Going Bananas

Going  Bananas


I use to avoid bananas for the simple reason of its high content of sugars and carbs.  Now I see bananas as a super food, already packaged and ready to take along with me to give me a boost when my agenda keeps me running.  It helps to have a few varieties growing in the back yard.

Here are some banana facts that may surprise you.

Bananas, containing three natural sugars, sucrose, fructose and glucose combined with fiber, gives an instant, sustained and substantial boost of energy.  Research has proven that just two bananas provide enough energy for a strenuous 90-minute workout.  No wonder the banana is the number one fruit with the worlds leading athletes. Energy is not the only way a banana can help us keep fit.  It can also help overcome or prevent a substantial number of illnesses and conditions, making it a must to add to our daily diet.


Depression- According to a recent survey amongst people suffering from depression, many felt better after eating a banana.  This is because bananas contain tryptophan, a type of protein that the body converts into serotonin, known to make you relax and improve your mood, generally making you feel happier.


Anemia-High in iron, bananas con stimulate the production of hemoglobin in the blood and so helps in cases of anemia.


Blood Pressure- This tropical fruit is extremely high in potassium yet low in salt, making it the perfect food to help control blood pressure.  So much so, the US Food and Drug Administration (I always wondered why they lump food and drugs together) has allowed the banana industry to make official claims for its ability to reduce the risk of blood pressure and stroke.


Constipation-High is fiber, including bananas in the diet can help restore normal bowel action, helping to overcome the problem without resorting to laxatives.


Hangovers-Well, if you must know…One of the quickest ways of curing a hangover is to make a banana milkshake, sweetened with honey.  The banana calms the stomach, and with the help of the honey, builds up depleted blood sugar levels, while the milk soothes and re-hydrates your system.


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


Mosquito bites-The locals do not reach for the insect bite cream, but rub the affected area with the inside of a banana skin.  Many people find it amazingly affective in reducing swelling and irritation.


Nerves- Bananas are high in the B vitamins that help calm and restore the nervous system.


Ulcers-The banana is used as the dietary food against intestinal disorders because of its soft texture and smoothness.  It is the only raw fruit that can be eate3n without distress in over-chronicler cases.  It also neutralizes over-acidity and reduces irritation by coating the lining of the stomach.

Temperature control- Many cultures see bananas as a cooling fruit that can lower both the physical and emotional temperature of expectant mothers.  In Thailand, for example, pregnant women eat bananas to ensure their baby is born with a cool temperament.


Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)- Let your friends up north know that bananas con help SAD sufferers because again, they contain the natural mood enhancer, tryptophan.


Stress- Potassium is a vital mineral which helps normalize the heartbeat, sends oxygen to the brain, and regulates your body’s water balance.  When we are stressed our metabolic rate rises, thereby reducing our potassium levels.  These can be rebalanced with the help of a high potassium banana snack.


Strokes- According to research in The New England Journal of Medicine, eating bananas as part of a regular diet can cut the risk of having a stroke by as much as 40%.


So, a banana really is a natural remedy for many ills.  When you compare it to an apple, it has four times the protein, twice the carbohydrates, three times the phosphorus, five times the vitamin A and iron, and twice the other vitamins and minerals.  It is also rich in potassium and is one of the best value foods around.


Thank you Margaret. 

Posted in Food, Nutrition.

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