By Kamakshi Ganesh
There is so much chatter in the wellness and fitness community about whether bananas are bad for you! Though there is a lot of controversy surrounding this fruit, the fact that they are easily available, very affordable and most importantly – tasty as hell – makes this fruit a firm favourite of mine. Here we have listed (and busted) the 5 biggest myths about bananas.
Myth 1 – The sugar content in bananas makes the fruit equivalent to candy/sweets
This isn’t much truth to this myth about bananas. While bananas DO have high sugar content (100g of banana will have approximately 12g-15g of sugar), they are not the same as the processed sugar in candies or chocolates. When you pick up a banana instead of a bar of chocolate, you are also giving yourself the benefits of vitamins, minerals and high fibre. Also helps that it will help you satisfy that sugar craving too! In fact, you can use organic banana powder as a sweetener in place of refined and processed sugar. It’s a healthier and tastier alternative for when you want a sweet and fruity flavour in your food.
Myth 2 – Eating Bananas cause kids to choke
Quite the contrary! A lot of doctors classify bananas as some of the safest first food for babies. The high potassium and calcium content in bananas helps to strengthen bones and the fibre helps in healthy bowel movement. However, while feeding bananas to babies and toddlers, be sure to smash it to a pulp with a fork or cut into bite-sized pieces if your kid is older. You can also use natural banana powder to replace refined sugar, and as a flavoured sweetener in different recipes.
Myth 3 – Bananas are an unhealthy fruit
Firstly, an “unhealthy fruit” is a bit of an oxymoron! Bananas are high in potassium and this potassium can help in maintaining heart health and your blood pressure levels to optimum. The magnesium and amino acid tryptophan in bananas is converted to serotonin which is a chemical which helps to alleviate our mood and reduce stress too! A single banana contains about 1/5th of your daily dietary allowance of Vitamin B6. This vitamin is required for creating haemoglobin for healthy blood and also boosts immunity. Need we say more?
Myth 4 – Bananas are bad for you if you suffer from Diabetes
Yet another myth about bananas that’s not true! The vitamin, mineral and fibre content in banana can add nutritional benefit for people with diabetes, as long as it is consumed in moderation. The high fibre content in bananas slows down the absorption of sugar into our blood i.e. lowering its glycemic index. It is not just safe, but it is also recommended since it is rich in minerals and helps keep the blood pressure under control.
Myth 5 – Bananas make you fat
Nope! Not true. A medium-sized banana only has about 100-110 calories and around .3g of fat which means that they are extremely low in fat content. They also have negligible sodium content which is great to manage cholesterol levels. Furthermore, bananas are packed with the right amounts of fibre and natural sugars which lead to a slow and stable release of energy, therefore making it an apt pre-workout meal. If consumed in moderate quantities, there are no way bananas will make you put on any weight! In fact, bananas are recommended for growing children to promote healthy weight gain too.
Bananas can be consumed as is – just peel it and eat it and you’re good to go! Or you could get creative with it. There is a tonne of healthy and tasty recipes you can make with this fruit. Try out some healthy banana pancakes, or paleo-friendly banana and oatmeal muffins. As long as you consume any natural food in moderation, you can rest assured it won’t do much harm!