India is the major producer of bananas in the world but its people consume all the produced quantity. It’s normal for such a delicious and tasty fruit full of benefits like bananas. They are among the most popular, wanted and desired fruits in the world.
They are originally from Southeast Asia. However, now they are produced almost everywhere in the rest of the world. They have various colors, sizes and shapes. The most common type is Cavendish which is a dessert type of bananas. Its full maturity is distinguished by the yellow color and it’s green before that.
There are two types of bananas; sweet bananas eaten as a dessert and plaintains which are the kind of bananas that should be cooked before being eaten. Those fruits are simultaneously very delicious and healthy whether they are fresh or cooked or in any other status.
Some scientific studies on bananas demonstrated the following benefits:
A medium banana contains about 105 calories while a potato provides about 144 calories. That’s why this fruit represent a profitable source of energy. It’s used as a fast, nutrient-rich source of energy during training and sport which allows people to avoid muscle cramps especially by eating a healthy diet. This fruit can also prevent calcium loss and strengthens the bones too.
The bioactive substances found in bananas include several powerful antioxidants (banana contains more than 1000 mmol of TE in ORAC units, it’s comparable to kiwifruit) which are useful to protect the body against inflammatory and oxidative stress. They can also fight chronic or age-related degenerative diseases.
The high potassium and the low sodium levels can reduce blood pressure. Scientists believe that potassium deficiency is the responsible factor of hypertension because it lowers blood sodium levels. Some studies have shown that consuming some bananas daily helps to drop blood pressure about 10% in one week. So, they are officially recognized by the FDA as a protector against heart attacks and strokes.
Diabetics would benefit from eating ripe and overripe bananas, which have a glycemic index of 43 and 74 respectively, and raise blood glucose to an average of 62 and 106 respectively. This is due to the increased starch content relative to the sugar content of the sub-ripe bananas. In fact, eating a banana between meals helps to stabilize blood sugar and reduce morning sickness.
The high fiber content, nutrients and low calories in a banana make it an ideal food for overweight people. The resistant starch contained in bananas and sub-ripe plantains can replace many starchy foods rich in calories. Other than controlling diabetes, bananas can correct dyslipidemia and control weight. They reduce swelling, protect against type II diabetes, help with weight loss, strengthen the nervous system and help produce white blood cells. These are realized due to the high levels of vitamin B-6 in bananas which also promote satiety and reduce total energy intake.
Some studies have shown that consuming at least 75 servings of fruits or vegetables a month prevents having a kidney cancer by about 40%. This benefit has been most noticeable while consuming a good amount of bananas monthly.
Resistant starch helps to reduce or dilute the concentrations of toxic substances such as ammonia and Nitroso compounds. Studies have shown that bananas help prevent colon cancer through the slow content of carbohydrates (slowly digested carbohydrates) but this is not yet fully confirmed.
Bananas help overcome depression with high levels of tryptophan converted to serotonin; the brain neurotransmitter in a good mood. Eating a banana improves mood, reduces PMS symptoms, regulates blood sugar, and provides relaxation by relieving stress.
Rich in pectin, this fruit facilitates digestion and eliminates little by little the toxins and the heavy metals present in the body. It acts as a prebiotic stimulating the growth of good bacteria in the gut and also produces digestive enzymes to help absorb nutrients.
The high fiber content in this fruit can help normalize intestinal motility. Bananas soothe the digestive tract and help restore lost electrolytes after diarrhea. They also have a natural antacid that relieves acid reflux, heartburn and GERD. In fact, they are the only raw fruits that can be consumed without distress to relieve stomach ulcers by covering the lining of the stomach against corrosive acids.
Rub an insect bite or hives inside the banana peel to relieve itching and irritation. In addition, eating a banana can lower body temperature and cool you down during a fever or a hot day.
- During pregnancy, this fruit can:
- For babies, bananas can:
Bananas contain several bioactive compounds, including:
1 medium banana (about 160 g)
Monounsaturated fatty acids
Folic acid (B9)
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