Bananas are one of nature’s great snack foods, but did you know just how good for you they are and how many different and unusual uses they can have?
Bananas are one of the most widely consumed fruits in the world for good reason. The curved yellow fruit packs a big nutritional punch, wrapped in its own convenient packaging. Some scientists believe that the banana may have even been the world’s first fruit.
Bananas are exceptionally healthy as they provide numerous health benefits. It is a versatile fruit that contains many nutrients including vitamins A, B, C and E along with minerals like potassium, zinc, iron and manganese. Just as eating a banana helps in keeping your body in good health and great shape, application of this fruit on your hair and skin will help you to keep them in great condition.
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Consuming bananas, oranges and orange juice in the first two years of life may reduce the risk of developing childhood leukemia. As a good source of vitamin C, bananas can help combat the formation of free radicals known to cause cancer. High fiber intakes from fruits and vegetables like bananas are associated with a lowered risk of colorectal cancer.
Even with the proliferation of brightly colored ‘sports’ drinks, ‘energy’ bars and ‘electrolyte’ gels (these are loaded with unhealthy chemicals and coloring by the way) you often see athletes eating bananas just before and even during sports.
Watching tennis for instance, it’s not uncommon to see the players snacking on a bit of banana in between games. If a banana can keep a professional tennis player going, it’s got to rank pretty well in the high-quality energy source stakes.
Bananas make a great snack at work when your energy is lagging and while they might not be the most obvious weight loss food, they are only about 100 calories and can satisfy those sweet cravings.
So if you can replace candy bars and other junk foods with bananas, you might just have a really important step towards losing weight. As an added bonus your energy will be much more steady and consistent
#3.Helps Combat Stomach Ulcers:
Certain substances in bananas stimulate the cells which make up the stomach lining, this enables production of a thicker protective mucus barrier against stomach acids. Also the substance known as protease inhibitors in banana, help getting rid of bacteria in the stomach that produces stomach ulcers, thus protecting against damage of stomach and ulcer.
Bananas are a great source of dietary fiber that most of us don’t get nearly enough of. Fiber helps the food you eat move smoothly through the digestive tract and improves elimination.
A couple of bananas may be a healthier choice than laxatives to treat occasional constipation.
The fiber, potassium, vitamin C and B6 content in bananas all support heart health. An increase in potassium intake along with a decrease in sodium intake is the most important dietary change that a person can make to reduce their risk of cardiovascular disease, according to Mark Houston, MD, MS, an associate clinical professor of medicine at Vanderbilt Medical School and director of the Hypertension Institute at St Thomas Hospital in Tennessee.3
In one study, those who consumed 4069 mg of potassium per day had a 49% lower risk of death from ischemic heart disease compared with those who consumed less potassium (about 1000 mg per day).3
#6.Enhances Digestive Ability:
It is very rich in fructooligosaccharide which acts as a probiotic (friendly bacteria). It stimulates the growth and activity of probiotics in the colon and produces enzymes that enable absorption of nutrients thus enhancing the digestive ability and preventing unfriendly bacteria from harming the body.
#7.High in Vitamin B6:
Bananas are particularly high in vitamin B6. This vitamin is important for creating hemoglobin for healthy blood.
B6 is also involved in maintaining proper blood sugar levels, synthesizing and breaking down amino acids and producing antibodies for a stronger immune response in your body.
Bland foods such as apple sauce and bananas are recommended for diarrhea treatment. Electrolytes like potassium are lost in large quantities during bouts of diarrhea and may make those affected feel weak. Bananas can help to promote regularity and replenish potassium stores.
#9.Relieve from Constipation:
Pectin found in Bananas, help to alleviate constipation and improves bowel function.
Even the skins of this amazing fruit have their uses. Banana skins have been used externally to treat skin conditions like psoriasis and acne.
The freshly peeled inside of the banana skin is gently rubbed over the affected area and the residue left on. This might be better done on a day indoors or before bed to avoid the banana smell when out and about.
Note too that in the case of psoriasis there apparently may be some further reddening initially, but this should improve after a few days of use. Patch test on a small area first if you have any concerns. It also usually take several weeks to get the full effects from this treatment.
So there you have 10 good reasons to pick up a bunch of bananas the next time you’re out shopping. While pesticides aren’t considered a significant problem with bananas, fair trade fruits are worth looking for if you can find them.