The Amazing Banana
Bananas contain three natural sugars – sucrose, fructose, and glucose, combined with fiber. A banana gives an instant, sustained, 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 among the world’s leading athletes.
But energy isn’t 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 undertaken among people suffering from depression, many felt much better after eating a banana. This is because bananas contain tryptophan, a type of protein that the body converts into serotonin, known to make a person relax, improve their mood, and generally make one feel happier.
Anemia: High in iron, bananas can stimulate the production of hemoglobin in the blood and so help in cases of anemia.
Blood Pressure: This unique tropical fruit is extremely high in potassium, yet low in salt, making it perfect to beat blood pressure. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has allowed the banana industry to make official claims for the fruit’s ability to reduce the risk of blood pressure and stroke.
Brain Power: Students at an English college were helped through their exams by eating bananas at breakfast and lunch in an effort to boost their brain power. Research has shown that the potassium-rich fruit can assist learning by making pupils more alert and attentive.
Constipation: Bananas are very high in fiber. Including them in the diet can help restore normal bowel action and provide a natural laxative effect.
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.
Mosquito Bites: Before reaching for the insect bite creams, try rubbing the affected area with the inside of a banana skin. Many people find it amazingly successful at reducing swelling and irritation.
Nerves: Bananas are high in B vitamins that help calm the nervous system.
Seasonal Affective Disorder: Bananas can help SAD sufferers because they contain the natural mood elevator tryptophan.
Stress: Potassium is a vital mineral, which helps normalize the heartbeat, sends oxygen to the brain and regulates our body’s water balance. When we are stressed, our metabolic rate raises, thereby reducing our potassium levels. These can be re-balanced with the help of a high-potassium banana snack.
Strokes: According to research, eating bananas as part of a regular diet can cut the risk of death by strokes by as much as 40%.
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 cooler temperature.
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 eaten without distress in many situations. It neutralizes stomach acid and reduces irritation by coating the lining of the stomach.
Warts: Those keen on natural alternatives swear that if you want to kill a wart, take a piece of banana skin and place it on the wart with the yellow side out. Carefully hold the skin in place with some surgical tape.
Thus, the banana is a natural remedy for many ills. When you compare it to the apple, it has four times the protein, twice the carbohydrate, 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.