Although there is no perfect diet for everyone with Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, some nutrients can help with our symptoms. There’s a lot of talk here about supplements, which are a great way to make sure you’re getting consistent daily amounts, but it’s also important to make sure you’re eating the right foods. I start a week-long diet series to look at the nutritional value of different foods and see how they could be beneficial.
Bananas are probably best known for being high in potassium – there is about 400 mg in a medium size. If you complain of leg cramps at night, your doctor will probably tell you to eat a banana before bedtime. Why is that? Potassium is important for muscle function, including contraction. It is crucial for heart, skeletal and digestive health. Potassium is also an electrolyte, which means it helps drive electricity around your body.
These are all good reasons for us to get enough potassium. If you have problems with absorption, sweating a lot, eating large amounts of salt, or having frequent diarrhea, you may be at risk for potassium deficiency.
But potassium is not the only thing important in a banana peel – this fruit also contains magnesium and malic acid, which many doctors recommend for our muscle soreness and tenderness. They also help your body produce energy.
Do you think you need to eat fish to get essential fatty acids?
You may be surprised to learn that bananas contain both omega 3 and omega 6.
Bananas vs potassium supplements
Potassium supplements, in higher doses than multi-vitamins, come with several warnings and should only be taken under the supervision of your doctor. If you are on NSAIDs or ACE inhibitors, they may interact poorly with your medications.
It is generally considered preferable to obtain potassium from natural sources.
Food sources of potassium do not come with the same dangers. With banana, you can get apricot potassium, cantaloupe, grapefruit, peas, beans, potatoes, fish and beef liver.
If you are on a low carb or diabetic diet, a banana may not be the right choice for you – they have about 25-30 carbs, or 2 diabetic exchanges. For a snack, however, you may be able to combine a banana with a good source of protein such as peanuts or peanut butter.
Benefits of bananas
Bananas are a quick, easy portable snack that can help your muscles function properly, support heart health, help with digestion, prevent dehydration and more. They are a simple way to get a boost of nutrients that help relieve symptoms without taking supplements and may enter dangerously high amounts. In addition, banana allergies are rare.
Personally, I have eaten bananas when my muscles are tense and sore, and also for charlie horses, and they do not seem to help.