Bananas contain three natural sugars – sucrose, fructose and glucose as well as fiber. We know that bananas give us an instant, sustained and substantial boost of energy.
Although, energy alone isn’t the only way that bananas can help us keep fit and healthy. It has been proven to help overcome and even prevent a number of illnesses and issues, helping it become the number one fruit with the world’s leading athletes – after reading this we should be saying ‘a banana a day keeps the Doctor away’
Read on to learn how the humble banana can help in our every day lives and improve our physical and mental health:
DEPRESSION: Following recent research by MIND (a well respected mental health charity) carried out on a group of people suffering from depression, they reported that the people surveyed said they felt much better after simply eating a banana. Bananas contain tryptophan, which is a type of protein that the body is converted into serotonin known to make you relax, improve your mood and generally make you feel happier. This backs up research which has previously claimed that an inbalance of serotonin in the body can lead to depression, and in fact serotonin is often called the ‘happy hormone’.
CONSTIPATION: Being high in fiber, bananas can help restore normal bowel function when eaten regularly, eliminating the need to resort to laxatives.
BLOOD PRESSURE: Unusually, the high potassium levels found in bananas are matched by a low salt level which makes it a powerful natural tool in the treatment of high blood pressure. Infact the US Food and Drug Administation recently permitted the banana industry as a whole to be able to make official claims regarding bananas ability to reduce the risk of high blood pressure and also in lowering the risk of strokes.
HANGOVERS: One of the quickest, easiest and healthiest ways of curing a dreaded hangover is to make a banana milkshake or smoothie, using local organic honey to sweeten. The banana has a calming action on the stomach and, together with the help of honey, rebuilds your depleted blood sugar levels, and the milk will soothe and re-hydrate your system.
ULCERS: Bananas are increasingly used as the dietary food of choice against several intestinal disorders because of its soft texture and smoothness. It also helps to neutralize high levels of acidity and reduces any irritation by coating the lining of the stomach.
HEARTBURN: Bananas have been found to have a natural antacid effect in the body. Next time you suffer a bout of heartburn, try eating a banana for quick, natural and soothing relief.
PMS: Ladies ditch the pills – simply eat a banana. The high levels of vitamin B6 regulates your blood glucose levels, vital in affecting your mood.
NERVES: Bananas are high in several essential B vitamins that are known to help calm the nervous system. Studies at the Austrian Institute of Psychology found pressure at work can lead to us gorging on comfort food like chocolate and chips. They studied 5,000 hospital patients, and the researchers found the most obese patients were far more likely to be in high-pressure jobs. They report concluded that “to avoid panic-induced food cravings, we need to control our blood sugar levels by snacking on high carbohydrate foods every two hours to keep levels steady”. So we really should be taking a banana to work.
ANEMIA: Bananas are high in iron, vital for the stimulation of the hemoglobin production in the blood and is a natural tool in the treatment of anemia.
MOSQUITO BITES: Use banana skins as an alternative to insect bit cream when treating those pesky mosquito bites – simply rub the affected area with the inside of the banana skin. It is widely reported as a natural way of reducing local swelling and irritation.
TEMPERATURE CONTROL: Other cultures often use bananas as a ‘cooling’ fruit, lowering both the physical and emotional temperature of pregnant women. In Thailand , for example, expectant women eat bananas regularly to ensure their baby is born with a cool temperature.
MORNING SICKNESS: Snacking on bananas between meals helps to keep to blood sugar levels up and significantly reduce the symptoms of morning sickness.
BRAIN POWER: A recent study in 2013 in a school in Twickenham, England involved more than 200 students, who were sitting exams, eating bananas for breakfast, at mid-morning breaktime and for lunch. It was found that they were helped significantly with their concentration and energy levels, matching research previously highlighting that high levels of potassium can assist learning by making pupils more alert .
So, a banana can be a natural remedy for many conditions. When compared to an apple, it has FOUR TIMES the protein, TWICE the carbohydrate, THREE TIMES the phosphorus, FIVE TIMES the vitamin A and iron, and TWICE the other vitamins and minerals. It is super rich in potassium and is recognized by health experts and professionals as being one of the best value foods around.