Just two bananas provide enough energy for a strenuous 90-minute workout. That’s why the banana is the number one fruit for world class athletes. Bananas contain three natural sugars, sucrose, fructose and Glucose, and when combined with fiber, bananas produce an instant, sustained, and substantial boost of energy.
But energy isn’t the only good thing that bananas can deliver. Bananas can also help prevent a number of illnesses and health conditions.
- Strokes: According to research in The New England Journal of Medicine, eating bananas as part of a regular diet can cut the risk of death by strokes as much as 40%!
- Depression: According to a recent survey of people suffering from depression, many felt much better after eating a banana. This is because bananas contain tryptophan, a type of protein the body converts into serotonin, which makes you alert, improves your mood, and generally make you feel happier.
- Blood Pressure: This unique tropical fruit is extremely high in potassium yet low in salt making it the perfect food to lower blood pressure. So much so, the US Food and Drug Administration has permitted the banana industry to officially claim the fruit’s ability to ‘reduce the risk of blood pressure and stroke.’
- 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 depleted blood sugar levels, while the milk soothes and re-hydrates the system.
- Stress: Potassium is a vital mineral, which helps normalize the body’s heartbeat, sends oxygen to the brain, and regulates the body’s water balance. When we are stressed, our metabolic rate raises reducing potassium levels. These levels can be rebalanced by eating a high-potassium banana.
- PMS: Forget the pills – eat a banana. The vitamin B6 in bananas regulates blood glucose levels, which can affect your mood (among other things).
- Anemia: Bananas are high in iron, which stimulates the production of hemoglobin in the blood, which helps anemia.
- Brain Power: 200 students at a Middlesex, UK school were helped through exams by eating bananas at breakfast, at break, and during lunch to boost their brainpower. Research has shown that the potassium-packed fruit can assist learning by making pupils more alert.
- Constipation: High in fiber, bananas in the diet can restore normal bowel movement without laxatives.
- 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 keep blood sugar levels up so to avoid morning sickness.
- Mosquito bites: Before reaching for the insect bite cream, 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.
- Work pressure snack: Studies at the Institute of Psychology in Austria found work pressure leads to gorging on comfort food like chocolate and chips. Out of 5,000 hospital patients, researchers found the most obese were in high-pressure jobs. The report concluded that to avoid panic-induced food cravings and control blood sugar levels, snacking on high carbohydrate foods every two hours kept levels steady. Perfect ‘work’ place for the banana.
- Ulcers: Bananas can prevent intestinal disorders because of the soft texture and smoothness. It is the only raw fruit that can be eaten without distress in sensitive health situations. 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 lowers both the physical and emotional temperature of expectant mothers. In Thailand, for example, pregnant women eat bananas to ensure their babies are born with a cool temperature. Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD): Bananas help SAD sufferers because they contain the natural mood enhancer, tryptophan.
- Smoking: Bananas can also help people trying to stop smoking. B6 and B12 in bananas, as well as potassium and magnesium, help the body recover from the effects of nicotine withdrawal.
- Warts: If you want to destroy a wart, take a piece of banana skin and place it on the wart (with the yellow side out). Tape the skin in place with a Band-Aid or surgical tape.
Comparing bananas with apples, bananas have:
- four times the protein
- twice the carbohydrates
- three times the phosphorus
- five times the vitamin A and iron
- twice all other vitamins and minerals
- is rich in potassium
- and is one of the best value foods around