Bananas are one of the most popular fruits in Australia, in fact Australians consume 5,000,000 bananas each day!
Known for being packed full of nutritious vitamins, providing a natural boost of energy and a great source of fibre, bananas not only taste good but have the added benefit of making you feel good too.
Australian bananas are primarily grown on commercial plantations across states with warmer climates such as Queensland, New South Wales, Western Australia and the Northern Territory.
From the time of planting, it usually takes around 12 months to produce the first bunch of bananas with a bunch averaging around 50 to 200 bananas.
In 2017/18, Australian farmers produced 388,000 tonnes of fresh bananas.
If you think that statistic is impressive, the nutritional facts about bananas are equally as impressive!
Australian Bananas has broken down the top 7 health benefits of bananas, keep reading below to find out more:
Potassium is found mainly within body cells and plays a major role in ensuring normal cell function, proper nerve signals, heart beats and muscle contractions, as well as making sure nutrients are transported efficiently within the body.
Research shows that a diet high in potassium and low in salt helps to keep blood pressure at normal levels and also reduces the risk of stroke. A banana will give you 10% of your daily potassium needs and has no salt (sodium).
The Glycaemic Index (GI) is a measure of how much and how quickly blood sugar levels rise after eating a food. The average GI of bananas is 52 which is classified as low, meaning it’s great for lasting energy.
Vitamin C is an essential antioxidant vitamin and very important in the making of collagen, the connective tissue found in tendons, arteries, bone, skin and muscle. Vitamin C has other roles in the body, including the production of noradrenaline, which is a neurotransmitter in the nervous system. Like most fruit, bananas are a source of vitamin C.
The fibre found in bananas helps keep you regular and prevent constipation, as well as protecting your intestines from diverticula disease and haemorrhoids. A medium banana has 2.4 g of fibre, nearly 10% of your fibre needs for the day. If you have constipation, bananas included in the diet can help restore normal bowel action, without resorting to laxatives.
Bananas contain significant natural antioxidants that help keep us healthy. Research shows antioxidants help reduce the risk of heart disease, cancer, and help protect nerve cells, which in turn could help protect the brain from Alzheimer’s Disease.
Bananas have long been a favourite with athletes and active people. That’s because the carbohydrate in a banana becomes glucose in the blood providing an excellent source of long lasting muscle energy.
The carbohydrate will also help replace muscle fuel stores after exercise and that makes bananas a great recovery food. Wholesome carbohydrate sources also help keep blood sugar levels normal. So if you’re feeling a bit jaded mid-afternoon, simply grab a banana.
The B group of vitamins have a critical role in energy metabolism and are involved in many enzyme processes. One banana offers 15% of your B6 and 10% of your folate needs for the day.
Find out more about bananas, including their endless health benefits and explore a range of great recipes via Australian Bananas.