When you compare it to an apple, the banana has four times the protein, twice the carbohydrates, three times the phosphorous, five times the vitamin A and iron, and twice the other vitamins and minerals. it is also rich in potassium and is one of the best foods around. Bananas contain three natural sugars – sucrose, fructose and glucose – combined with fiber. In this form a banana gives an instant, sustained and substantial boost of energy (otherwise, the sugar could be harmful). Research has shown that just two bananas can provide enough energy for a strenuous 90-minute workout. The banana has also been found helpful for a number of illnesses and conditions:
Depression: Depressed people often feel better after eating a banana. This is because bananas contain tryptophan, a type of protein that the body converts into serotonin. This powerful hormone is known to make you relax, improve your mood and generally make you feel happier.
PMS: The banana’s vitamin B6 helps regulate blood glucose levels, which can positively affect your mood and calm the nervous system.
Anemia: High in organic iron (versus inorganic iron used in supplements), bananas can stimulate the production of hemoglobin in the blood and thereby improve anemia.
Blood Pressure and Brain Power: High in potassium, yet low in sodium, bananas are very effective in balancing blood pressure. This effect led the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to allow the banana industry to make official claims for the fruit’s ability to reduce the risk of blood pressure and stroke. For the same reasons, students were found to be more alert and to show increased academic performance when eating bananas regularly.
Constipation: High in fiber, bananas in the diet have helped restore normal bowel functions in people suffering from constipation.
Heartburn: Having a natural antacid effect, bananas have helped people suffering with heartburn. banana neutralizes over-acidity and reduces irritation by coating the lining of the stomach.
Morning Sickness: Snacking on bananas between meals helps to keep blood sugar levels up and avoid morning sickness.
Mosquito Bites: If bitten by an insect, try rubbing the affected area with the inside of a banana skin. Banana skin is known for reducing swelling and irritation.
Nerves: Bananas are high in B vitamins that help calm the nervous system.
Smoking: Bananas have also helped people trying to give up smoking. The B6, B12 and the potassium and magnesium found in them, help the body recover from the effects of nicotine withdrawal.
Stress: The banana’s potassium helps normalize the heartbeat, sends oxygen to the brain and regulates the body’s water balance. During stress, our metabolic rate rises; this in turn drops potassium levels. Bananas can reverse the effects of stress.
Strokes: According to research published in The New England Journal of Medicine, eating banana as part of a regular diet can cut the risk of death by stroke by as much as 40 percent!
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