Health

Published: Sunday May 4, 2014 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Updated: Monday May 12, 2014 MYT 6:44:35 PM

Going bananas: Benefits of the fruit

Bananas are a great source of ‘fuel’ for athletes as they can replenish carbohydrates, glycogen and body fluids burned during exercise. – Filepic

Bananas are a great source of ‘fuel’ for athletes as they can replenish carbohydrates, glycogen and body fluids burned during exercise. – Filepic

Footballer Dani Alves was recently pelted with a banana during a football match in Spain. His reaction? He took a bite out of the fruit. The man not only knows how to deal with racists, he also knows his fruits.

IT’S considered both a fruit and an herb. However you describe it, bananas are among the most widely consumed fruits in the world.

They are packed with nutrients, and have been attributed with various health benefits.

Regularly consuming bananas are said to be good for heart health as it protects the body against high blood pressure, atherosclerosis and stroke. The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recognises bananas as being helpful in protecting against heart attacks and stroke and lowering blood pressure.

The high fibre content of bananas also help with regular bowel movement, as one banana provides nearly 10% of our daily fibre requirement.

Generally, bananas can be considered a good weight loss aid as they are sweet and filling, which should help with food cravings.

Although not high in calcium, bananas can still help with maintaining strong bones because of their fructooligosaccharides content, which enhances the body’s ability to absorb calcium.

Bananas can also help lift up our mood due to their high content of tryptophan, which converts to serotonin, the neurotransmitter that is involved in mood improvement.


 

In addition, its vitamin B6 and magnesium content can help you sleep well and relaxes muscles respectively.

Many people are aware that eating carrots is good for vision, but bananas also provide benefits for the eyes because of its vitamin A content. Vitamin A is vital for maintaining normal and night vision.

Some studies have suggested that moderate consumption of bananas may be protective against kidney cancer.

A study carried out in Sweden in 2005 found that women eating four to six bananas a week halved their risk of developing kidney cancer.

This effect could be due to phenolic compounds found in the fruit.

Moderate consumption of bananas is not associated with significant problems. However, for some people, eating several bananas may lead to headaches and sleepiness.

Eating too many bananas may lead to excessive vitamin and mineral levels that can affect health.

For example, too much potassium in the blood may lead to an irregular heartbeat, as well as muscle weakness and other problems.

Fun facts

·Bananas grow on plants, so there’s no such thing as a banana tree.

·The correct name for a bunch of bananas is a hand; a single banana is a finger.

·One medium banana (about 126 grams) is considered one serving.

It contains 110 calories, 30 grams of carbohydrate and one gram of protein.

·Bananas are naturally free of fat, cholesterol and sodium.

·Bananas are a great source of “fuel” for athletes as they can replenish the carbohydrates, glycogen and body fluids burned during exercise.

·There were more than 300 banana-related accidents in Britain in 2001, most involving people slipping on skins.

·Want a banana beer? There’s such a brew, and you can get it in Eastern Africa. And yes, the beer is brewed from bananas.

·India is the largest global producer of bananas, growing 16.5 million tonnes in 2002.

·What’s the earth’s first fruit? Some horticulturists suspect that it’s the banana. One of the first records of bananas dates back to Alexander the Great’s conquest of India, where he first discovered bananas in 327BC.

·There are more than 500 varieties of banana in the world.

·The phrase “going bananas” was first recorded in the Oxford English Dictionary, and is linked to the fruit’s “comic” connections with monkeys. – Source: Weird Facts: Banana Facts

Tags / Keywords: Health, bananas, nutrients, benefits

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