The banana that we eat has been used as a medicine around the world for centuries. Alone and combined with healing botanicals, the banana can be used to heal numerous problems. Full of many nutrients and fiber, the banana is not only a food, but also a potent medicine.
Bananas contain vitamin A, vitamin B6, vitamin C, vitamin E, and vitamin G. They contain the minerals potassium, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, and selenium. Calcium and magnesium are needed for strong bones and to prevent insomnia. And studies have shown that selenium prevents both cancer and thyroid problems. Potassium is necessary for the function of every human cell, as well as the cells of every living plant and animal. One banana alone provides over 450 mgs of potassium. A single banana provides a third of the RDA of vitamin B6.
Bananas are relatively high in iron, which helps the body’s hemoglobin function.
Babies and Children
Bananas are good for babies. They are in fact often the first solid food given to infants. Bananas are easy to digest because they have no fat and very few babies are allergic to bananas. They are also one of children’s favorite snacks because of their taste and they meet the energy needs of the growing children.
Blood Pressure Lowering Research
A study in India showed that two bananas a week reduced blood pressure by 10%. Bananas are extremely high in potassium (about 450 mgs), yet very low in sodium (1mg), thus having a perfect ratio for preventing high blood pressure. So much so, the US Food and Drug Administration has just allowed the banana industry to make official claims for the fruit’s ability to reduce the risk of blood pressure and stroke.
Bananas are an exceptionally rich source of fructooligosaccharide, a compound that nourishes Probiotic (friendly) bacteria in the colon. These beneficial bacteria produce enzymes that increase our digestive ability and protect us from unhealthy bacteria infections. Thanks to fructooligosaccharides, Probiotic bacteria can increase both in number and functionality, increasing our body’s ability to absorb calcium which in turn helps us to keep healthy bones.
Constipation and Diarrhea
Due to their content in fiber, they help restore a normal bowel function. In addition, diarrhea usually depletes your body of important electrolytes (of which the most important is potassium, contained in high amounts in bananas). They also contain pectin, a soluble fiber (hydrocolloid) that can help normalize movement through the digestive tract.
Bananas contain tryptophan, an aminoacid that can be converted to serotonin, leading to improved mood and reducing depression.
Bananas contain a type of fiber called pectin. Pectin has been found to be the best type of fiber to inhibit colon cancer. Pectin is a soluble fiber, as differentiated from insoluble fiber found in most whole grains. Pectin is also contained in apples and potatoes. One banana contains two grams of fiber, nearly ten per cent of the recommended daily dose, which is twenty-five grams.
Bananas have a natural antacid effect in the body, so if you suffer from heartburn, try eating a banana for soothing relief.
Many people report that rubbing the inside of a banana peel on a mosquito bite is very effective in reducing itching and swelling.
Nerves and Stress Relief
Bananas are high in B vitamins that have been shows to improve nerve function. And are high in potassium, which helps normalize the heartbeat and regulate the body’s water balance. During periods of high stress, our body’s potassium levels tend to be rapidly depleted: eating bananas is a healthy way to rebalance them without using drugs.
During long exercises your body loses vitamins and minerals and a banana replaces these nutrients as well as giving you the energy you need.
According to a study in The New England Journal of Medicine, eating bananas as part of a regular diet can reduce the risk of death by strokes by as much as 40%.
This is the only raw fruit that can be eaten without distress in over-chronicle cases. It also helps reduce acidity and reduces irritation. Bananas stimulate the cells on the internal stomach lining to produce a thicker mucus (which protects against acid). Additionally, bananas contain protease inhibitors that help eliminate bacteria in the stomach that have been pinpointed as a primary cause of ulcers.
The banana peel has been used for centuries to treat everything from poison oak and poison ivy to mosquito bites. Warts also respond well to banana peels.
TAKING CARE OF BANANAS
You should store your bananas at room temperature until they reach the ripeness you want then you can store them in the refrigerator. The peel of the fruit will darken in the refrigerator but the banana inside will remain firm and delicious.
Bananas can also easily be frozen whole, without the peel, and used to make cool summer smoothies.