What Are Bananas Good For?

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A sliced banana on a plate.
A sliced banana on a plate. (Image: YelenaYemchuk/iStock/Getty Images)

When it comes to fruit, bananas are a no-brainer. They're easy to find, travel well and are relatively inexpensive. Plus, they're a good source of fiber and rich in a number of nutrients that not only keep you healthy but may lift your mood too.

Filling Fiber

If you're on a weight-loss diet and struggling to stick with it because of your constant hunger, add a banana. The sweet fruit is low in calories and a good source of fiber. One medium banana has 105 calories and 3 grams of fiber.

The fiber in the banana helps you feel full longer, which may help you eat less. People who get more fiber in their diets tend to have lower body weights, according to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

High Potassium

Eating a diet filled with potassium-rich foods may help lower your blood pressure, says the American Heart Association. One medium banana contains 422 milligrams of potassium, making it a good choice for upping your potassium intake.

Potassium in foods like bananas helps balance the effects of sodium. You should aim for 4,700 milligrams of potassium a day to get the most benefits, according to the association.

Mood Lifter

If you're feeling a little stressed or down, consider noshing on a banana. Bananas contain an amino acid called tryptophan, which your body needs to make the mood-enhancing hormone serotonin.

The release of serotonin in your brain helps you feel calm and relaxed. A 2013 article published in "Nutrition Research Reviews" says foods like bananas may help healthy people vulnerable to everyday stresses cope by improving mood and cognition.

Egg Replacer in Baked Goods

Whether you're modifying a recipe or trying to limit the fat in your diet, replace the eggs in your baked goods with a banana. The banana substitute goes well with chewy baked goods like brownies, says the website The Kitchn. For every whole egg in a recipe substitute one whole ripe banana. Not only does it help lower the fat content in your recipe, but it also bumps up the nutrition in your baked goods, adding fiber, vitamins and minerals.

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