Health Benefits Of Strawberries And Bananas For Skin & Weight Loss, Nutrition Facts & Side Effects
Strawberries and bananas are two of the most common fruits in virtually every part of the world. These fruits offer innumerable health benefits that range from helping in the treatment of constipation to the prevention of heart problems, and so on.
In this piece we shall be considering some of the most prominent health benefits of consuming strawberries and bananas. We shall also take a brief look at some of the common side effects of eating the fruits. But before then, let’s get to know about the nutritional content of these fruits.
What is strawberry?
Strawberry is the sweet fleshy red fruit with its seeds on the outside. The fruit is characterized by its distinctive aroma and heart shape.
Strawberries are seasonal fruits and come in three major varieties: day-neutral, June-bearing, and everbearing varieties.
What is banana?
Banana is a common fruit that is usually associated with monkeys. This fruit, when ripe, has a yellowish-green peel covering a white/yellow flesh. Although there are many color varieties of banana, the most common is the green color variety.
Scientifically, bananas are referred to as Musa acuminanta; hence, they belong to the same family as plantain. Bananas are distinguished by their softer flesh in contrast to the denser flesh of plantains in addition to the high starch content of plantains.
Quick Fact: The tree of the banana fruit is believed to be the largest among all herbaceous plants on earth.
Nutritional facts about strawberry
Strawberries, like most other fruits, are loaded with numerous nutrients needed by the body. A major part of the fruit is made of water (about 90%) while the carbohydrate content account for approximately 8%.
The major vitamin present in strawberry is vitamin C; other vitamins and minerals present in strawberry are vitamins E and K, potassium, magnesium, folate, iron, copper, manganese, and trace amounts of other minerals.
A cup serving of strawberries (about 50 calories) contains 97% vitamin C, 2% carbohydrate, 8% dietary fibers, 4% potassium, and 1% protein.
Nutritional facts about bananas
According to data from the United States Department of Agriculture, banana is the most consumed fresh fruit in the U.S.
One medium-sized banana (about 126 grams) contains 30 grams of carbohydrate (19 grams of sugars and 3 grams of dietary fiber), 450 mg of potassium, and 1 gram of protein.
Health benefits of eating strawberries.
Apart from the juiciness and delicious taste of strawberries, they benefit the body in many ways as outlined below:
- Good for the hair
The many vitamins and minerals in strawberry play various roles in keeping the hair healthy. You can make a hair mask using crushed strawberries and tea tree oil and subsequently apply on the hair. This hair mask has been proven to bring sheen to the hair while also preventing hair damage.
- Aids weight loss
Eating strawberries can help in weight loss in overweight persons. Strawberries help to lose weight by promoting metabolism and controlling appetite. Further, the calorie content in strawberries is just sufficient for the body and the fibers give a filling effect.
- Good for the skin
Strawberries are loaded with vitamin C which is essential for skin health. Skin problems such as acne and sunburn can be treated by consuming strawberries. This is due to the presence of powerful antioxidants in strawberries. The effects of aging on the skin like wrinkles on the face and sagging of the skin can be slowed down by eating strawberries.
- Lowers high blood pressure
Strawberries contain potassium and small amounts of sodium. This means that the blood pressure is effectively controlled and the risk of heart problems that arise from hypertension are abated.
- For bone health
Strawberry contains calcium, magnesium, potassium, and vitamin K, which are all essential for bone health. While calcium is important for strong bones, vitamin K helps to prevent the risk of osteoporosis.
- Good for men
Vitamin C and other antioxidants in strawberry are beneficial to male sexual health. The production of the male reproductive cell, spermatozoa, is affected by blood circulation – something that is enhanced by eating vitamin C-rich foods.
- Regulation of blood sugar
Diabetics can benefit from consuming strawberries. This is because strawberries are low in sugars and they help to control the blood sugar levels.
- Prevention of cancer
Strawberries are loaded with antioxidants, including flavonoids that have anti-cancer properties. Strawberries are also rich in ellagic acid which helps to prevent angiogenesis in cancerous cells. Apart from these, the action of the antioxidants in the fruit helps to fight against the effects of free radicals in the body that contributes to cancer.
Health benefits of eating bananas
The following are some of the numerous health benefits of eating bananas:
- Promotes weight loss
Eating bananas can help to shed off weight due to their filling effect, thanks to the dietary fiber and vitamin B6. You can control a ravening appetite by adding bananas to your diet. Even more, bananas provide the body with much-needed calories without adding unhealthy fat.
- Prevention of kidney cancer
Bananas are high in phenols that have cancer-fighting properties. A study conducted in 2005 suggests that eating an average of one banana per week can help to lower the risk of developing kidney cancer by 50%.
- For digestive health.
Bananas have dietary fiber, which is vital for proper digestion and in prevention of constipation. A recent study found that the dietary fiber in banana can be beneficial to digestive health.
- Good for the heart.
The high levels of potassium in bananas make them great for cardiovascular health. This is because potassium is an essential mineral that helps to protect the heart from heart problems. Moreover, the low sodium content of bananas also means that the blood pressure will be effectively regulated; thus, keeping the heart healthy.
- Lowers the risk of asthma.
A research has found that children who eat one banana per day can effectively reduce the risk of developing asthma by as much as 34%.
- Treatment for anemia.
Bananas are rich in iron and thus, are beneficial in the treatment of anemia.Iron is vital in the formation of red blood cells in the body, a deficiency of which results in anemia. Besides, the presence of copper in banana also contributes positively to the formation of red blood cells.
Bananas contain a chemical compound, tryptophan, which is a base substance for the formation of serotonin (promotes sleep and relaxation). Further, the presence of magnesium and pyridoxine (vitamin B6) in bananas means that you get to sleep and relax well.
Side effects of strawberries
Beside the sweet taste and nutritional benefits of eating strawberries, there are adverse side effects that are associated with eating the fruit.
- Allergic reaction.
Strawberry contains a fairly significant amount of histamine, which is associated with allergies. Thus, persons with strawberry allergy are advised to avoid the fruit.
- Risk of poisoning.
Majority of the fruits including strawberries in the market today may have been sprayed with harmful chemicals like pesticides during cultivation. Eating these fruits can lead to food poisoning, especially when they are not washed.
- Adverse effect of excess fiber.
While eating moderate amounts of strawberries will provide the body with sufficient fiber, eating too many strawberries can cause a condition where the body cannot easily absorb nutrients due to excess fiber in the body.
- Danger to the kidneys.
Although the potassium content in strawberries is not as much as that in bananas, over consumption of strawberries can be detrimental to kidney health.
Side effects of bananas
Like strawberry, bananas also have side effects when eaten in excess. Some of the common side effects of eating too many bananas are:
Bananas are very rich in potassium, they have the highest levels among all fruits; thus, overeating bananas can pose the risk of overloading the body with potassium. This condition of abnormally high potassium levels in the bloodstream is called hyperkalemia.
- Weight gain.
While it is true that bananas have fewer calories than some other foods, they, however, have a significant amount of calories that can cause weight gain, especially when consumed in excess. To put this in perspective, an average size banana has about 105 calories in comparison to 45 calories of a bowl of cut watermelon and 62 calories for a cup of grapes.
- Tooth Decay.
It is important that you keep your teeth and mouth clean after eating bananas. This is because, according to research, bananas contain high levels of starch that can lead to dental caries (tooth decay) if left unattended.
Research reports have shown that consuming a combination of alcohol and bananas can exacerbate migraines. Besides, bananas contain tyramine, which has been known to cause migraines, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center.
- Eating unripe bananas can lead to a case of serious indigestion. Thus, it is recommended that only ripe bananas are eaten or you cook the unripe ones before eating.
Strawberries and bananas offer more than their delicious taste. Understanding the nutritional benefits of these fruits will help in effectively reducing the risk of developing certain health conditions. However, you need to consult with your doctor if you have any existing health condition before you can go on with this nutritious fruits.