you’re already struggling with your weight or suffering from diabetes, banana moderation might be a wise decision.
In addition, those who rely too heavily on bananas as a staple food could find themselves deficient in other areas. Bananas might be high in potassium but they are lacking in healthy fats, calcium, iron, and vitamin D. Moderation and balance are the keys to healthy eating. According to Eat This, Not That, eating between one and three bananas a day should be fine, so long as you have no underlying health conditions.
Regardless of our recommendations, however, please note that it is always best to consult your doctor before incorporating any unfamiliar foods into your diet, especially if you already have a persistent medical condition such as diabetes or high blood sugar. Enjoy your bananas, but do so responsibly.