Bananas need no introduction. They are widely available in almost every culture, with its true origin being from Malaysia.
This is one of my favorite fruits as it’s easily available, delicious, and most importantly, extremely nutritious.
There are approximately 300 species of banana but only about 20 varieties which are cultivated commercially. And these come in various sizes.
When ripened, the peel turns yellow. It can easily be peeled and eaten as it is. The fruit is sweet, and its texture soft, smooth, with a creamy yet firm pulp which is easy on digestion.
Interesting fact: the banana plant is not a tree, but a very large herb plant!
Bananas have very high content of potassium, a mineral that is essential to the normal muscular function, in both voluntary muscles (e.g. the arms and hands) and involuntary muscles (e.g. the heart and intestines).
They are also a good source of dietary fiber, and low in saturated fat and cholesterol. This is also one of the few fruits which contain the entire range of vitamin B—thiamine (B1), riboflavin (B2), niacin (B3), folate (B6) and very little B5 and B12.
Compared to an apple,
it has four times the protein, twice the carbohydrates, three times the phosphorus, five times the vitamin A and iron, and twice all the other vitamins and minerals.
Along with all the above, bananas also contain ample amounts of copper (to prevent graying hair), chromium, fluoride, manganese, selenium (to prevent pigmentation) and zinc. It’s really an amazing fruit!
Thank God for bananas.
Bananas have been known to alleviate a number of short and long term conditions. When taken consistently over time, it has also been reported to cut the risk of death by strokes by as much as 40%!
Banana consumption has been reported to be effective in overcoming or preventing many illnesses and conditions. Here is a mention of only a few of them:
Brain Food: Research has shown that students eating banana at breakfast, break and lunch are more alert in the class. The potassium in banana boost their brain power, assisting much in their learning ability.
Blood Pressure: A recent study has revealed that “two bananas a day will keep blood pressure at bay”. This is definitely a cheaper and definitely a much healthier alternative to expensive drugs.
Anemia: Bananas provide iron which is essential for the production of hemoglobin, myoglobin and many enzymes essential for the formation of red blood cells.
Diarrhea: Eat a ripe banana. It normalizes colonic functions in the large intestine by absorbing large amounts of water and helps regulate proper bowel movements.
Constipation: The pectin content in bananas is water-absorbent, creating the necessary bulk in easing constipation. Definitely a healthier choice over laxatives.
Heartburn: Bananas have a natural antacid effect in the body, so if you suffer from heartburn, try eating a banana to counteract the stomach acidity for a soothing relief.
Energy: The carbohydrates content in bananas is used as fuel for your muscles. Eating bananas is a good energy booster for athletes
Mosquito bites: When stung by a mosquito, try rubbing the affected area with the inside of a banana skin. It is amazingly effective at reducing swelling and itchiness.
Morning Sickness: Snacking on bananas frequently helps to keep your blood sugar levels up, thus preventing the nauseous feeling.
Quit Smoking: The vitamins B6 and B12, and the potassium-magnesium combination found in bananas has a profound effect in helping the body recover from nicotine withdrawal of one who is trying to quit smoking.
Muscle Cramps: A deficiency in potassium can cause muscular cramps and greater susceptibility to injury. Make bananas a regular part of your diet if you exercise a lot, both for an energy boost and to prevent cramps and injuries.
Stress: When we are stressed, our metabolic rate rises, causing the body potassium levels to be reduced. By snacking on the potassium-packed banana, it helps to rebalance the vital mineral, and helps normalize the heartbeat. This in turn sends oxygen to the brain and regulates the body’s water balance.
Stomach Ulcer: This is the only fruit that a chronic ulcer sufferer can eat without causing distress to the stomach. It neutralizes the over-acidity of the gastric juices and reduces the irritation of the ulcer by coating the stomach lining. Ripe bananas relieve acute symptoms and promote the healing process.
Eat bananas when they just about ripe. This is the time when the carbohydrate content is less than when it gets fully ripe. Unripened bananas do not taste as good and may be difficult to digest. Keep raw bananas at room temperature so that it will ripen naturally.
We cannot juice bananas, but I am covering bananas in this juicing site because of its superior benefits.
The closest we get to juicing bananas is by blending them with a blender together with other juices, making rich, creamy and yummy smoothies.
All fruits and vegetables contain certain amount of potassium, but those with the highest potassium content are: oranges, avocados, spinach, celery and turnips.