Here are three good reasons to include bananas in your daily smoothie and the health benefits that can be obtained from doing so.
First of all, bananas are rich in fiber that is so important for maintaining our digestive health. Insufficient fiber in our diets can cause problems arising from constipation such as discomfort, bloating and haemorrhoids or piles. By increasing the amount of fiber in our diets we can reduce our risk of developing very serious conditions such as cancer of the bowel or or colon. Recommended Daily amounts do vary slightly, depending on the source, but a good guide is around 25 grams per day for women and 38 grams per day for men (slightly less for men and women over 50).
Secondly, bananas are so rich in the vital vitamin B6, that just one medium sized banana will supply you with one fifth of your recommended daily intake. Why do I call vitamin B6 a 'vital vitamin'? The reason is that not only is it very important in the manufacture of antibodies which are fundamental to our immune systems functioning at optimum levels, but it is also important in the health of our blood as it is vital to the manufacture of haemoglobin. Haemoglobin is needed to carry oxygen around our bodies.
Thirdly, bananas are rich in Potassium. Potassium is a hugely important mineral as it has been firmly established by research, that there is a definite link between increased blood pressure and a higher risk of stroke in people whose potassium levels are low. Women at risk from Osteoporosis would also be well advised to increase their potassium intake to optimum levels as it helps to prevent the loss of the vital bone-building mineral calcium via our urine. A side benefit of this is that it also reduces our risk of developing kidney stones.
There are many delicious smoothie recipes that include bananas, here are a couple of my favorites which can be made in seconds in a home smoothie maker. Both recipes make two servings. You could freeze one serving, or take the other to work with you in a flask to keep it cool and have it at lunchtime! For both recipes, add the ingredients to your smoothie maker (liquid last) and blend until smooth).
Tropical Banana Smoothie .
2 peaches (stones removed)
2 bananas (chopped)
8 oz of fresh pineapple (or use tinned if fresh is not available)
1/3 cup chopped mango or papaya
1 cup of milk (either cows' milk, rice, soy or almond milk)
Very Berry Smoothie .
2 Bananas (chopped)
2 cups of berries of any sort, single variety, or mixed
1 tablespoon of honey (Manuka honey is marvellous)
½ cup of natural probiotic yoghourt
6 ice cubes
I hope you will enjoy these delicious smoothies even more now that you know how good bananas are for you!