Hungry? Grab a banana. It has got to be the easiest and most affordable way to fill yourself up in a pinch. Banana is a delicious and versatile fruit that provides instant energy and is rich in essential nutrients. Who doesn’t like bananas? However, what about high blood pressure (BP) patients?
Is a banana good for lowering blood pressure? Read to learn more about the connection between bananas and blood pressure.
Banana: Nutritional Profile
Bananas are a great source of potassium, fiber, antioxidants, vitamin C, and vitamin B6. The following is the nutritional information for 100 g of slightly ripe and overripe bananas.
Slightly ripe and Ripe Bananas
What Makes Bananas Good for Blood Pressure Control?
Bananas are known for having high potassium content. According to AHA (American Heart Association), foods rich in potassium are good for people with high blood pressure because potassium lessens the effects of sodium on your body.
Consuming more potassium-rich foods increases the amount of sodium you remove from your body through urine. Further, potassium also helps to reduce the tension in the walls of your blood vessels, which also helps lower blood pressure. So, a banana can be a good option to add to your diet if you have high blood pressure.
How Many Bananas Should You Eat in a Day for Blood Pressure Management?
As per research, eating 2 bananas a day for a week can help lower your blood pressure by up to 10%. However, if you have other health conditions such as kidney diseases, you should consult your doctor before adding potassium-rich foods such as bananas to your diet, as too much potassium can be harmful in kidney diseases.
What is the Best Time to Eat Bananas for Blood Pressure Control?
Bananas can be eaten at any time of the day. It is best advised to eat bananas in the daytime, especially as a breakfast option. Bananas can also be eaten as a post-workout snack or even in the evening. They should be avoided at night only by those suffering from cough, cold, asthma or sinus issues.
What are the Risks of Overconsumption of Bananas?
Like any food, eating too many bananas can cause health problems:
- The high fiber content in bananas can cause bloating, flatulence, abdominal cramps, etc.
- The high calories in bananas can cause weight gain.
- The tryptophan (an amino acid that helps you sleep better) and magnesium (a muscle-relaxant) content in bananas can induce sleepiness.
- Bananas contain fiber in the form of starch and pectin, which can make you feel constipated if consumed in excess amounts.
- The natural sugars found in bananas can result in tooth decay and the acids from eating too many bananas can cause your tooth enamel to wear away. Thus, eating too many bananas is not good for your oral health.
What are the Other Health Benefits of Bananas?
- Bananas are a good source of dietary fiber. The high soluble fiber content slows down digestion and keeps you full for a longer period of time, which can prevent snacking and overeating.
- The soluble fiber and resistant starch in bananas may help moderate your blood sugar levels after meals and prevent major spikes in blood sugar levels. Studies also indicate that resistant starch may improve insulin sensitivity.
- The potassium in bananas can also prevent muscle cramps, electrolyte imbalance, and dehydration. Potassium is also vital for healthy kidney function.
- The vitamin B6 in bananas can help with the production of serotonin and norepinephrine, chemicals which help with nerve function and the transmission of signals within your brain.
- The antioxidants in bananas can counter the cell damage caused by free radicals. Antioxidants have various health benefits, such as a reduced risk of heart disease and degenerative illnesses.
- Resistant starch, a type of fiber found in unripe bananas, is a prebiotic. Prebiotics are foods utilized by the beneficial bacteria in your gut and help improve your digestive health.
- Bananas are a good source of overall nutrition before, during, and after exercise.
Don’t Have Time To Read?
- Bananas are an easily available and versatile fruit. They are rich in potassium, fiber, antioxidants, vitamin C, and vitamin B6.
- Foods rich in potassium, such as bananas, are good for people with high blood pressure. Potassium lessens the effects of sodium on your body and reduces the tension in the walls of your blood vessels, which helps lower blood pressure.
- As per research, eating 2 bananas a day for a week can help lower your blood pressure by up to 10%.
- Bananas can be eaten at breakfast, as a post-workout snack, or in the evening. They should be avoided at night only by those suffering from cough, cold, asthma or sinus issues.
- Eating too many bananas can cause health problems such as bloating, flatulence, weight gain, sleepiness, constipation, and tooth decay.
- Other health benefits of eating bananas are weight loss, balanced blood sugar levels, improved kidney health and nerve function, better heart health and digestion, and reduction in muscle cramps, electrolyte imbalance, and dehydration.
- Use the Phable Care App to consult India’s leading cardiologists, order medicines, book lab tests, integrate BP monitors and other devices to get real-time remote care from the comfort of your home. Also, check out our Hypertension Management Program which provides 360º care. Let’s treat low/high blood pressure problems together.
If you have a high blood pressure condition, a banana can be a good option to lower your blood pressure due to its high potassium content.
Various fruits are good for high blood pressure including bananas, apples, kiwis, pomegranate, berries, oranges, and other citrus fruits.
Low blood pressure patients should avoid the consumption of bananas without consulting a doctor. Bananas are rich in potassium, and they reduce the sodium content in the body and help lower blood pressure levels. Hence, low blood pressure patients could see an extreme drop in blood pressure levels after eating bananas.