Of all the meals, breakfast is the most important one, which should be eaten like a king, including wholesome and nutritious ingredients in the platter. However, most often, it ends up becoming a meal on the go and we tend to grab one of the easiest options, which is a banana, as it requires no washing. Banana of course comes with a bevy of health benefits. The contents of the fruit are known for promoting a healthy heart and reducing fatigue in the body, besides maintaining blood pressure, reducing depression, constipation, heartburn and ulcers and provide a cooling effect to the body. It is also high in iron content that helps in stimulating the production of hemoglobin and helps in curing anemia. While it makes an excellent source for maintaining a healthy body, whether eating banana empty stomach is still debatable.
"Bananas are an excellent source of potassium, fiber and magnesium, hence fulfilling the need of various nutrients in your body. It boosts your energy and reduces hunger pangs. One must consume bananas every day," shares Dr. Shilpa Arora, Nutritionist, Macrobiotic Health Coach (UK). The 25 percent of sugar in banana gives you the much needed sugar rush and a burst of energy to carry out various activities of the day. Other nutrients that bananas contain include iron, tryptophan, vitamin B6 and vitamin B.
But are bananas really as healthy as they are often touted to be? If you are concerned about including this naturally sweet fruit in your diet, rest assured because according to United States Department of Agriculture, a standard-sized banana contains just 89 calories. Moreover, it contains manganese, calcium, potassium, vitamin B6 and is also a fruit with high water content. This is why it also helps you stay hydrated.
According to various sources, we find that bananas, despite being full of potassium, fiber and magnesium, are not a good option to consume on an empty stomach. Some of the reasons include:
- The high amount of natural sugars present in bananas that boost energy could also make you feel drained after a few hours.
- Bananas temporarily fill you up leaving you sleepy and fatigued.
- Bananas are acidic in nature; hence, it may cause bowel problems if consumed on an empty stomach.
According to Dr. Anju Sood, a renowned Bengaluru-based nutritionist, "Bananas are acidic in nature and have high amounts of potassium. They are good to start off with in the morning but not on an empty stomach. You should team it with soaked dry fruits, apples and other fruits to minimalise the acidic content in the body." The high magnesium content can cause imbalance between calcium and magnesium in the blood, which may further have an adverse effect on the cardiovascular system.
What Does Ayurveda Say?
According to Ayurveda, one must avoid consuming fruits in the morning on an empty stomach. Ayurveda Expert, Dr. BN Sinha explains, "Technically, not only banana, but fruits should be avoided. Nowadays, natural fruits are hard to find. What we buy is artificially grown and should not be taken right in the morning. The chemicals present in these fruits are way harmful than we think. One way to avoid consuming fruits directly can be mixing it with other foods so that the effect subsides with nutrients in them."
(Also read: 5 of Ayurveda's Best Kept Secrets for Great Health, Fitness & Glowing Skin)
So Should We or Shouldn't We?
It is alright to have a banana first thing in the morning but by teaming it with other foods. You should plan your breakfast carefully by mixing and matching different ingredients to start off the day in a healthy manner. So next time if you feel like binging on bananas, try pairing it with other foods. This way you will be able to avoid any health hazard and kick start your morning on a healthy note. The best time to eat banana is in the morning, especially with some other fruit/oatmeal can work wonders for people who are thinking of undertaking weight loss session.
Making Breakfast Extra Healthy with Bananas
Here are a few options on how you can include bananas in your breakfast -
Banana Oatmeal Cookies- This option is healthy as well as tasty that will help refuel your body. A cup of oats, banana, raw nut butter and maple syrup will make you a delightful breakfast.
(Also read: 10 Best Raw Banana Recipes)
Berry Banana Cereal- This is the quickest possible banana breakfast that you can prepare without having to do much. A dash of berries, bananas cut into bite-sized pieces and a bowl full of skimmed milk will give you just the right taste.
Chocolate Banana Smoothie- Smoothies are healthy options when it comes to breakfast. Break the typical routine and try smoothie instead. A mix of bananas, nut milk and a dash of cocoa powder does the magic. The smooth and creamy texture is not only tasty, filling and healthy, but also leaves you asking for more.