Bananas are convenient to eat, digest easily and available in plenty. They can be added to snacks and milkshakes. Their thick peels keep the fruit safe from pesticides and pollutants.
You can carry them anywhere, and most people can tolerate them well. Some unfavourable reports blame red bananas for weight gain. On the contrary, red bananas are good for weight loss.
Red bananas have more nutrients than yellow bananas. Red bananas are endemic to India and Southeast Asia. They are also grown in many areas like the Pacific Islands, Australia, and New Zealand. Red banana benefits have led to its popularity in the West.
Red Banana Calories
Red banana calories are less compared to other fruits. An average red banana adds less than 100 calories to your diet.
Red Banana Benefits
Red bananas have multiple benefits for your health and organs like the skin and the heart. We list below some red banana benefits.
1) Red Bananas May Have Antioxidant Properties
Red bananas contain plenty of carotenoids, flavonols, and anthocyanins. The high carotenoid content gives the red bananas antioxidant properties. The antioxidant content in red bananas is higher than in yellow bananas.
These antioxidants destroy free radicals, which cause cellular damage. Antioxidants also protect you from metabolic disorders like cancer, diabetes, and cardiovascular diseases.
2) Red Bananas May Lower Your Blood Pressure
The potassium and magnesium present in red bananas dilate the blood vessels. This improves the blood circulation in the body and reduces your blood pressure. The combination of potassium and magnesium in red bananas makes them very effective for lowering blood pressure.
3) Red Bananas May Be Beneficial for Eye Health
Red bananas have high quantities of zeaxanthin and lutein. The reddish colour of the red bananas comes from the carotenoid pigments. Lutein and beta-carotenoids are also present in red bananas. These are carotenoids that protect our eyes against age-related macular degeneration.
These are very effective when consumed from food as they are precursors of Vitamin A. Vitamin A is necessary for healthy eyes and prevents night blindness.
4) Red Bananas Can Improve Your Digestive Health
Our grandmothers used red bananas to cure digestive problems like constipation, bloating, and diarrhoea. The high fibre present in bananas helps ease bowel movements. Proper bowel movements enhance digestion and improve the absorption of nutrients in the body.
By curing constipation, bananas prevent piles from developing. Regular bowel movements also offer some protection against developing colon cancer.
The fibre in red bananas also helps improve the quality of gut bacteria. Prebiotic fibre like insulin and fructooligosaccharides present in red bananas increase the diversity of the gut bacteria. Fibre reduces gut inflammation.
Red bananas are the perfect food for people with stomach upset who need a bland, easy-to-digest diet. Bananas replenish electrolytes like potassium that get lost during diarrhoea and vomiting. Regular consumption of red bananas lowers the risk of developing digestive problems like Crohn's disease and inflammatory bowel disease.
This fruit has an antacid effect that calms down heartburn. If eaten regularly, red bananas can completely cure heartburn. Using unripe bananas can give you the benefit of resistant starch. This type of carbohydrate remains in the small intestine after digestion. This starch becomes food for good bacteria in your gut.
The starch passes into the large intestine after microbes break and ferment it. Here it produces short-chain fatty acids (SCFA). These fatty acids play a significant role in preventing many chronic illnesses.
5) Red Bananas For The Heart
The fact that red bananas are rich in potassium makes them suitable for the heart. The potassium counters the ill effects of sodium. It also lowers blood pressure. Blood pressure makes the heart vulnerable to heart disease and heart attacks. The presence of magnesium in red bananas is also beneficial for heart health.
6) Red Banana Benefits For Fertility
Red bananas are rich in potassium, antioxidants, and Vitamin B6, improving fertility. Oxidative stress caused by free radicals adversely affects the eggs produced by the ovaries. Red banana benefits for fertility also arise due to the antioxidants present in red bananas that help to protect the egg from damage caused by free radicals.
In addition, the beta carotene present in red bananas encourages cell growth. It also prevents early miscarriage.
7) Red Banana For Weight Loss
You can effectively use red bananas for weight loss. This is because red bananas are a low-calorie food. The fruit has plenty of fibre, easily broken down by the body. As a result, you feel full for a longer time after eating a red banana. This reduces your total calorie intake.
Red bananas also support metabolism as they contain Vitamin B6. This vitamin contributes to healthy metabolic function by increasing the production of white blood cells and immune antibodies. A healthy metabolic process keeps your energy levels steady throughout the day and makes weight loss easier.
The various natural sugars in red bananas are broken down in stages. This means you get bursts of energy and sustained energy throughout the day. The steady release of sugar into the bloodstream reduces food cravings. As a result, you can use red bananas for weight loss without experiencing hunger pangs. More energy means more physical activity, leading to increased weight loss.
The potassium in red bananas improves muscle health and prevents muscle cramps during exercise. This means you can undertake physical activities for a longer duration without discomfort. This further helps in weight loss. However, it may not be beneficial to try red bananas for weight gain.
8) Red Banana for Babies
Babies require proper nutrition for their growth. Red bananas contain low fat and high fibre. The fruit is a good source of healthy carbohydrates, minerals, calcium and iron.
Red bananas are also an excellent source of antioxidants. They have high water content and are easy to digest. Red bananas are sweeter and richer than yellow bananas. Using red bananas for babies' diets gives them the dual benefits of high fibre and low fat.
Mashed creamy red bananas are ideal weaning food for babies. Blending red bananas with other cereals and baby food enhances their taste and nutritional value.
Obviously, babies can enjoy eating sweet food without avoiding unhealthy weight gain. Regular use of red bananas for babies contributes to their healthy weight gain. It also helps them reach their developmental milestones faster.
9) Red Banana Benefits for Skin
The Vitamin C and carotenoids present in red bananas slow down ageing. Vitamin C increases the production of collagen. Collagen is essential for skin and hair health. The presence of adequate collagen prevents skin sagging. It also makes the skin look plump and firm. Vitamin C also delays the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
Red banana benefits for skin can also be derived through topical application in face packs. When applied to the skin, red bananas’ high-water content hydrates the skin. As a result, their regular application on skin can maintain youthful skin without harmful side effects. Well-hydrated skin doesn’t become dry or peel off easily.
10) Red Banana During Pregnancy
Red bananas contain high amounts of Vitamin C and beta carotene. These are potent antioxidants that boost your immune system. A robust immune system makes it easier for the body to fight off harmful microorganisms, viruses and bacteria. In addition, the mother's good health helps the foetus grow fully.
The Vitamin B6 present in red bananas helps the body build haemoglobin. This prevents anaemia in pregnant women. Red bananas also keep pregnant women feeling full longer without adding unhealthy calories and weight gain.
Pregnant women need more calcium. The calcium content in red bananas will benefit pregnant women by fulfilling their calcium needs. In addition, pregnant women are more susceptible to digestive issues like bloating, nausea, flatulence and constipation. Consuming red bananas during pregnancy can help maintain healthy digestion and prevent constipation.
Red Banana Vs Yellow Banana
A red banana vs yellow banana comparison shows that red bananas have an edge in nutrients and benefits. Their glycemic index is lower than yellow bananas, making them more suitable for conditions of diabetes. In addition, red bananas contain more beta carotene and phenolic than yellow bananas.
Red bananas are smaller in size compared to yellow bananas. Yellow bananas are more extended, while the red ones are plumper. Red bananas also have a longer shelf-life than yellow bananas.
The outer peels of red bananas are reddish to purple. The yellow ones have yellow-coloured peels. The flesh of red bananas is creamy pinkish, while yellow bananas are white inside.
Red bananas are alkaline, while yellow bananas are acidic.
Also Read: Banana for PCOS
How to Eat Red Bananas
Red bananas taste best when they are ripe. Their flesh is creamy with a hint of raspberry. You can peel and eat them as they are. You can add them to oatmeal for your breakfast. This increases the nutrition content of your breakfast. Adding red bananas to desserts like ice creams, fruit salads, and smoothies will also enhance their taste.
Uses of red bananas include frying, baking and sautéing them. Baking or sautéing increases the flavour of red bananas. You can blend red bananas into loaves of bread. Add mashed bananas to baked items like muffins and cookies.
When used in recipes, red bananas will improve the dish’s texture. They will also add sweetness, and you will have to use less sugar.
Red Banana Side Effects
Red bananas are not known to have any adverse effects. However, there may be some side effects in rare cases if you consume large amounts of red bananas. Red banana side effects include digestive issues like flatulence, nausea, bloating, vomiting and cramping.
Consumption of large quantities of red bananas will increase potassium levels in the blood. Increased potassium can adversely affect the function of nerve and muscle cells. Increased consumption of bananas can also cause tooth decay due to their sugar content.
Summing Up on Red Banana Benefits
Red bananas are rich in nutrients, antioxidants and fibre. They are good for your heart, digestive system and skin. You can include them in your diet daily. They can be safely consumed by babies, pregnant women and those with weak digestion. Uses of red bananas include consumption and external application.
Red bananas have more benefits when compared to yellow bananas. But variety is the key to a complete diet. No one food can give you all the nutrition that your body needs. So, include red bananas with various coloured fruits and vegetables to provide optimum nutrition to your body.
1) What happens if I eat a red banana every day?
Eating a red banana every day will give your body all the benefits of a red banana. It is a nutrient-rich food that is easy to carry and consume; eating a red banana after lunch improves digestion.
2) When should you eat red bananas?
It would be best if you waited for the red bananas to ripen before you ate them entirely. Raw red bananas are tasteless and dry. Store the bananas at room temperature, and they will ripen in a few days.
Storing them in brown paper will hasten the ripening process. You can eat bananas any time of the day. Eating them in the morning will keep you energetic throughout the day.
3) What colour banana is the healthiest?
Red bananas have more health benefits compared to yellow bananas. It is best to include multicoloured fruits and vegetables in your diet for optimum nutrition.
4) Can I eat a red banana on an empty stomach?
Yes. When eaten on an empty stomach, a red banana is not known to cause any digestion problems. However, it is essential to remember that red bananas contain magnesium and potassium.
Therefore, eating red bananas on an empty stomach can overload your system with magnesium and potassium. This can be harmful to heart health. Pairing them with other fruits or dry fruits can enhance the benefits.
- Harvard School of Public Health ; Bananas - https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/
- UPMC Harrisburg May 29, 2019; Fueling Fertility: How Nutrition Can Improve Your Chances - https://share.upmc.com/2019/05/fueling-fertility-with-nutrition/