Facts, Nutrients And Health Benefits Of Bananas
Bananas are a wholesome food and Ayurveda recommends bananas as the first solid food for babies. In India, bananas are among the cheapest and most widely available of all the fruits.
Bananas are considered a holy fruit and in India are distributed as consecrated food. Apart from being a much favorite fruit, bananas are useful in treating a variety of health conditions. They act as a fine tonic, are an instant source of energy being a favorite with athletes too. They are a boon for thin people who wish to gain weight. Bananas also contain a wide array of nutrients in good amounts.
Since bananas are easily digestible they are perfect as a start up solid food for babies.
In this hub I will list some amazing health benefits of bananas that most of us would want to derive from any food we consume.
Bananas And Heart
The fiber in banana lowers cholesterol as well as slowing down the absorption of sugar, both of which benefit the heart; in the former case, by protecting the arteries while in the latter case, by controlling the blood sugar levels and thus reducing the risk of problems related to the heart.
The high potassium levels decrease high blood pressure which again is beneficial in regulating heart health. Another bonus is their very low sodium content.
Moreover, the decent amounts of Vitamin B6 they contain break down the homocysteine; an amino acid, whose high levels increase risk of heart disease, thus again benefiting the heart.
A medium sized banana or two everyday is good for the heart.
Nutrients In Bananas
100 grams of bananas provide :
- high calories - 90 calories in an easily digestible form as the sugars are in simple form fructose and sucrose.
- almost 7% of the daily need of soluble dietary fiber which helps in keeping the bowel function normal.
- contains flavonoid poly phenolic antioxidants like lutein, zeaxanthin, beta and alpha carotenes.
- provides 28% of the daily requirement of pyridoxine vitamin B6 which alleviates anemia and also reduces levels of homocysteine that increases risk of coronary heart disease and stroke.
- also provides moderate amounts of vitamin C and good amounts of the minerals copper, manganese and magnesium which keep the heart healthy and the maintains hemoglobin content of the blood.
- is a very good source of heart healthy potassium.
Bananas And Cancer
Bananas have the maximum anticancer effects among all fruits. Research by Japanese scientists has revealed that the fully ripe bananas, the ones having dark spots or patches on their skins, produce a substance called TNF (tumor necrosis factor) that combats abnormal cells like the ones found in cancer.
It was also found that the greater the number of dark patches, the higher the anti cancer effect of the banana.
Bananas For Digestion
Bananas offer soothing and healing benefits to the entire digestive system. Being easy to digest they are a wonderful source of nutrients to those who have weak digestive systems.
Bananas contain fructooligosaccharides that are prebiotics. Prebiotics have been found to act as food for the probiotics and thus ensure the sustenance and colonization of the beneficial bacteria in the gut AND fructooligosaccharides do just that. The predominance of the beneficial bacteria leads to better digestive health and reduction in harmful bacteria.
Bananas are antacid in action and thus benefit by preventing ulcers and the damage caused by them and a mixture of bananas and milk suppress acid secretion. Bananas also benefit both in constipation and diarrhea.
A healthy gut also ensures that nutrients from other foods are absorbed well thus leading to better health overall.
Bananas And Diabetes
The American diabetes Association says one can eat bananas even if one has diabetes. Since they contain varying amounts of carbohydrates from low to high depending upon their size, the carbohydrate content the bananas provide must be taken into account in planning a diet for a diabetic. Under ripe bananas should be preferred over the overripe ones as they produce a lower glycemic response.
Do not eat bananas as a part of desserts. Instead, eat it in fresh or frozen, canned or dried form.
Bananas And Cholesterol
The soluble fiber pectin found in bananas reduces cholesterol.absorption. Also, bananas contain no cholesterol themselves.
Banana allergy is not so common but those affected by it must avoid eating bananas.
Those having latex allergy may be sensitive to the allergens in bananas as the allergens are similar. The symptoms may include hives, abdominal pains, vomiting and even anaphylactic shock that can be fatal though such a severe reaction is rare.
The other type of allergy is akin to birch pollen allergy with itching and inflammatory lesions predominantly in the area of the mouth and throat.
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The information provided in this hub is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult your physician, or health care provider before taking any home remedies, supplements or starting a new health regime.
A wonderful recipe for Banana cake by hubber Esther Strong
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Banana Are Very Healthy For You
Health Benefits Of Bananas
© 2012 Rajan Singh Jolly