If you think you may be going bananas, think again because the health benefits of bananas are no laughing matter. Bananas are packed with potassium and that's a good thing because bananas can help decrease the risk of strokes. They also lower blood pressure, relieve heartburn, prevent ulcers and speed recovery from diarrhoea.
You'll want to take the fruit more seriously because they can do wonders for your health. Bananas are one of nature's best sources of potassium with each fruit providing about 400 milligrams which in turn is about 11 per cent of the Daily Value (D.V.) of this mineral.
If you eat foods rich in potassium you'll have a significantly lower risk of high blood pressure and related diseases like heart attack and stroke. Even if you already have high blood pressure, eating plenty of bananas may significantly reduce or even eliminate your need for blood pressure medication.
One of the best ways that bananas keep blood pressure down is by helping to prevent plaque from sticking to artery walls. They do this by keeping the "bad" low-density lipoprotein cholesterol from oxidizing, a chemical process that makes it more likely to accumulate. That's why bananas may be a good defence against atherosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries, another contributor to high blood pressure, heart attack and stroke.
And the best part is that you don't have to eat a boatload of bananas to get these health benefits. Just a couple of bananas will do the trick. My advice would be to think of potassium-rich foods like love and money. You can never get too much.
Though more research needs to be done, the health benefits of bananas may replace antacids in your medicine cabinet as an effective way to quell the inner flames of heartburn and indigestion. Although experts don't know why they work, bananas seem to act as a natural antacid. Also, bananas may help prevent and treat ulcers. However, more research needs to be done before we will know for sure.
Scientists suspect that bananas may guard against stomach damage in two ways. First, a chemical in bananas called protease inhibitor appears to be able to kill off harmful, ulcer-causing bacteria before they do their dirty work. Second, bananas seem to stimulate the production of protective mucus, the layer that helps prevent harsh acids from coming into contact with the tender stomach lining.
When you've been run ragged by a case of the runs, it's important that you replenish all the vital fluids and nutrients that diarrhoea depletes. And a banana is just the food to do it. Bananas are a very good source of electrolytes, like potassium, which you lose when you become dehydrated.
Electrolytes are minerals that turn into electrically charged particles in the body, helping to control almost everything that happens inside from mucus contractions and fluid balance to the beating of the heart. Also, bananas contain some pectin, a soluble fibre that acts like a sponge in the digestive tract, absorbing fluids and helping to keep diarrhoea in check.
Broaden your horizons. Even if you're not that fond of bananas as a snack, there are many ways to get the healing goodness. In Caribbean countries and Central and South America, for example, people frequently add bananas to everyday recipes. Because of there mild sweet taste, bananas work well in almost any recipe. They are also a great addition to pizzas. And because I love pizza, I always make sure to to place plenty of sliced banana on.
Buy a bunch. One reason that people don't eat a lot of bananas is that they tend to get soft and mushy before you get around to eating them. Here's a trick for keeping them fresh. When bananas are getting soft too quickly, put them in the refrigerator. This will quickly stop the ripening process. And don't be too alarmed when the cold turns the skin black - the fruit inside will still be fresh and tasty
On the other hand, when you're waiting for that bunch of green bananas to ripen, it's easy to speed up the process. Put them in a brown paper bag at room temperature. The ethylene gas that bananas produce naturally will speed up the ripening. Ever thought of eating a fried banana? Just before the banana turns yellow in colour, this is when they are ready to be fried. They need to be nice and firm and not mushy for frying. Best way to fry them is to slice them lengthways and place them in a pan with some extra virgin organic coconut oil. They are absolutely yummy.
And if you should ever be in Thailand towards the end of the rainy season (late September/early October), Thai's celebrate a week or so of vegetarianism and have market stalls displaying small yellow triangular flags. All the food on these stalls sells vegetarian food. Don't be shy, the food is excellent in quality and good for your health too.
Please take note that the information on this site is designed for educational purposes and is intended solely for general readership. The contents herein are not intended to offer any personal medical advice or to diagnose any health issues you may have. This information is also by no means a substitute for medical care by a licensed healthcare provider. For that, you'd need to consult your medical doctor or a health care practitioner for any advice should you require prescription medication.