Nature is amazing. Take the simple banana as an example. Bananas are fortified with nutrients, packed with energy and come prepackaged in handy sets of 3, 6 or even 9. They’re a perfect snack, especially for athletes.
If you compare bananas to your average carb-laden sports drink, bananas come out far ahead in antioxidant, fiber, vitamin and mineral content. The natural sugar of bananas is also healthier than that of flavored sports drinks. And, let’s face it, bananas are a far better value overall.
Need help sleeping? Peel a banana for a good dose of magnesium and potassium, which will relax your muscles and help you get a deeper sleep. Bananas will also help cool your core temperature, which in turn will trigger sleep sensors.
Our good friends from Dr. Sager’s SkinCare tell us that eating a heart-healthy banana each day may lower blood pressure, open clogged arteries and reduce stroke risk. And thanks to significant levels of potassium, bananas also can help prevent muscle cramps and muscle loss and preserve bone density. Need more? Oh yeah, bananas can improve your mood, reduce PMS symptoms, regulate blood sugar, reduce swelling, protect against diabetes, aid weight loss, strengthen the nervous system, and aid with basically any type of problems with your gut! Super food, indeed.
You can buy green bananas if you're not planning on eating them for a couple days, just stuff them in a brown paper bag to help them ripen at home. The best ones for eating are the bright yellow ones with brown spots on the skin. This is a very ripe banana, and studies show that, in this state, bananas are absolutely packed with immunity boosting traits. When your nanners are ripe just put them in the fridge to keep them from getting overripe.
Ripe bananas are excellent for smoothies, especially if you freeze them. Peel the banana, slice it in half and toss the halves into a sandwich bag and place the bag in the freezer. You can also puree the bananas ahead and then freeze. Either way, the next day what you get is a smooth and creamy healthy ice cream substitute. Blend a couple fro-nanas with some chocolate milk and a few gobs of peanut butter and you have the start of a great breakfast or post-workout shake.
Bananas are perfect: super nutritious, delicious, versatile and they even come ready to go with their own protective wrapper and carry handle. Eat ‘em pre-workout for sustained energy and eat ‘em post-workout for expedited recovery. Go grab a bunch.