Feeling hungry? Grab a banana! We know that bananas give us an instant, sustained and substantial boost of energy. However, energy alone is not why bananas can help us keep fit and healthy. They have been proven to help overcome and even prevent a number of illnesses and symptoms, making it the number one fruit amongst the world’s leading athletes.
Following are ways how a banana can help improve our physical and mental health:
- Depression – Recent research by MIND (a UK-based mental health charity) reported that the tryptophan (a type of protein that the body converts into serotonin) in bananas makes you relax, improves your mood and generally makes you feel happier. This backs up research which has previously claimed that an imbalance of serotonin in the body can lead to depression.
- Constipation – Being high in fiber, bananas can help restore normal bowel function when eaten regularly, eliminating the need to resort to laxatives.
- Blood Pressure – The high potassium levels in bananas make them a powerful natural tool in the treatment of high blood pressure. The US Food and Drug Administration recently permitted the banana industry, as a whole, to make official claims regarding banana’s 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 hangover is to make a banana milkshake or smoothie with honey. The banana has a calming action on the stomach and, together with the honey, rebuilds your depleted potassium levels (eliminated by the excessive alcohol intake).
- Ulcers – Bananas are increasingly used as the dietary food of choice against several intestinal disorders due of their soft texture and smoothness. They help 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 on the body, offering a quick, natural and soothing relief to heartburn.
- PMS – Rich in vitamin B6 and potassium, bananas can help minimize pre-menstrual symptoms such as water retention, cramps, and help improve overall mood.
- Nerves – Bananas are high in several essential B vitamins that are known to aid in calming the nervous system.
- Anemia – Iron is vital for the stimulation of hemoglobin production in blood. Therefore the iron-rich banana can be a natural tool in the treatment of anemia.
- Mosquito Bites – The use of banana skins to treat mosquito bites has been widely reported as a natural way of reducing local swelling and irritation. Simply rub the affected area with the inside of the banana skin.
- Temperature Control – In some cultures, bananas are often used as a “cooling” fruit, lowering both the physical and emotional temperature of pregnant women.
- Morning Sickness – Snacking on bananas between meals helps to keep blood sugar levels up and significantly reduce the symptoms of morning sickness.
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, and five times the vitamin A and iron. Bananas are super rich in potassium, and are recognized by health experts and professionals as being one of the best value foods around.
(Sources: Natural Cures Not Medicine, Everyday Health, Mother Nature Network)