You will find that doctors recommend bananas as much as they recommend apples. Also, tons of online sites and medical journals will talk about the banana health benefits. Making this fruit seem like a ‘Wonder food from the gods’. Is there real truth behind all the claims you read? Are bananas just a high calorie fruit, or are they really a powerhouse of good health? Let us find out the answers of these questions in this article. As we discover the many health benefits of banana.
Health Benefits of Bananas
To begin with, banana is one of those fruits that are ideal for any age group. In fact, your pediatrician will tell you that banana should be one of the first solid diets for your little one. As he or she makes the transition from milk formulas on to natural healthy fruits. Easy to mash, easy to easy and easy on the tummy. Those are the properties of banana that makes it a healthy choice for infants and elderly alike. They are a brilliant no-fuss snack, sealed in their own natural wrapper and allowing for easy cleanup afterwards.
Bananas are probably the non-messiest foods you will find. The peel is bio-degradable and eating a banana involves no chopping or deseeding. Add them to custards and to milk shakes or eat them in your salad or as a dessert. What is more, you will find there is a banana variety that can even be eaten cooked, as a vegetable. From pies, ice-creams to cakes and muffins, bananas have found a way to be incorporated into many foods and desserts and with good reason. They are healthy! And they are tasty! And you will find several mouth watering banana recipes in cook books and online recipe journals.
What makes bananas so healthy?
Before we discuss banana health benefits, let us understand which properties of bananas make it such a great fruit for everyone and anyone. Bananas are high in potassium, unlike other fruits and vegetables. A large banana will offer you 602mg of potassium and only 140 calories, making it an ideal snack in between meals. Not to add, the very same banana even has 4gms of fibre and 2gms of protein in it. It’s no wonder that banana has become a must recommended fruit for everyone who suffers from malnutrition or feels the need to gain weight. But don’t take this otherwise; bananas don’t lead to weight gain.
Banana has just 2mg of sodium, making it ideal for those who high blood pressure. With 36gms of good carbohydrates in each large banana. It becomes the best fruit when your body demands instant boost of energy. A large banana will offer 123 I.U. of vitamin A, 0.07 mg of Thiamine, 0.15 mg of Riboflavin, 0.82 mg Niacin, 0.88 mg vitamin B6, and 29 mcg of Folic Acid. There is even 13.8 mg of vitamin C along with 9.2 mg of Calcium, Magnesium 44.1 mg, with trace amounts of iron and zinc. So do you really need more proof that bananas are one of the healthiest fruits you can ever find? We think not!
Health benefits of banana
There are several health benefits of bananas. And while we will discuss a few of these, remember that scientists have still not explored the true potential of this fruit. Who knows what other positive effects you might see when you add a banana to your daily diet!
- Banana and medicinal uses – The good news is that each and every part of banana plant finds a place in medicinal use. The flowers are used to treat bronchitis, ulcers and dysentery. Cooked banana flowers are good to reduce sugar levels and are recommend for diabetics. Banana sap is use as a disinfectant and use for insect bites, allergies, hemorrhoids and even used for leprosy and epilepsy. Banana leaves are used to treat burns and other skin ailments. The roots of the plant are given to those with digestive disorders and banana seeds are used to treat diarrhea in India. The pulp of ripe bananas acts as a natural antibiotic and antifungal medication. The iron content in banana can also cure diseases like Anemia.
- Bananas and blood pressure – Since bananas are very low in sodium and high in potassium, they are great for those who suffer from high BP. They greatly reduce risk of strokes and heart attacks, and are back by the US FDA.
- Bananas and constipation – Who doesn’t face a bad day with constipation? But did you know that instead of turning to laxatives. All you need to do is munch on a yummy banana? Bananas restore regular bowel movements, making you rid of crappy laxatives and ensuring your digestive system works optimally.
- Bananas and depression – Now most people do know that banana is good for digestion, but did you know banana is good for depression too? The tryptophan content in banana gets convert into serotonin as it enters the body. This improves your mood, helps you relax and gives you a general feeling of well-being. So the next time you feel depressed don’t load up on antidepressants of alcohol, try a banana instead!
- Bananas and brain functioning – Several studies have reported that eating bananas every day can improve brain power. The high potassium content of bananas makes the brain more alert, and is a great food for school going kids.
- Bananas and hangovers – you thought coffee was the best way to beat a nasty hangover? Think again, because doctors say the quickest way to get rid of a hangover is drinking a large glass of banana milkshake, sweetened with honey. While the banana will calm your stomach and stop that nauseating feeling, the honey works to replenish sugar levels and the milk rehydrates your dehydrated body.
- Bananas and morning sickness – For you are a new mom-to-be, you would agree morning sickness is a much hated side effects of pregnancy. But try bananas between meals, as they keep your sugar levels balanced throughout the day and reduce your morning sickness drastically.
- Bananas and insect bites – Tired of itching where a mosquito bit you? Don’t try the insect bite cream yet, instead try rubbing the insides of a banana peel to the affected area. You will find instant relief, as the swelling and irritation disappears.
- Bananas and heartburn – Had a heavy lunch and feel acidity in your stomach building up? Don’t reach for that antacid yet, instead try a banana. The fruit relieves the stomach of acidic gases, bringing instant soothing relief.
- Bananas and obesity – Researchers have found that most obese people have high pressure jobs. To counter the effects of stress they face in their day to day life. They binge eat to find comfort in food. And that is what is adding to their waistlines and making them more prone to risks like Diabetes Type 2 and strokes. So counter these by choosing bananas to snack on, over high calories crisps and chips. Not only will the high carbohydrate level make you feel instantly energized. And the zero fat content will not make you put on any more weight.
- Bananas and PMS – Most women resort to pills in order to calm their stomachs, or reduce pain while menstruating or even just to feel better. Don’t do that! Try bananas instead because the high Vitamin B6 content will instantly lift your mood and make you pain free too!
- Bananas and quitting smoking – Have you tried to quit smoking many times and failed? Now try by eating bananas instead of smoking cigarettes. How will this help? The Vitamins in banana, namely B6, A, C and B12 together with magnesium and potassium will help your body through the nicotine withdrawal.
- Bananas and the nervous system – The high content of Vitamin B in bananas helps soothes nerves, making you feel more relaxed and calm.
- Bananas and stress – In today’s hectic life, who isn’t struggling with stress? The easy way out is to add bananas to your diet. The potassium in bananas helps to normalize heartbeat by sending more oxygen in to the brain and regulating water balance in the body. When we are stress, our metabolism increases, and potassium levels decrease, causing an imbalance. With bananas by your side, you can counter the effects of stress and give your body the much needed potassium boost it needs to tackle more stress.
- Bananas and ulcers – For those who have stomach ulcers and are suffering on a liquid diet, bananas are a great food. They neutralize the acids in the stomach and also coat the inner lining of the stomach to reduce the irritation caused by the ulcer.
- Bananas and warts – This is a legend that has been passed on from generation to generation. They believe that the best cure to treat warts is to wrap a piece of banana peel on it. And secure it in place with a surgical tape. When the peel dries off and falls, so will the wart!
- Bananas and strokes – A research by New England Journal of Medicine claims. That those who eat a banana every day reduce their chances of having stroke by as much as 40%. The low sodium content in banana makes it a heart healthy fruit. While the high potassium and vitamins content make your heart healthier.
With so many health benefits of bananas, will it not be silly to not eat this fruit daily? So get healthier…eat more bananas.