Bananas can significantly reduce the likelihood of heart attacks and strokes, a study by scientists at the University of Alabama claims.
According to the scientists, eating just one banana on a daily basis will alleviate the effect of hardening arteries and reduce the risk of arterial blockages. They also help prevent narrowing of the arteries.
To prove their hypothesis, the University of Alabama scientists conducted experiments on mice, feeding different groups three different diets of varying potassium content. The mice that ate the potassium-rich diet turned out to have softer, more flexible arteries.
According to UK standards, the optimal daily intake of potassium is 3.5 grams. Researchers at the Queen's Medical Centre in Hawaii define consumption of less than 2.4 g as low and over four grams as high. Since one banana contains about 500 mg of potassium, it covers about one-seventh of recommended daily consumption.
Potassium in our bodies works as a counterweight to sodium, the main source of which is salt in foods. When potassium levels rise, sodium levels dip, and vice versa, the experts say, according to the Daily Mail. Excessive consumption of sodium can lead to a number of unpleasant side effects, such as fluid retention and high blood pressure, being short on potassium also causes you to feel weak and suffer from constant thirst.
But if you don't like bananas, fear not: lots of potassium can also be found in parsnips, seeds, fish, poultry, lentils, oranges, avocados, potatoes, broccoli and sprouts.
But still, bananas are cool. According to a memo by Healthline.com, bananas have a number of advantages. For one, they help moderate blood sugar level. Thanks to their high fiber content, they are good for digestive health and will fill you up very fast despite their low-calorie count, so they are great for losing weight. Unripe bananas have 15 to 30 grams of starch in them and, therefore, they improve insulin sensitivity; and eating bananas four to six times a week helps if you have kidney stone problems, too.
They're also pretty tasty.
Don't go overboard, though. Eating way too much potassium — like, abusing medical supplements — can cause stomach ache, nausea and diarrhea. Check out this article for more information about potassium overdose.