Banana is very popular widely spread soft and desert fruit. Bananas vary in color, size and shape. Banana tree is the largest flowering herbaceous plant; presently it is growing in more than 100 countries around the world. According to historians, banana first grew in Southeast Asia and it was brought from India to the Middle East and thence to Africa. In Europe banana was considered as exotic fruit – it was brought from Africa by Spanish and Portuguese colonists. Scientific name of banana is Musa acuminata. Banana is very healthy and delicious fruit. Banana health benefits are well known and they include weight control, digestive functions, kidney support, heart health, bone strengthening, diabetes and more.
Banana contains several important nutrients including vitamins, minerals and organic compound content (vitamin C, vitamin B6, riboflavin, folate, pantothenic acid, niacin, potassium, manganese, magnesium, copper, antioxidants, dietary fiber and protein).
Medium size banana contains about 100 calories and consists almost exclusively of water and carbs (little protein and almost no fat).
According to health experts, antioxidants are crucial for human health. Banana contains powerful antioxidants which may help reduce damage from free radicals and reduce risks of several diseases including cancer (especially colorectal cancer). It was noted that banana antioxidants dopamine and catechins can reduce risk of heart disease and degenerative diseases.
Banana health benefits – gastrointestinal tract
Banana health benefits
Bananas can treat piles by smoothing stool and stimulating healthy excretion. Bananas anti inflammatory properties can also help treat piles by reducing inflammation and pain.
Bananas can treat constipation due to significant amounts of dietary fiber which stimulate bowel movements. Bananas can push out stubborn stools and relieve from constipation.
Bananas can be also helpful in treating other intestinal disorders by stimulating bowel movements through the intestinal tract. It can improve unhealthy digestive conditions and prevent colorectal cancer development.
Ancient medicine used banana as an antacid food to soothe upset stomach – banana can suppress acid secretion, support stomach lining (important protective barrier against acids). Banana can also eliminate specific bacteria which are responsible for stomach ulcer development.
Banana is also recommended during diarrhea (sometimes combined with rice, apple and hard bread).
According to research, bananas are rich in fiber and resistant starch, which may feed the friendly gut bacteria and help protect against colon cancer.
Banana health benefits – weight control
Bananas can promote weight control by providing low calorie food, a lot of fiber, easy digestion, “full stomach” and reduced appetite.
Banana health benefits – bones
Regular banana consumption can provide strengthened healthy bones throughout life. Actually banana provides very specific property called “fructooligosaccharide” which improves bacterial environment in digestive system and boosts intake of minerals and nutrients by human body. It should be highlighted that banana increases calcium absorption and can prevent osteoporosis.
Banana health benefits – inflammation
Banana contains anti inflammatory properties which can reduce irritation, swelling and inflammation. People with arthritis and gout can reduce not only chronic pain and also can reduce the frequency of recurrence by just consuming banana regularly.
Banana health benefits – kidney
Bananas’ potassium can maintain healthy kidneys and prevent kidney disorders by regulating fluid balance of body, by easing the strain on the kidneys and by encouraging normal healthy urination. Stimulated urination increases volume of urination, can prevent toxins accumulation and can speed up “body cleaning”. In addition, bananas’ antioxidants fight free radicals and stimulate normal kidney functions. According to health experts, regular banana consumption (few times per week) can reduce risks for kidney diseases by about 50%.
Banana health benefits – vision
Nutritionists suggest banana can improve vision. It was noted that bananas’ antioxidants, carotenoids and minerals can boost eyes health. According to some studies, regular banana consumption can reduce the frequency of several eyes diseases including degeneration, cataracts, night blindness and glaucoma.
Banana health benefits – cardiovascular system
Potassium is very important for heart health and cardiovascular system. It is well known that bananas are rich in potassium that can regulate body fluid balance, reduce tension in arteries and veins, decrease blood pressure, improve blood flow in vessels (through whole body) and oxygenate properly internal organs insuring their crucial functions. This is how banana can eliminate atherosclerosis, prevent strokes and heart attacks.
According to some research, banana’s fiber scrapes excess cholesterol from arteries and vessels (supporting whole cardiovascular system).
In general, banana’s antioxidants, potassium and magnesium are essential for cardiovascular system and healthy heart.
Banana health benefits – sugar and diabetes
Banana contains specific properties (fiber, pectin, resistant starch) that can moderate blood sugar levels. Mentioned properties may moderate blood sugar levels after meals and reduce appetite by slowing stomach emptying
Some scientists suggested that unripe banana is a good source of resistant starch, which may improve insulin sensitivity during diabetes.
Banana health benefits – anemia
Banana contains iron and copper which may be useful in anemia treatments as these minerals are essential elements of red blood cells. Increased amount of red blood cells can prevent anemia, increase blood circulation to internal organs, improve oxygenation and all body functions.
Banana health benefits – cramps
Women with menstrual cramps know very well that banana is one of best natural remedies during menstrual period. Banana provides temporary relief from menstrual cramps and intensive menstrual bleeding.
Thanks to minerals, banana can also reduce exercise related muscle cramps and soreness.
Banana health benefits – asthma
According to British scientists, children who ate just one banana per day had reduced risks for asthma development by 35%.
Melon belongs to Cucurbitaceae family which also includes squash, cucumber, pumpkin and gourd. Melon originated in Africa and southwest Asia. Most popular varieties of melon include watermelon, honeydew melon, musk…
Disclaimer: It is strongly recommended to consult your doctor for professional advice. Above mentioned information and recommendations are just general and should be adapted to each person according to personal health indicators and status.