You probably know that bananas are a superfood for your heart — thanks to nutrients like potassium, fiber, vitamins C and B6. But bananas actually contain thousands of different compounds.
- Bananas boost iron absorption. Bananas are a top source of prebiotic fiber, which increased iron absorption by 28% in one Cornell University study. Bananas are also an excellent source of vitamin C, which helps “prep” iron in plant sources for absorption. The absorption effect only works when the vitamin C and iron sources are consumed together.
- Bananas & boy baby gender. Dietary research on potassium intakes during pregnancy may bolster the old wives’ tale linking bananas with having boys. Compared to those who gave birth to girls, mothers of boys consumed 300mg more potassium, on average per day. One banana contains 450mg potassium.
- Bananas preserve muscle mass. Potassium, this time on the other side of the age spectrum: Seniors with higher potassium intakes had more lean muscle mass than their potassium-poor peers. Researchers believe the metabolic by-products of potassium help to maintain the body’s alkaline balance, counteracting the breakdown of muscle driven by excess acidity.
- Bananas fight fat — and not just by protecting muscle. Bananas contain resistant starch, which ferments in your large intestine, creating by-products (butyrates) that block conversion of some carbohydrates into fuel. Bonus: Bananas’ prebiotic fiber also help curb hunger. Great for weight loss!
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