What Are the Benefits of Adding a Banana to Oatmeal Every Morning ?

A warm bowl of oatmeal is a simple, nutritious and traditional American breakfast choice. Oatmeal is relatively low in calories, but abundant in fiber, minerals and vitamins. Adding a ripe banana to your oatmeal not only adds sweetness and flavor, but it increases the number of calories and enhances the nutritional benefits significantly.

Benefits of Oats

Oats are a gluten-free grain commonly used to make breakfast cereals, granola bars, bread and many other baked goods. They are relatively low in calories at 160 per cooked cup. Whole-grain oats contain the most nutrients and fiber -- about 4 grams per cup -- because they include the germ, endosperm and bran of the grain. In contrast, more refined oats typically contain only the starchy endosperm portion. Whole-grain oats are excellent sources of manganese and soluble fiber, as well good sources of many B vitamins, magnesium, selenium, zinc, phosphorus, iron and protein. The primary benefits of eating lots of soluble fiber is that it lowers unhealthy LDL cholesterol in the blood and regulates blood sugar levels. Oatmeal contains varying amounts of whole grains, depending on the brand.

Benefits of Bananas

Benefits of Oatmeal and Avocado

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Bananas contain moderate amounts of calories -- approximately 105 in a medium-sized fruit. They also contain quite a bit of carbohydrate, mainly in the form of fiber and fructose, which accounts for their sweetness -- especially when ripe. Bananas contain trace amounts of many vitamins and minerals, but they are exceptionally high sources of potassium. Potassium is used as an electrolyte in your body, which means it helps to transmit electrical signals, regulate body fluids and maintain normal blood pressure. A lack of potassium or other electrolytes causes muscle cramps and dysfunction, as well as fluid buildup called edema.

Combining Oatmeal with Bananas

Combining oatmeal with bananas for breakfast provides many nutritional benefits. In terms of calories, 1 cup of whole-grain oats and one medium banana provides about 265 calories in the form of carbohydrates, protein and some fat. That qualifies it as a relatively low-calorie breakfast, but the high fiber content -- about 7 grams combined -- is likely to keep you feeling full for longer and reduce the desire to snack before lunch, which can be helpful for losing weight. Furthermore, a high-fiber breakfast doesn’t spike blood glucose levels, which is safe for diabetics and great for anyone wanting to avoid the sugar highs and lows of a sugary breakfast. The insoluble fiber in whole-grain oatmeal and bananas benefits your digestive system because it bulks up your stool and promotes regular bowel movements.


Good Carbs to Eat for Breakfast

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When buying oatmeal, read the labels carefully and choose the type with the most whole-grain oats and the least amount of added salt and sugar. Highly processed and flavored oatmeal is often high in sodium and refined sugar and much lower in dietary fiber, which can lead to spikes in blood glucose and insulin release. If plain whole-grain oatmeal is not sweet enough for your palate, then add a well-ripened banana that has just started to turn brown. For the most health benefits, dietary fiber intake should be at least 25 grams daily, with about half that consisting of soluble fiber.