fruits and sports nutrition

fruits and sports nutrition

Cultivated in many regions of the world (Bangladesh, Australia, West and Central Africa, Asian countries, Mexico, Colombia, etc.), the banana is the most consumed tropical fruit. Energetic and very nutritious, it is the favorite fruit of all athletes. But do you really know all its benefits?

Bananas are a good source of dietary fiber, a 100g serving contains nearly 2.6g of fibre, slightly more than an apple (2.4g). Its good fiber content makes it an ally of choice for improving intestinal transit.

Dietary fibre, non-starch polysaccharides capable of resisting digestion in the small intestine, comes mainly from fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Their main role is to increase the volume of the stools and to modify their consistency, that is to say to soften them, in order to promote their journey through the colon. Fibers are essential for the proper functioning of intestinal transit and a deficiency can quickly lead to digestive disorders such as constipation or diarrhea. Another advantage, the natural antacid effect of bananas would help relieve heartburn.

Rich in vitamin C, regular consumption of bananas would help strengthen the immune system and help fight infections.

An average 150 g banana contains about 13.2 mg of vitamin C , or about 15% of the recommended daily intake (75 mg for women and 90 mg for men per day 2 ).

Vitamin C is essential for the proper functioning of the body: in addition to having antioxidant properties, it promotes the good health of the skin, bones, gums and teeth, it accelerates the healing process of wounds and increases absorption of iron from plants.

This tropical fruit is also a good source of iron (0.39 mg per 150 g). It helps to fight against iron deficiency anemia by stimulating the production of hemoglobin in the blood (= pigment present in red blood cells which allows oxygen and carbon dioxide to be transported).

Thanks to its good content of vitamin C and iron, the banana would contribute to general good health and would help keep in shape with regular consumption and as part of a balanced diet.
banana and cancer:

All fruits and vegetables are rich in antioxidants (the main ones being flavonoids, carotenoids, selenium, vitamin C and vitamin E), molecules that protect the body's cells from the action of free radicals.

The banana is no exception to the rule, it has a strong antioxidant power. The overall antioxidant capacity of a food is measured with the TAC index expressed in micromoles (µmol). The higher the TAC index, the greater the antioxidant power: for example, a food with a TAC index of 500 to 999 µmol is moderately antioxidant, from 1,000 to 1,999 µmol is strongly antioxidant and from 2,000 to 14,000 is very strong antioxidant. A banana of about 120 g has a TAC index of 1,037 µmol1, which places it among the foods with high antioxidants.

Regular consumption of bananas helps fight free radicals, unstable chemical molecules at the origin of many pathologies, in particular cancers. For example, according to a prospective study conducted in Switzerland over more than 13 years among 61,000 women aged 40 to 76, regular consumption of fruit would greatly reduce the risk of developing kidney cancer.

And among the many fruits studied, bananas proved to be particularly effective in preventing this type of cancer: all women who regularly consumed bananas, and in large quantities, had less risk of kidney cancer than others.

Thanks to its good content of vitamin B6 (0.4 mg per 100g) and magnesium (33 mg per 100g), bananas improve mood and general well-being.

Magnesium brings energy to the body and promotes the transmission of nerve impulses. This mineral also plays an essential role in mental and emotional balance, the recommended daily intake is 400 to 500 mg per day.

For its part, vitamin B6, also called "pyridoxine", stimulates the production of certain neurotransmitters of the central nervous system, hormones involved in mood regulation, such as dopamine and serotonin. Considered as the “pleasure hormone” or the “happiness neurotransmitter”, dopamine is linked to the reward circuit while serotonin has the property of acting as an antidepressant. It is also known to be a very good natural relaxant. The soothing effects provided by bananas are also explained by the presence of tryptophan in the fruit, an amino acid essential for the production of serotonin. A recent study has shown that a diet rich in tryptophan, combined with an adequate intake of vitamin B6, promotes the production of serotonin and reduces the symptoms of depression.