Bananas for Health

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The banana, scientific name Musa X paradisiaca, consists mainly of sugars (glucose, fructose and sucrose) and fibre, which makes it ideal for an immediate and slightly prolonged source of energy.

Reducing Depression

Bananas contain tryptophan, an amino acid that can be converted to serotonin, leading to improved mood

Anaemia

Bananas are relatively high in iron, which helps the body’s haemoglobin function

Constipation and Diarrhea

Due to their content in fibre, they help restore a normal bowel function. In addition, diarrhea usually depletes your body of important electrolytes (of which the most important is potassium, contained in high amounts in bananas). They also contain pectin, a soluble fibre (hydrocolloid) that can help normalize movement through the digestive tract.

Eyesight Protection

Research published in the Archives of Ophthalmology has proven that adults consuming at least 3 servings of fruit per day have a reduced risk (by 36%) of developing age-related macular degeneration (ARMD), the primary cause of vision loss in older adults, compared to persons who consume less than 1.5 servings of fruit daily.

Healthy Bones

Bananas are an exceptionally rich source of fructooligosaccharide, a compound that nourishes probiotic (friendly) bacteria in the colon. These beneficial bacteria produce enzymes that increase our digestive ability and protect us from unhealthy bacteria infections. Thanks to fructooligosaccharides, probiotic bacteria can increase both in number and functionality, increasing our body’s ability to absorb calcium.

In addition, green bananas contain indigestible short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs) that are very nutrient to the cells that make up the mucosa of the stomach. These cells, when healthy, absorb calcium much more efficiently

Healthy Kidney

About 190,000 cases of kidney cancer are diagnosed each year.

Research published in the International Journal of Cancer has shown that daily consumption of whole fruits and vegetables, especially bananas, is highly protective to kidney health. The results show that, over a long timeframe (13.4 years), women eating more than 2.5 servings of fruits and vegetable per day cut their risk of kidney cancer by 40%. Among the fruits, bananas were especially protective. Women eating bananas four to six times a week halved their risk of developing the disease compared to those who did not eat this fruit. The conclusion of the study is that frequent consumption of fruits and vegetables, especially bananas, cabbage and root vegetables, may reduce risk of kidney cancer. This is because bananas and many root vegetables contain especially high amounts of antioxidant phenolic compounds, while cabbage is rich in sulfur, necessary for effective detoxification of potential carcinogens.

Blood Pressure

Bananas are extremely high in potassium (about 4673mg), yet very low in sodium (1mg), thus having a perfect ratio for preventing high blood pressure. So much so, the US Food and Drug Administration has just allowed the banana industry to make official claims for the fruit’s ability to reduce the risk of blood pressure and stroke.

Heartburn

Bananas have a natural antacid effect in the body, so if you suffer from heartburn, try eating a banana for soothing relief.

Morning Sickness

Snacking on bananas between meals helps to keep blood sugar levels up and avoid morning sickness.

Smoking

Bananas can also help people trying to give up smoking. They contain vitamins B6 and B12 they contain, as well as potassium and magnesium: these substances help the body recover from the effects of nicotine withdrawal.

Ulcers

This is the only raw fruit that can be eaten without distress in over-chronicle cases. It also helps reduce acidity and reduces irritation. Bananas stimulate the cells on the internal stomach lining to produce a thicker mucus (which protects against acid). Additionally, bananas contain protease inhibitors that help eliminate bacteria in the stomach that have been pinpointed as a primary cause of ulcers.

Nerves

Bananas are high in B vitamins that have been shown to improve nerve function

Mosquito Bites

Many people report that rubbing the inside of a banana peel on a mosquito bite is very effective in reducing itching and swelling

Stress Relief

Bananas are high in potassium, which helps normalize the heartbeat and regulate the body’s water balance. During periods of high stress, our body’s potassium levels tend to be rapidly depleted: eating bananas is a healthy way to rebalance them without using drugs

Stroke Risk

According to a study in The New England Journal of Medicine, eating bananas as part of a regular diet can reduce the risk of death by strokes by as much as 40%.

Recipe

Banana Bread

Servings: 1 loaf

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Bake time: 1 hour

4 ripe bananas, mashed

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 cup butter, melted

3/4 cup castor sugar

2 eggs, beaten

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon good vanilla extract

Pinch of salt

1. Preheat oven to 180ÂșC.

2. In a mixing bowl, combine mashed bananas with butter.

3. Add in eggs and vanilla and mix.

4. Add in sugar, baking soda and salt, and mix.

5. Add flour last and mix well.

6. Pour mixture into a greased and floured bread loaf pan.

7. Bake for 1 hour or until a wooden pick comes out clean.

8. Allow to cool before removing from pan.

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