Looking for a tasty, sustainable, quick breakfast, lunch or snack? Foodfacts.com research indicates that you might want to try bananas and yogurt for a healthy, hearty, nutritionally intense treat.
They’re inexpensive, easy to purchase, soft and easy to chew, they ripen after being picked, and they’re packed with nutrients. The best part is — they taste fantastic. They’re sweet as candy, and they come in their own wrapper. Bananas contain folate, vitamins C and A and magnesium. They help reduce stress levels and increase serotonin levels.
Health perks: Bananas are loaded with potassium (422 milligrams), which is necessary for muscle contractions (including your heartbeat), transmission of nerve impulses and the delicate balance of fluids and electrolyte regulation. Diets rich in potassium blunt the adverse effects of salt and lower blood pressure (one in five Americans have high blood pressure).
In terms of stress relief, the potassium helps to relax muscles. There is a basic balancing act that goes on in the body between sodium and potassium. Sodium creates muscle contraction and potassium relaxes muscle, so together they help transport nutrients to the cells. Additionally, bananas contain tryptophan, a protein that converts to the neurotransmitter serotonin, which helps the body relax and enhances your mood. Bananas are also high in vitamin B6, which, according to research reported in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, helps facilitate the synthesis of serotonin from tryptophan.
One medium banana provides 422 mg of the 4,700 mg per day of potassium that the Institute of Medicine recommends for adults.
Nutritional information: (1 medium) 105 calories; 0.39 g fat; 27 g carbs; 3 g fiber; 1.29 g protein.
It’s packed with lean protein (nearly 30 percent of the recommended Daily Value), a strong, sustainable energy source known to help keep you fuller longer. In fact, a recent study published in the Journal of Nutrition found that eating protein in the morning affects feelings of fullness all day.
Additionally, yogurt has nearly 25 percent to 40 percent of your recommended Daily Value for calcium, which helps build strong bones. Research appearing in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition found that those who eat a breakfast including calcium are more likely to meet their necessary recommended daily calcium needs. About 1,000 to 1,200 mg of calcium are needed per day; however, most women do not meet these goals.
Finally, for those who are lactose intolerant, yogurt provides a double benefit: It has probiotic cultures that help digest lactose, and it has less than 50 percent the amount of lactose in milk.
Health perks: There are many reasons why yogurt has a reputation for being a healthy food. It improves digestion, prevents intestinal infection and reinforces your immune function. It’s packed with vitamins and minerals, such as calcium, potassium, riboflavin, magnesium and phosphate, and it’s low in fat.
Eating yogurt has been linked to lower blood pressure, a reduction in premenstrual syndrome symptoms, lower cholesterol and a reduction in certain kidney stones.
All yogurts are made with a starter culture (Lactobacillus bulgaricus and Streptococcus thermophilus) that aids digestion and has other health benefits, such as improved immune function.
Nutritional information: (Yogurt, plain, skim milk, 1 cup) 137 calories; 0.44 g fat; 18.82 g carbs; 14.04 g protein.
Image: 1st Unique Gifts