Whether as a quick snack, cut up and tossed in the blender for a fruit
smoothie, or used to make quick bread or pancakes, most people enjoy
bananas. Bananas are such a staple on produce shelves that most of us
don't stop to think about their tropical origins or their many
nutritional benefits. Next time you enjoy a banana, consider some of
1. Hands and Fingers
Bananas do not grow on
trees. The banana plant is classified as an arborescent (tree-like)
perennial herb and the banana itself is actually considered a berry. The
correct name for bunch of bananas is a hand of bananas; a single banana
is a finger.
2. Heart Health
One banana contains 467mg
of potassium, providing powerful protection to the cardiovascular
system. Regular consumption of the potassium-packed fruit helps guard
against high blood pressure, atherosclerosis and stroke.
bananas do not contain high amounts of calcium, they do supply the body
with an abundance of fructooligosaccharide, a prebiotic substance (one
which encourages probiotics, the friendly bacteria in the digestive
system). As fructooligosaccharides ferment in the digestive tract, they
enhance the body's ability to absorb calcium.
4. Energy and Mood Balancing
benefit to bananas high potassium content derives from that mineral's
role as an energy-supplying electrolyte. Since bananas also contain
tryptophan, serotonin and norepinephrine, they help prevent depression
while encouraging feelings of well-being and relaxation. In addition,
the vitamin B6 in bananas helps protect against sleeplessness, mood
swings and irritability.
Bananas, combined with
the African herb orinol, have been used to treat cataracts in Nigeria.
They also share with other fruits the ability to prevent macular
degeneration, the leading cause of vision loss in adults. According to a
study published in the Archives of Opthmalogy in 2004, people who eat 3
servings of fruit per day are statistically unlike to develop the
6. Better Digestion
suppress acid in the digestive tract, alleviating heartburn and helping
guard against ulcers. Since bananas contain pectin, a soluble fiber,
they aid in the elimination process, helping prevent constipation.
7. Baby Food
Since they are easily digested, bananas are a perfect food for babies just beginning to move to solid foods.
8. HIV Protection
Journal of Biological Chemistry in March 2010 published a study which
revealed the healing potential of BanLec, a lectin protein in bananas.
Researchers found that this protein which binds to sugars can also bind
to HIV-infected cells, enveloping them and preventing their replication
Due to modern shipping
practices, this tropical yellow berry born of a herb seems so ubiquitous
that most consumers take it for granted. However, the banana's constant
availability could end soon. Nearly all the bananas sold in stores are
cloned from just one variety, the Cavendish banana plant, originally
native to Southeast Asia. This means disease could potentially wipe out
the cloned plants in one fell swoop. Next time you peel and eat a
banana, take the time to savor its flavor and texture, so if this fruit
disappears, you can tell future generations about the healthy snack
encased in yellow flesh.
That potential disappearance does not
derive from science fiction speculation. Botanists say it is likely to
happen in the next 20 years and in fact it already has happened. At the
beginning of the last century, the dominant banana species was the Gros
Michel, also a cloned species, which was wiped out by fungus. The Gros
Michel was preferred over the Cavendish because it was larger and had a
longer shelf life, and, according to old-timer recollections,
better-tasting. The Cavendish replaced the Gros Michel after the latter
species decimation because, of the over 1,000 varieties of bananas in
the world, most do not have an appealing taste. There are the less sweet
plantains, and also a variety called Goldfinger which has an apple-like
9. Save the peels
Even the peels of this fruit
are useful. Apply the inside of a banana peel to pimples to naturally
dry out these skin blemishes. Also, banana peels make a wonderful
fertilizer, particularly for roses.Sources:http://www.todayifoundout.com/index...http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?...http://www.naturalnews.com/031308_b...http://www.naturalnews.com/031024_H...http://www.naturalnews.com/028206_b...