Bananas are thought to have been discovered and domesticated by humans in New Guinea around 8000 BCE, though there is still much conjecture on this. Regardless of where the banana was first discovered, it has since become one of the most popular fruits enjoyed by millions of people around the world. Bananas are found growing in over 100 countries and contain a wide variety of health benefits.
Bananas are said to aid in weight loss, regulate heart rhythm, and support healthy eyesight. Full of soluble fiber, which helps digestion and makes you feel fuller for longer, bananas contain a large amount of a mineral electrolyte called potassium. This mineral is essential in maintaining fluid levels in the body, as well as regulating the movement of nutrients and waste products. Potassium helps muscle contraction, and keeps the heart beating regularly. Severe potassium deficiency can cause irregular heartbeat, which can be fatal.
Potassium is also known to help lower blood pressure by lessening the effects of sodium and helping the kidneys to function correctly. Potassium helps relieve tension on the walls of blood vessels, which can further lower blood pressure. However, too much potassium (hyperkalemia) can be detrimental to those with kidney disorders. If kidneys aren’t able to filter waste and blood correctly, potassium may build up, which can be harmful.
Including bananas in your diet for the health benefits is as simple as eating one a day. Though you need to consume a large amount of bananas in order to experience any negative side effects, it can happen, so it’s important to keep that in mind. Too many bananas can induce headaches, drowsiness, hyperkalemia, nerve damage and more. Health experts suggest two bananas per day, as that is the daily recommended amount of fruit.