Everybody is surely familiar what a banana is- that yellow curve fruit people love to eat- for a light quick snack, as a dessert or as an added ingredient to make bread, cakes, pies and smoothies.
Bananas are among the most popular fruits on earth. Native to Southeast Asia, they are now grown in many warmer parts of the world. Today, bananas are grown in more than 107 countries and popularly ranked as the fourth among the world's food crops in monetary value. Surprisingly, Americans consume more bananas than apples and oranges combined.
Banana comes in different type which varies in color, size and shape. The most common type is the yellow banana, which is green when unripe. But not many people are aware that bananas are packed with health nutritional benefits.
Bananas provides a variety of vitamins and minerals such as Vitamin B6(.5mg); Manganese (.3mg); Vitamin C(9mg); Potassium(450mg); Dietary Fiber(3g); Protein(1g);Magnesium(34mg); Folate(25mcg); Roboflavin(1mg); Niacin(8mg); Vitamin A(81IU); iron(3mg).
One medium banana (about 126 grams) is considered to be one serving. One serving of banana contains 11 grams calories, 30 grams of carbohydrates and 1 gram of protein. Bananas are naturally free of fat, cholesterol and sodium
A joke passed on countless times says that if you do not want to have acne then you should eat lots of bananas because no monkey has ever gotten acnes in its lifetime. Joking aside, there is indeed tons of health benefits associated with bananas.
TOP 9 BANANA HEALTH BENEFITS
- Rich in Potassium
Potassium is an essential mineral which maintains proper heart function and regulates blood pressure. Potassium-rich foods such as bananas actually offset the effect of sodium (salt) in raising blood pressure.
Bananas’ potassium content also benefits kidneys and bones. Increased potassium intake suppresses calcium excretion in the urine to prevent painful kidney stones. Reduced calcium excretion means more calcium to preserve body bones. This means a banana or two a day can reduce the risk of developing osteoporosis and brittle bones.
2. Help Increased Energy
Many professional athletes prefer to eat bananas just before and even during their sports despite the popularity of sports drinks, energy bars and electrolyte gels.
Tennis players are often seen snacking on a piece of banana in between games. If a banana can keep a professional tennis player going, it must be regarded as a source of a healthy energy.
Bananas’ natural sugars balanced with soluble fiber can give a slow, stable energy release when eaten half an hour before hitting the gym.
3. Helps Improved Digestion
Most people don’t get enough fiber in their diets. Bananas are a great source of dietary fiber. Fiber is essential to help food flow smoothly through the digestive tract. It also improves your bowel movements. A couple of banana is a natural choice than taking a laxative to treat occasional constipation.
Another important element that a banana is rich of is an FOS (fructo-oligosaccharides prebiotic i.e. it feeds the important “friendly” bacteria that live in our digestive tract which helps absorb nutrients more efficiently.
4. May help protect for ulcers & heartburn
Eating bananas regularly may help protect against stomach ulcers. Over the long term, bananas thicken the protective mucus barrier in the stomach, preventing damage from hydrochloric acid. Bananas also contain protease inhibitors that help eliminate stomach bacteria that can cause stomach ulcers.
Bananas are a known cure for heartburn that help balance the stomach’s pH and enhance the protective mucus layer, relieving pain. The fiber content also moves food through your digestive tract faster - preventing reflux.
5. High in Vitamin B6
Bananas are specifically high in vitamin B6 which is important for creating hemoglobin for healthy blood. B6 is also involved in maintaining proper blood sugar levels, synthesizing and breaking down amino acids and producing antibodies for a stronger immune response in your body.
Just one banana has a full fifth of your recommended daily intake of vitamin B6. And they taste much better than vitamin pills too.
6. Helps to treat skin conditions
Banana’s peel /skin can be effective for treating skin conditions such as psoriasis and acne. Just rub the freshly peeled inside of the banana skin gently over the affected area and leave the residue to be absorbed. The fatty acid content of the banana skin helps relieve a variety of skin conditions, as well as having a strong moisturizing effect.
Banana peel treatments are sometimes use as a traditional remedy to heal warts. Rub a small piece of banana peel over the wart and then tightly tape it in place. Leave it overnight and repeat this process for at least a week or until the wart disappears.
Many testimonials online have reported good results with these simple treatments, though results with natural cures can be varied.
7. Other healthful vitamins and minerals
Bananas also have high levels of vitamin C, magnesium and manganese.
They are also a source of most of the other B vitamins and smaller amounts of trace minerals like iodine, iron, selenium and zinc.
8. Helps improves mood and reduces stress.
Bananas are a good source of the amino acid tryptophan which our body converts to serotonin. Good serotonin levels helps improve mood, reduce stress and enhance general outlook level. It also helps regulate your sleep patterns.
9. Hangover Cure
A couple of bananas blended with ice, berries and coconut milk or cow’s milk makes a really good hangover recovery drink.
So there you are folks, the 9 great unique health benefits we can get from a banana. Next time you are in the supermarket, do not forget to pick up a bunch of those yellow curve fruit called bananas. ENJOY!