Bananas represent one of the most remarkable and diverse foods on the planet.
Its unique blend of carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals provides fuel for energy via fast, efficient, and prolonged conversion.
Bananas are grouped with foods that have the highest glycemic index. The glycemic index is the rate at which carbohydrates (sugars) are assimilated.
Bananas contain both glucose and fructose. Glucose is a form of simple carbohydrate and is the primary sugar in the blood. It is easily digested and enters the bloodstream rapidly for quick bursts of energy. Glucose is rapidly converted to glycogen in the liver.
Fructose has a lower glycemic index than glucose. Fructose is absorbed more slowly into the bloodstream and provides a prolonged release of energy. Neither of these simple sugars facilitates an adrenaline surge commonly attributed with refined sugar (sucrose).
The beauty of this magnificent fruit is its ability to provide both quick and long-lasting fuel.
Digestion and assimilation of food into simple carbohydrates (sugars) for fuel requires considerable energy.
Bananas represent a high net-gain food source. This ensures that the energy loss to digest and assimilate food is minimal.
The carbohydrates in ripe bananas are already in its simplest state to maximize fuel conversion – thereby alleviating the body from digestive stress.
The high levels of potassium in bananas facilitate proper and powerful muscle contraction. Potassium deficiency will cause dehydration, fatigue, muscle cramping, and so forth. Eating a few bananas will likely rectify these issues.
Potassium plus the serotonin in bananas strengthen heart tissue and regulate heart beats even under duress. Bananas easily supply the dense carbohydrates requisite to replenish muscle glycogen (muscle sugar) tapped during exertion.
Bananas represent the ideal food for snowshoers and trail runners. They are available year round, convenient, inexpensive, self-contained, versatile, and provide an abundant mix of nutrients in addition to being tasty. Its low sodium and high potassium levels make the banana easily digestible no matter its stage of development.
Bananas are capable of quickly replenishing glycogen during exercise. Bananas combine an incredible blend of vitamins, minerals, and enzymes for both fueling and recovery purposes. These nutrients and especially its high levels of potassium play major roles in both improved nutrition and sport performance.
It is not uncommon for endurance athletes like snowshoers and trailrunners to consume 10-18 or more bananas per day as a post-exercise meal or smoothie. Bananas uniquely provide the vitamins and minerals to satiate a person for a long time on few calories.
From strictly a wellness perspective, bananas are rich in antioxidants. The phytochemicals in bananas play a role in cancer prevention. Its rich soluble fiber content helps to efficiently cleanse the colon absent the irritation commonly associated with non-soluble grains.
Bananas are an excellent raw and fresh food to assist persons suffering from heart disease, weight, and blood pressure issues. They contain little fat, no cholesterol, low sodium, and high water content to help with weight control, capillary proliferation, and hydration.
Diabetics may benefit from a regular intake of bananas contrary to popular belief. Each case is certainly unique but the gradual uptake of fructose is believed to mitigate insulin surges necessitated by damaging high blood sugar levels.
The high level of soft soluble fiber when combined with sugar implements this mitigating effect. The guar gum and pectin components of the banana help to slow the sugar uptake to manageable levels.
Poor dietary choices and a lack of exercise are the root causes of the chronic diseases afflicting our world. These diseases are preventable and often reversible through a change in dietary pattern combined with exercise.
The link between diet and disease is clear. Implementing properly executed nutrition in terms of disease prevention and risk reduction is a daunting but necessary task. The banana leads the way and possesses the diverse capability to advance both wellness and sport performance.
The beauty of the banana is its capability to provide immediate and sustained fuel in addition to the nutrients vital to recovery in an easily digestible form at a mere 90 calories per pop. It would be prudent to eat bananas immediately after shorter more intense snowshoe outings and before, during, and after longer sessions.
Bananas contain several different carbohydrates (sugars) that quickly satisfy and uptake at varying rates. You will not find any lab-concocted synthetic ingredients within its peels.
If you do not eat bananas commit to finding a way to start. If you eat bananas regularly commit to eating even more of this magnificent fruit.
* “On Nutrition and Physical Performance: A Handbook for Athletes and Fitness Enthusiasts” by Dr. Douglas N. Graham http://www.foodnsport.com
**Reprinted w/ permission http://www.snowshoemag.com
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