Fruits are one of the healthiest foods for body as well as liver, either in ill state or in healthy body. Banana is also a very healthy fruit with many nutritional values. A medium sized banana contains approximately 105 calories, 0.4 g fat, 1 mg sodium, 422 mg potassium, 27 g carbohydrate, 14 g sugar, 3.1 g dietary fiber, 1.3 g protein and other nutrients including vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin D, vitamin B6, vitamin B-12, calcium, iron, and magnesium. It has so many nutritional values, but in addition, it also contains high sugar and carbohydrate due to which people with chronic liver disease and fatty liver are skeptical to add this healthy fruit into their diet.
Are Bananas Good For Your Liver?
The functional capability of people suffering from chronic liver diseases is reduced, hence anything they eat and drink have a higher impact on their liver, so they are cautious of eating every and any food. Banana, which has been criticized for its high carbohydrate and sugar content derives about 90% of its calories from carbohydrates and as the banana ripens these carbohydrates change to sugar. Although, unripe bananas are rich in resistant starch, as they ripe they have more sugar than starch.
Bananas rank low to medium on glycemic index. Glycemic index (GI) is a system of ranking foods on a scale from 1-100 based on their effect on blood sugar level. Glycemic index of < or = 55 is low, 56-69 is medium and > = 70 is high. The greater the glycemic index, the faster the body converts carbohydrates into glucose. Hence, it is best to consume foods whose glycemic index is low to medium to avoid increased blood sugar levels and diabetes in the long run. The glycemic index of unripe banana is around 30, whereas of ripe banana is around 60; average banana has a glycemic index of around 51, which is low. This means that though they contain sugar, they do not cause major increase in blood sugar levels. However, diabetics should be wary of eating too many ripe bananas and should monitor their blood glucose level on a regular basis.
Reasons to Eat Banana Even In Liver Diseases
Although, ripe banana has 14 g of sugar, which approximately equals to 3.5 spoons of regular sugar; however, banana falls in low to medium glycemic index, also it falls in cholesterol free, very low fat and very low sodium foods and have rich nutrients that are beneficial for liver. It is also supposed to be helpful in cell-regeneration, improved immunity and liver protection.
They are rich in:
Potassium: A medium banana contains about 422 mg potassium. Potassium has vasodilator effect, which is as crucial as maintaining low sodium diet for low blood pressure. Studies have shown that about 98% US adults are unable to meet their daily requirement of 4700 mg potassium and banana seems to be a rich source of potassium. Along with vasodilation, potassium also helps in fluid regulation that helps in nutrients and waste product movement through the cells, thus reducing congestion and promoting health. Lack of potassium also hampers liver function.
Dietary Fiber: A medium banana contains about 3.1 g of dietary fiber. Fiber is known to regulate cholesterol and blood sugar level in the blood, thus being a rich source of dietary fiber it is beneficial to include banana in your diet.
Resistant Starch: It is known in moderating blood glucose levels after a meal and appetite reduction by slow emptying of stomach. It also acts like a soluble fiber and escapes digestion. Green bananas are adequate in this resistant starch, so it is not a bad choice to include banana in your diet. In addition, liver diseases can be reversed if they are diagnosed early enough and fatty liver can be prevented or reversed with reduced appetite and blood glucose moderation. Banana is known to help in both, thus it makes it a very good choice to add banana to your diet even in liver diseases.