A banana a day keeps the heart doctor away! Bananas aid in the prevention of high blood pressure and protect against atherosclerosis because of their high content of potassium. The average adult should have a minimum of 2000mg-3000mg of potassium per day and an average banana contains almost 450 mg of potassium! Bananas only have 1 mg of sodium as well, so loading up on potassium and avoiding the sodium are a double whammy against high blood pressure.
Eating a diet high in potassium rich foods, as well as foods high in magnesium and fiber substantially reduces the risk of stroke. One banana provides 12% of your dietary fiber recommendation. People who eat at least 20 grams of fiber per day have less coronary heart disease and less cardiovascular disease.
In addition to these cardiovascular benefits, the potassium found in bananas may also help to promote bone health. Potassium counteracts the negative effects of high sodium diets typical of most Americans, thus helping to prevent bone loss. Muscle cramps are typically a sign of one being low in potassium. If you notice cramping, have a banana and notice how quickly the cramping will stop.
Your body gets rid of potassium through the kidneys, sweat, urine or other bodily excretions. It is difficult to overdose on potassium with all these ways to diffuse it, in fact, people should consume more potassium after intense sweating. Supplemental potassium can also be needed if you are on certain kinds of heart medicine.
Here is a great recipe for a banana ginger smoothie:
- 3 medium bananas
- 1 1/2 cups 2 percent milk
- 1 1/2 cups ice cubes
- 2 1/2 tablespoons chopped ginger