Bananas are the most popular fruit in America, and with good reason. They are rich in vitamin B6 and a good source of fiber, vitamin C, magnesium and potassium. Plus, not only are they convenient to eat and available all year long, they are also great source of instant energy. In fact research has proven that just two bananas provide enough energy for a strenuous, 90-minute workout.
But energy isn’t the only way a banana can help keep you healthy. They can also help heal and prevent a large number of illnesses and conditions:
Anemia: High in iron, bananas can stimulate the production of hemoglobin in the blood and so helps in cases of anemia.
Blood Pressure: Bananas are very high in potassium yet low in salt, making it the perfect food to beat blood pressure. In fact, the US Food and Drug Administration have just allowed the banana industry to make official claims for the fruit’s ability to reduce the risk of blood pressure and stroke.
Brain Boost: Two-hundred students at a Twickenham (Middlesex, UK) school were helped through their exams this year by eating bananas at breakfast, break, and lunch in a bid to boost their brain power. Research has shown that the potassium-packed fruit can assist learning by making pupils more alert.
Constipation and Diarrhea Due to their high fiber content, they can 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 fiber (hydrocolloid) that can help normalize movement through the digestive tract.
Hangovers: 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 banana for soothing relief.
Morning Sickness: Snacking on bananas between meals helps to keep blood-sugar levels up and avoid morning sickness.
Mosquito Bites: 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.
PMS: The vitamin B6 it contains regulates blood glucose levels, which can affect your mood.
Reduce Depression: Bananas can help improve your mood. That’s because bananas contain tryptophan, a type of protein that the body converts into serotonin, known to make you relax, improve your mood and generally make you feel happier.
Ulcers: This is the only raw fruit that can be eaten without distress in serious cases. It also helps reduce acidity and reduces irritation. Bananas stimulate the cells on the internal stomach lining to produce 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.
Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD): Those suffering from SAD should eat bananas because they contain the natural mood enhancer, tryptophan.
Smoking Cessation: Bananas can also help people trying to give up smoking. They contain vitamins B6 and B12, as well as potassium and magnesium: These substances help the body recover from the effects of nicotine withdrawal.
Stress Relief: Bananas are high in potassium, which helps normalize the hearthbeat 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.
Splinter Removal: Take a small piece of banana skin, large enough to cover the splinter wholly, yellow side out, and tape it over the splinter with a band-aid or tape. Leave it on overnight. The banana and its enzymes will work the splinter out, dissolving it and sealing the wound.
Bananas are also inexpensive and convenient to eat. No wonder they are the most popular fruit in America. You should store your bananas over the counter at room temperature until they reach the ripeness you want, and then you can store them in the refrigerator. The peel of the fruit will darken in the refrigerator but the banana inside will remain firm and delicious. To ripen a banana faster, it should be put in a brown paper bag with an apple or tomato overnight. Buy a bunch today and enjoy!