Going Bananas: The Benefits Of Bioactive Compounds In Bananas


“Never interrupt me when I’m eating a banana.” Ryan Stiles

Did you know that bananas are good for your heart? How about for your blood pressure and cancer? Yup, this fruit has serious health potential and you may want to consider adding it to your diet today. But it doesn’t end there. Bananas are also a rich source of bioactive compounds.

What are Bioactive Compounds?

A bioactive compound is “A type of chemical found in small amounts in plants and certain foods (such as fruits, vegetables, nuts, oils, and whole grains). Bioactive compounds have actions in the body that may promote good health. They are being studied in the prevention of cancer, heart disease, and other diseases. Examples of bioactive compounds include lycopene, resveratrol, lignan, tannins, and indoles.”

Bananas and Bioactive Compounds

In a study [1] from 2016, researchers found bananas to be rich in bioactive compounds, which promote health and wellbeing and give them more antioxidants than some herbs, berries and vegetables.

According to the researchers, bananas contain the following bioactive compounds:

  • Phenolics

Phenolic benefits include cancer prevention, antioxidants and healthy aging.

  • Carotenoids

These can help your physiological functioning. They have been studied for minimizing cancer and eye diseases.

  • Biogenic amines

“Banana peel and pulp have been shown to contain biogenic amines, such as serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine.” Serotonin is good for your overall sense of wellbeing and happiness. Dopamine helps you feel pleasure, among other benefits. And norepinephrine helps with memory and mood, along with many other benefits.

  • Phytosterols

The benefits of phytosterols include lowering cholesterol, cancer protection and skin protection.

Bananas have many health benefits, including bioactive compound benefits. These range from inhancing your mood to helping with serious diseases and functioning. With so many health benefits, why wouldn’t you start going bananas?

Do you include bananas in your diet?

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[1] Singh, Balwinder, Jatinder Pal Singh, Amritpal Kaur, and Narpinder Singh. “Bioactive compounds in banana and their associated health benefits–A review.” Food Chemistry 206 (2016): 1-11.