3. Improves Circulation/Blood Pressure
Potassium is necessary to help regulate blood flow and hydration levels within your body, thereby allowing oxygen to reach your cells.
Potassium can further help to lower high blood pressure by counteracting the effects of sodium within your blood.
And according to studies, the best way to get potassium is naturally—through food in your diet in such things as fresh fruits and vegetables, including, of course, the banana. (7)
4. Increase Bone Mass
Diets rich in potassium-packed fruits such as bananas may help women prevent osteoporosis, according to a study published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism. (8)
And this is especially true if you love salty foods since “…potassium appears to counteract the increased urinary calcium loss caused by the high-salt diets typical of most Americans, thus helping to prevent bones from thinning out at a fast rate,” according to Dr. Deborah Sellmeyer, assistant adjunct professor of endocrinology and metabolism at the University of California at San Francisco.
Bananas are also high in manganese and studies show that low manganese levels can contribute to poor bone health. (9)
5. Good for your Skin
Bananas can help you keep that perfect complexion because just one banana contains 16 percent of the manganese you need for the day and about 14 percent of the Vitamin C that helps in collagen production, which, of course, helps to keep you looking young.
Research also shows that manganese is a powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant—both of which naturally slow aging by reducing free-radical damage and oxidative stress. (10)
6. Improve Your Mood
You may have heard of the amino acid tryptophan in relation to your Thanksgiving dinner—turkey is said to be high in tryptophan, which is why you always feel more relaxed and even tired after a nice turkey dinner.
It’s a well-known fact in the scientific community that proper levels of serotonin can alter your mood (make you happy) and prevent such things as depression and even anxiety.
Not only that, but bananas also contain specific antioxidants that have been shown in studies to promote the release of dopamine—another mood-enhancing hormone—within your brain. (12)
Iron deficiency and anemia affect around 24.8 percent of the world’s population according to the World Health Organization (WHO) (13).
While bananas are not a significant source of iron, they do apparently stimulate the production of hemoglobin in your blood, which can help in cases of anemia.
8. Brain Power
Bananas are high in fiber, which for starters, helps you feel fuller, longer, so dieters will love bananas.
But more importantly, the dietary fiber and starches in bananas help to bind the waste in your digestive tract—combined with the potassium that helps to balance water retention in your gut—together, they help keep you from becoming dehydrated.
And as you already know, fiber has another key function—it helps keep you regular so you don’t become constipated. And in doing so, it also helps to eliminate the toxins that build up in your body over time. So eating bananas regularly, can essentially keep you “regular” without having to use harsh laxatives.
10. Healthy Nervous System
Bananas are loaded with vitamin B6 (called pyridoxine). In fact one banana contains 25 percent of your recommended daily intake of this important nutrient.
Vitamin B6 is known to help produce chemicals, called neurotransmitters, that allow your brain and nerve cells to communicate with one another, thereby ensuring that such metabolic processes as fat and protein metabolism run effectively. (19)
This vitamin is essential for proper immune system function, especially in older people. Vitamin B6, is also very important for calming and maintaining a healthy nervous system. In fact, a lack of vitamin B6 is known to actually cause nerve damage. (20)