8 Reasons Banana is Your Best Friend!
Banana is one of the most popular and easy-to-eat fruits around the world (Well, technically it’s not a fruit, but a berry but we’ll let that pass for now). It’s not just the popularity that makes it a super-fruit; the benefits of banana on our body & health can simply not be overstated! There’s a story about bananas that Alexander the Great encountered sages in India who would meditate under banana plants and whose diet consisted entirely of bananas. Maybe this was the source for its old scientific name, Musa sapientum, which is Latin for “fruit of the wise men”! Considering that India is the largest producer of bananas, producing almost 20% of the world’s bananas, does that mean Indians are the wisest people? 😉
“Life is full of banana skins. You slip, you carry on.”
We don’t know! But what we do know is that there indeed are numerous benefits to having bananas. From cheering you up to healing mosquito bites, there’s quite a lot this simple, radioactive fruit can do. Oh, did I say radioactive? Well, don’t worry, you’ll probably have to eat about 10 million bananas at once for its radioactivity to poison you.
Anyway, without further ado, let’s look at the benefits of bananas and why you should include more of them in your diet.
1 Bananas can cheer you up
Bananas contain dopamine and magnesium, that help boost your mood. They are also rich in vitamin B, especially B6, which helps to soothe your nerves and relieve stress. They also reduce PMS (Premenstrual Syndrome) symptoms by regulating blood sugar levels and producing stress-relieving relaxation.
2 Bananas make you smarter
Bananas come packed with potassium, which is a key ingredient to keep your mental faculties vigilant and make you more alert. With a lesser chance of falling asleep, your learning ability is enhanced and is highly recommended before taking an exam!
3 Reduced risk of cancer & strokes
According to a study by the New England Journal of Medicine, eating bananas as part of regular diet can reduce the risk of death by strokes by as much as 40%! Bananas have high level of antioxidants, dietary fiber and potassium, which reduce blood pressure and risk of cancers & heart attacks. Further, potassium also helps build stronger bones, thereby reducing risk of osteoporosis.
4 Energy boost and fitness
Bananas contain natural sugar, which combined with fiber provide an instant and sustained boost of energy. Research shows that eating 2 bananas provides enough energy for a strenuous 90-minute workout. Their low glycemic index enables a slow, steady energy release while sustaining blood sugar levels and also help prevent muscle cramps. No wonder so many athletes around the world prefer eating a banana to energy drinks.
5 Relief from heartburns and ulcers
Bananas thicken the stomach’s protective mucus layer and help balance the pH in our digestive system, making them very useful to prevent and cure ulcers. They have a natural antacid effect, providing relief from heartburn and acid reflux. Bananas are a must in your diet if you have ulcers or heartburn.
6 Teeth Whitening
Bananas contain high levels of potassium, magnesium and manganese that can help remove stains from teeth. Banana peels act as gentle exfoliators, and if you rub their insides with your teeth, they can remove surface stains from teeth. Doing so for a couple of weeks can yield whiter teeth!
7 Healing bites and skin irritations
If you are bitten by a mosquito or a bug, try rubbing the insides of banana peels on the bite. They are very effective in relieving itching, swelling and irritation caused by the bites as well as from acne, bruises and skin irritations. So, the next time you could try a banana’s healing power before reaching out for a cream!
8 Pest repellant
Bananas can act as effective natural pest repellents for your gardens. Cut up small pieces of banana peels and bury them an inch deep in the soil around plants that are prone to pests & bugs. Over the next few days, you’ll notice that the numbers of pests have dwindled.
There are other benefits to eating bananas as well such as recovering from nicotine withdrawal symptoms (for people who are trying to quit smoking), helping avoid overeating & aiding weight loss, body temperature control and protecting against diabetes.
The unfortunate thing with bananas though, is that they have no seeds. Cultivated bananas are propagated by removing and transplanting part of the underground stem. So, in case of an aggressive disease such as Panama disease and Tropical race 4 disease, bananas can face the threat of extinction since they are genetically similar! So do savor them while they are still around.