The Power Behind Bananas
Food Fitness to Nourish Your Body
After reading this, you may never look at the banana in the same way again!
The Banana: A Home Remedy
If you want a quick fix for flagging energy levels, there is no better snack than a banana.
Containing three natural sugars-sucrose, fructose and glucose-combined with fiber a banana gives an instant, sustained and substantial boost of energy. Research has proven that just two bananas provide enough energy for a strenuous 90-minute workout. No wonder the banana is the number one fruit with the world's leading athletes.
But energy isn't the only way a banana can help us keep fit. It can also help overcome or prevent a substantial number of illnesses and conditions making it a must to add to your daily diet.
The Japanese go bananas over bananas. They've "created" a new diet centered on bananas which took their country by storm. So much so in fact, banana importer, Dole Japan Company, had to increase supplies by 25 per cent and still struggled to meet public's demand! As a result of this diet, banana prices soared, celebrities jumped on the band wagon with endorsements, over 600,000 copies of a banana diet book were sold and even after all this, demand for bananas showed no signs of slowing down.
The Banana Diet
Essentially, the regimen requires dieters to start the day with a raw banana and a glass of room-temperature water. After that, they're free to eat whatever they want for the rest of the day - except for sweets. Desserts with meals are banned and just one sweet snack in the mid-afternoon is allowed. Alcohol consumption is discouraged and early dinners (before 8pm) and taking to bed before midnight are the diet's only other strictures. While we're not going to condone nor bash this diet, we will say that no matter your diet, bananas are a good addition for a number of health reasons, which we'll get to now.
According to a recent survey undertaken by MIND amongst people suffering from depression, many felt much better after eating a banana. This is because bananas contain trypotophan, a type of protein that the body converts into serotonin known to make you relax, improve your mood and generally make you feel happier.
Forget the pills-eat a banana. The Vitamin B-6 it contains regulates blood glucose levels, which can affect your mood.
High in iron, bananas can stimulate the production of hemoglobin in the blood and so helps in cases of anemia.
This unique tropical fruit is extremely high in potassium yet low in salt making it the perfect to beat blood pressure. So much so, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has just allowed the banana industry to make official claims for the fruit fo it's ability to reduce the risk of blood pressure and stroke.
200 students were helped through exams by eating bananas at breakfast, break and lunch in a bid to boost their brainpower. Research has shown that the potassium packed fruit can assist learning by making pupils more alert.
High in fiber, including bananas in the diet can help restore normal bowel action, helping to overcome the problem without resorting to laxatives.
One of the quickest ways of curing a hangover is to make a banana milkshake, sweetened with honey. The banana calms the stomach and, with the help of the honey, builds up depleted blood sugar levels, while the milk soothes and rehydrates your system.
Bananas have a natural antacid effect in the body, so if you suffer from heartburn, try eating a banana for soothing relief.
Snacking on bananas between meals helps to keep blood sugar levels up and avoid morning sickness.
Before reaching for the insect bite cream, try rubbing the affected area with the inside of a banana skin. Many people find it amazingly successful at reducing swelling and irritation.
Bananas are high in B Complex Vitamins that help calm the nervous system. Overweight and at work? Studies at the Institute of Psychology in Austria found pressure at work leads to gorging on comfort food like chocolate and chips. Looking at 5,000 hospital patients, researchers found the most obese were more likely to be in high-pressure jobs. The report concluded that, to avoid panic-induced food cravings, we need to control our blood sugar levels by snacking on high carbohydrate foods every two hours to keep levels steady.
The banana is used as the dietary food against intestinal disorders because of its soft texture and smoothness. The only raw fruit that can be eaten without distress in over-chronic ulcer cases. It also neutralizes over-acidity and reduces irritation by coating the lining of the stomach.
Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)
Bananas can help SAD sufferers because they contain the natural mood enhancer, trypotophan.
Bananas can also help people trying to give up smoking. The B6, B12 they contain, as well as the potassium and magnesium found in them, help the body recover from the effects of nicotine withdrawal.
Potassium is a vital mineral, which helps normalize the heartbeat, sends oxygen to the brain and regulates your body's water-balance. When we are stressed, our metabolic rate rises, there by reducing our potassium levels. These can be rebalanced with the help of a high-potassium banana snack.
According to research in The New England Journal of Medicine eating bananas as part of a regular diet can cut the risk of death by strokes by as much as 40 percent!
Those keen on natural alternatives swear that, if you want to kill off a wart, take a piece of banana skin and place it on the wart, with the yellow side out. Carefully hold the skin in place with a plaster or some surgical tape. Caveat: The time it takes to work (weeks to months) can have even the reasonably patient driving to the pharmacy.
The Fiber in Bananas
Resistant starch is a type of fiber that is supposed to promote fullness and increase fat burning. Resistant starch is found naturally in carbohydrate foods such as green bananas, potatoes, grains, and beans when you eat them cold. It resists digestion in the small intestine, where most digestion occurs, and gets passed along to the large bowel.
If carrying around a big banana isn't convenient for you, or they get too ripe on you too fast, consider munching on Good Sense Banana Chips - people love to take them to the beach, back packing, camping, traveling, etc. They're a handy, tasty and healthful snack, that satisfies that craving to crunch AND a sweet tooth all at the same time!
A Natural Remedy
So you see, a banana really is a natural remedy for many ills. When you compare it to an apple, it has four times the protein, twice the carbohydrate, three times the phosphorus, five times the vitamin A and iron, and twice the other vitamins and minerals. It is also rich in potassium and is one of the best value foods around.
Sweet Treat: Banana Chip Yogurt
Mash 1/2 banana in small bowl with a fork. Stir in 1/4 cup plain fat free yogurt until blended. Top with 2 tablespoons bran flakes cereal and 1/2 tablespoon semi-sweet chocolate chips. Makes 2/3 cup.
You may also find of interest...
- Calm Your Nerves with Carbs
- Healthy, Heart-Warming Cereal (Even better topped with bananas!)
- Fruit-Filled Banana Splits (Healthy Recipe Archive)
- Watermelon Blueberry Banana Split (Healthy Recipe Archive)
Disclaimer: The material on this Web site is not intended to replace advice from your doctor or fitness professional. Please consult with your physician before beginning any fitness program or fat or weight reduction program. FitnessandFreebies.com takes no responsibility for individual results, or any claim made by a third party.