Not only do they taste great any place and any time, but the health benefits of bananas are of astounding
· Bananas consist mainly of sugars (glucose, fructose and sucrose) and fiber, which makes them ideal for an immediate and slightly prolonged source of energy
· Bananas contain tryptophan, an amino acid that can be converted to serotonin, leading to improved mood. This same chemical is also found in Prozac.
· Bananas are relatively high in iron, which helps the body's hemoglobin function
· Bananas are one of our best sources of potassium, an essential mineral for maintaining normal blood pressure and heart function.
· In addition to these cardiovascular benefits, the potassium found in bananas may also help to promote bone health.
· Bananas have long been recognized for their antacid effects that protect against stomach ulcers and ulcer damage. Bananas work their protective magic in two ways: First, substances in bananas help activate the cells that compose the stomach lining, so they produce a thicker protective mucus barrier against stomach acids. Second, other compounds in bananas called protease inhibitors help eliminate bacteria in the stomach that have been pinpointed as a primary cause of stomach ulcers.
· bananas contain pectin, a soluble fiber (called a hydrocolloid) that can help normalize movement through the digestive tract and ease constipation.
· Bananas are an exceptionally rich source of fructooligosaccharide, a compound called a prebiotic because it nourishes probiotic (friendly) bacteria in the colon. These beneficial bacteria produce vitamins and digestive enzymes that improve our ability to absorb nutrients, plus compounds that protect us against unfriendly microorganisms. When fructooligosaccharides are fermented by these friendly bacteria, not only do numbers of probiotic bacteria increase, but so does the body's ability to absorb calcium. In addition, gastrointestinal transit time is lessened, decreasing the risk of colon cancer.
· Snacking on bananas between meals helps to keep blood-sugar levels up and avoid morning sickness.
· Bananas can also help people trying to give up smoking. They contain vitamins B6 and B12 they contain, as well as potassium and magnesium: these substances help the body recover from the effects of nicotine withdrawal.
· Bananas are high in B vitamins that have been shows to improve nerve function
· Many people report that rubbing the inside of a banana peel on a mosquito bite is very effective in reducing itching and swelling
· Bananas are high in potassium, which helps normalize the hearth beat and regulate the body's water balance. During periods of high stress, our body's potassium levels tend to be rapidly depleted: eating bananas is a healthy way to rebalance them without using drugs
· According to a study in The New England Journal of Medicine, eating bananas as part of a regular diet can reduce the risk of death by strokes by as much as 40%
Do you need any more reasons to grab a banana as a healthy snack alternative?