Why We Should Eat Bananas?
Bananas are not only delicious, a source of energy, an easy quick breakfast but they also have a whole host of health benefits. This is perhaps the reason we encourage children to eat these fruits from a young age, setting up a healthy pattern for their lives ahead!
What is great about this super fruit is that it can be eaten or drunk in many different forms. You can have the banana on its own, in a fruit salad, in milk with a sprinkle of brown sugar or in the easy, popular, takeaway form of a banana smoothie, a meal in itself, especially if it includes an egg or two!
Benefits of Eating Bananas
#1. Sodium & Potassium
Bananas contain high levels of these elements. Both are essential for keeping blood pressure under control. This is achieved by the Potassium lowering the risk of ischemic heart disease significantly. This is the type of heart disease associated with the reduced blood supply to the heart, caused by constriction of the heart arteries.
#2. Anti-Ulcer Agents
Bananas actually prevent gastrointestinal infections and the resulting stomach ulcers. They have a protein enzyme that is anti-acid in nature and protects the stomach and its lining from acidic bacteria that cause ulcers.
#3. Healthy Bones
The high levels of Potassium make bananas great sources of maintaining healthy bones. In addition bananas contain an agent fructooligosaccharide; this produces and enzyme which is turn increases the uptake of vitamins, hence the strengthening of bones (via optimal uptake of vitamins that contribute to bone health).
#4. Lowers Blood Sugar
Studies have shown eating bananas lowers blood sugar levels for Type 1 diabetics. There are indications they do the same for Type 2 diabetics. This is because according to the Glycemic Index, foods lower than 55 are considered low G.I. (Glycemic Index).
Bananas come in at 52 on the G.I. scale. Thus they are good for Type 1 and Type 2 diabetics to ingest as some form of natural energy without causing sugar spikes. When sugar spikes occur either diabetes type is unable to process the sugar due to either faulty Insulin or too much sugar flooding the blood all at once.
#5. Improves Memory
Bananas contain an amino acid called Tryptophan. This has been found to both improve mood (possibly acting as a natural anti-depressant) and improve memory function. Essentially the high Potassium that bananas contain assist the brain in transmitting signals or messages. They are also high sources of vitamin B6 which raises the levels of the mood- enhancing Serotonin and Dopamine.
Bananas like many Vitamin-C containing fruit fight free radicals which cause Cancer. If children eat them in their early years the incidence of childhood leukemia is significantly reduced. In adults eating bananas reduces the incidence of colorectal cancer. This is due to their high fire content.
Additional benefits of bananas include the reduction in the incidence of kidney stones, as a food post illnesses with weight loss (upset stomach or gastrointestinal upsets) and even for asthma.
So next time you go into the grocery store or the fruit shop, don’t pass up on getting a bunch of these commonplace but extremely healthy, super foods, your humble banana!