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Superfoods: Banana

Banana: A wonderfully sweet, creamy delight

A remarkable fruit. The fruit of wise men. A perfect food. These are few claims that have been made with regards to the humble banana. The banana is mentioned for the first time in history in Buddhist texts 600 years B.C. There are over 100 banana varieties and it is the most unique of all fruit because unlike any fruit it does not come from trees at all but from large plants that are giant herbs and are related to lily and orchid family.

  • Eating bananas as part of a regular diet can reduce the risk of stroke deaths by as much as 40% according to a study in The New England Journal of Medicine
  • It consists mainly of sugars (glucose, fructose and sucrose) which makes them ideal for an immediate and slightly prolonged source of energy
  • Tryptophan, an amino acid in banana can be converted to serotonin, leading to improved mood, that can reduce depression
  • High in fibre and act as a natural light laxative, allowing the body to deal with constipation
  • Its high content of fibre helps restore a normal bowel function with the help of pectin, a soluble fiber (hydrocolloid) that can normalise movement through the digestive tract
  • The iron in bananas helps stimulate the growth of hemoglobin in the body, which can help with anemia
  • Adults consuming at least 3 servings of banana daily have a reduced risk (by 36%) of developing age-related macular degeneration (ARMD), the primary cause of vision loss in older adults
  • Extremely high in potassium yet very low in sodium – a perfect ratio for preventing high blood pressure
  • Exceptionally rich source of fructooligosaccharide, a compound that nourishes probiotic (friendly) bacteria in the colon
  • Offers soothing relief for heartburn sufferers since bananas have a natural antacid effect in the body
  • Daily consumption of bananas helps promote kidney health through regular and moderated intake. May reduce risk of kidney cancer as bananas contain high amounts of antioxidant phenolic compounds
  • The combination of vitamins B6 and B12, potassium and magnesium help one trying to quit smoking to recover from the effects of nicotine withdrawal

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