Apr 21, 2019 07:32 PM EDT
Bananas may seem like the perfect snack food. They are convenient in their own little single serving, ready-to-eat form and are rather delicious. But what if I told you that bananas are not that healthy and probably shouldn't be eaten on a regular basis. This obviously goes against popular opinion, so here a several reasons to split on the banana in your diet.
Let's start with the fact that bananas have lots of good nutrients but they are not a diet food. Bananas are higher in calories than other fruits-at about 105 calories-and they have less fiber, so you won't feel full as long. A banana might be a good snack, but for calorie counters, there are better snacks out there. They are mid-level on the glycemic index, so diabetics may want to avoid them.
Next is the banana peel's high levels of tyramine. If you have allergies to aged cheeses like blue cheese or parmesan, you may have a sensitivity to tyramine. Banana peels are higher in tyramine and are a snack in some countries. If you travel, be aware of banana peels in your meals!
Another risk of bananas is also one that is considered a positive; potassium. Bananas are good for your heart in small doses, but if you eat too many bananas, you can develop hyperkalemia. This means you have too much potassium in your blood. Hyperkalemia can lead to irregular heartbeat, muscle weakness, and temporary paralysis. However, most people won't eat enough bananas to get to hyperkalemia.
Bananas are typically consumed in the morning as part of a breakfast, but if you feel sleepy after your morning banana, you are feeling the effects of tryptophan. Tryptophan slows down mental processes and reaction time. Add in the muscle relaxation from all the magnesium in bananas and you have a prescription for a great nap. Bananas may be a better bedtime snack than being part of a morning ritual.
When it comes to dental hygiene, bananas can be very healthy for teeth. The calcium and vitamin D make for stronger bones and enamel. The problem comes from letting the starch and sugars stay on your teeth for a long time. Eating a lot of bananas can temporarily change the pH level in your mouth and this can erode enamel.
Or perhaps you get a stomach ache after a banana. There are several potential reasons for this. Make sure your bananas are ripe. Unripe bananas are starchy, and your body has to work hard to digest that much starch. Stomach aches after a ripe banana can indicate an allergy.
The Food and Drug Administration has also weighed in, making a list of four classes of drugs that you don't want to mix with bananas. Beta-blockers and ACE inhibitors are often prescribed for heart patients. They cause a surge of potassium in the blood stream. Oxazolidine antibacterials and bananas can dangerously increase your blood pressure. Diuretics help you remove water, sodium and chloride from your body. They are often prescribed for heart or liver problems. Mixing these with bananas can cause hyperkalemia.
Eating unripe bananas and all that starch can stop up your system. However, a nice ripe banana can get things moving again! If you eat enough bananas, unripe or ripe, you may have a sudden attack of gas. Your body needs fiber to work properly. It just doesn't need too much fiber all at once or if you are not used to eating a lot of fiber.
So in short, don't depend on bananas to help you lose weight. Always talk to your doctor if you are taking one of the drugs on the interaction list. And whatever you do, don't eat too many bananas! Your body will not thank you and you may end up with a stomach ache or even a trip to the ER.
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