Do you know: Bananas can also keep the doctor away

There is an old dictum that is so popular worldwide : “An apple away makes keeps the doctor away.”

That would hold true, in countries where apples are so abundant and does not have to import them as a fruit.

Being a tropical country we have our own different seasonal fruits, and so that saying would not hold true for us Filipinos, most specially that an apple here is only famous being seen in the mouth of the sumptuous lechon (roasted pig).

Little that we know we have in our country that can rival the “imported” apple , we should not look lowly on our local bananas.

According to the book “The Healthy Food Directory’ authored by nutritionist Michael Van Straten, bananas are very healthy because they can alleviate 14 medical conditions, including diarrhea, fatigue, heartburn, insomnia, nausea, menstrual problems, kidney problems, fluid retention, and circulatory problems.

Banana contains what?

A 6.5 inch banana (of the lakatan variety), contains the following :weight: 100 grams; calories: 90; vitamin A: 64 I.U.; vitamin B: .04 mg. thiamine; vitamin C: 10 mg/; calcium: 8 mg.; iron: 0.4 mg.; phosphorus: 28 mg; potassium: 360 mg.; magnesium: 27 mg.; zinc: 0.2 mg.; carbohydrates: 23 g.; and protein: 1.2 mg.

Compared to apples bananas have so much more Vitamin A and vitamin C. A multi vitamin in its own right.

Among the varieties that we know of, thalakatan type (yellowish and tastier) has the highest vitamin content compared to latundan( white and thinner skin) and the very famous saba ( used for banana cue)

Michael Van Straten gives ten benefits of eating a Banana

1) Bananas protect against heartburns. The Journal of Nutritional Biochemisty (February, 2001) attests to the anti-ulcer properties of the banana. Bananas act like a natural antacid to the stomach. In this article, they identified the secret component in the banana, the flavonoid leucocyanidin. Studies show that bananas can protect against aspirin-induced gastritis and significantly increase the mucous membrane lining of the stomach.

2) Bananas are high in fiber and vitamins. A single banana contains 16 percent of the dietary fiber, 15 percent of the vitamin C, 11 percent of the potassium, and 20 percent of the vitamin B6 recommended each day.

3) Bananas are good for the heart. Potassium is an essential mineral needed to regulate water balance, acidity level, and blood pressure of the body. A lack of potassium may cause muscle weakness and irregular heartbeat. For patients taking a diuretic medicine, they should take two bananas a day to keep the potassium level up. Take note also that bananas have zero sodium (good for high blood pressure) and zero fat and cholesterol (good for those with high cholesterol).

4) Bananas may reduce strokes. Numerous studies have shown that low potassium levels can cause heart palpitations, which can then lead to a stroke. In the editorial of the prestigious Neurology Journal, the author suggests that a banana a day may keep a stroke away. Among the fruits and vegetables, bananas contain one of the highest amounts of potassium.

5) Bananas help counter stress and insomnia. Bananas contain tryptophan, a type of protein that the body converts into serotonin. Serotonin is a hormone that is known to make you feel happy and improve your mood. If you feel sad, don’t despair. Take a banana and be happy.

6) Diabetics may take bananas in moderation. Snacking on bananas between meals helps to keep the blood sugar normal. The food-and-nutrition glycemic index rating for a ripe, yellow banana is 51, which is fairly good. This means that the carbohydrates in a banana have a medium-to-slow effect in raising your blood sugar levels. However, as bananas ripen, the starch in the fruit turns to sugar and may cause your blood sugar to rise more. The lesson is: It’s okay to eat a banana, but not the overripe one.

7) Bananas fights fatigue and anemia. Bananas contain carbohydrates and thus boost our energy. Have you seen Roger Federer eat a banana between games? The high potassium content prevents cramps and provides instant energy with its easily digestible starch. Bananas are also a rich source of iron, thus it is helpful for patients with anemia.

8) Bananas may prevent leukemia. A study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology by Kwan et al. (Dec. 2004, pp. 1098-107) shows an association between regular consumption of bananas and oranges in children from ages 0 to 2 and a reduction in childhood leukemia. The result suggests that fruits or fruit juices containing vitamin C and potassium may reduce the risk of childhood leukemia, especially if consumed at a young age.

9) Bananas may prevent childhood asthma. A European study of 2,640 primary school children in South London concludes that eating bananas at least once a day reduces episodes of wheezing and asthma attacks in children (European Respiratory Journal, Feb. 14, 2007). Eating apples and other fruits was not as beneficial. Also, eating only one banana a month was not effective. Note to moms: It’s time to teach our kids to eat one banana a day.

It's very  Filipino and the best news about the banana which is so abundant in the country is that it’s cheap. Different kinds are readily available anywhere in the country.Feeling hungry and stressed, munch a banana.

With all the benefits of a banana, the only downside is that it can result to a constipation to some people. But can readily be remedied if you mix bananas with other fruits that can loose ones bowels. Drinking water, lots of it will help.

Source: Philstar

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