Bananas are one of the most consumed fruits throughout the world (and a primary ingredient in our rawberry & cocoa-nut shakes)! Over 100 billion bananas are eaten annually—and for good reason. They are rich in vitamins like potassium, calcium, and magnesium. They are packed with fiber, which keeps us fuller, longer. Bananas also provide fast-acting carbohydrates, which are a natural energy-booster. But there’s another “controversial” ingredient in bananas that has been the center of attention in the nutrition world: sugar.
It’s important to remember that not all sugar is the same. The natural sugar found in a banana is digested a lot differently that the sugar found in a candy bar. Refined sugar—the sugar found in processed foods (i.e. cane sugar, high-fructose corn-syrup, coconut sugar, etc.)—is digested quickly. That’s why after we eat a Snickers bar, we will get a surge of energy with a bigger crash later.
Natural sugar found in fruit is full of fiber, water, antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, disease-fighting phytonutrients, and other nutrients that improve our health. Therefore, we try to be aware of the refined sugar in a cookie, but the natural sugar found in whole plant foods is perfectly healthy! As a caveat, for those of us who have trouble managing blood sugar, we recommend actively monitoring carbohydrate and sugar content—even when it’s natural.
Adding bananas to our diet can improve digestive health (by feeding the friendly gut bacteria) and even enhance our mood. We like to pair bananas with a healthy protein or fat to get a more nutrient-dense snack. This will help keep you feeling full even longer too! For example, the raw and organic banana powder found in mēle is also mixed with other whole food ingredients including protein (we offer versions with either whey or plant protein). This combination gives us the benefits of the banana—regulating blood pressure, soothing heart burn, and fighting anemia—while the protein helps with stabilizing blood sugar and slowing digestion.