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The Ubiquitous Banana

Posted by Heather J.

If stranded on a desert island, I could probably live on oatmeal and apples (provided oats and apples grew on my island), two of my favorite foods. I take my organic, rolled oats with whey protein powder and berries mixed in, to make sure I get ample protein and carbs after my morning run. Another fruit that provides excellent fuel before, during (if you really want to carry one around), or after a workout is the ever-popular banana, which tops the list as one of nature's most perfect foods. Coming in at right around 100 calories, the banana is 75 percent water, which can help keep one hydrated. Its 28 grams of carbs provide energy, and those carbs; simple and complex forms provide a steady stream of glucose into the bloodstream (as opposed to the quick rush that would come from, say, jelly beans, which are purely simple carbs), which means sustained energy. The pale, yellow fruit contains solid doses of potassium and magnesium, two electrolytes lost in sweat. The extra calcium, phosphorus, and protein aid in recovery, as well. Antioxidants and vitamins A, C, and E, help stave off the damage of free radicals. As fringe benefits, bananas can ease a nervous stomach, while pectin, a soluble fiber found in bananas, absorbs water in the colon, helping to normalize control what some refer to as "runner's trots." So when you grab a banana at the end of a race, not only are race directors giving you an inexpensive snack, they're providing you with innumerable health benefits.
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I have bananas in my oatmeal instead of adding sweetners, butter or milk like my mom taught me. It's much more filling and tastes great.
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