The many health benefits of bananas make these
fruits very important
for a healthy diet. Affordable and available year-round almost
everywhere, bananas are a wholesome and nutritious food. Bananas are an
inexpensive way to get many important nutrients.
Bananas are rich in potassium,
a mineral that keeps
the heart and
nervous system functioning well. Potassium plays an important role in muscle
health (muscle contraction) and as such important for all
muscle-related activities, including pumping of the heart, digestive
regular muscle movements.
Maintaining proper levels of potassium is important for good health. As
we age, our kidneys become less efficient at eliminating potassium. Too
much potassium build-up in the kidneys can be harmful, so as we get
older, we must bear
this in mind before adding more potassium to our diet. Studies have
shown that too little potassium and too much sodium can lead to high
blood pressure. A diet that has equal quantities of potassium and
sodium is recommended for good heart health.
The recommended daily potassium
intake for a normal adult is 4.7 grams
and bananas are an easy and delicious way to meet these requirements.
Bananas are a great vitamin B6 source. This vitamin helps the body to
hemoglobin, a vital component of blood. A deficiency in vitamin
lead to anemia. Vitamin B6 helps in the production of white blood cells
that fight infection, and thus maintains a healthy immune system.
Vitamin B6 also helps convert carbohydrates to glucose and helps regulate
blood sugar levels.
Vitamin B6 is also important for treating arthritis. A diet of only
bananas for 3-4 days is used as a natural arthritis remedy. The patient
can eat 8-9 bananas daily during this period and nothing else.
Bananas are said to be a great remedy for an upset stomach. If
suffering from diarrhea, bananas should help because they are a binding
food that makes stools harder. Bananas are also one of the most
remedies. They are also beneficial for peptic
ulcer; bananas neutralize the
over-acidity of the gastric juices and reduce irritation of the ulcer
by coating the lining of the stomach. Eating a ripe, mashed banana with
a cup of milk in the morning has a soothing effect if suffering from
heartburn and peptic ulcers.
Bananas are low in saturated fat, cholesterol, and sodium, and they are
a great source of dietary fiber. A medium-sized banana provides as much
as 16% of the daily recommended amount of fiber for an adult. Fiber
keeps the digestive system functioning well, and also reduces the risk
of coronary heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
A medium banana has about 100 calories, most of these from sugars, and
causes concern to those trying to lose weight. However, the fiber,
potassium, vitamins B6 and C in bananas provide so many benefits that
outweigh the carbohydrate concerns. Also, as with any food, bananas
consumed in moderation, as part of an overall, healthy, balanced diet
and should be coupled with physical exercise, whether yoga or something
more fun like the masala bhangra.
American Heart Association
University of Maryland Medical center
NIH Office of Dietary Supplements
NIH Medical Encyclopedia
American Diabetes Association
Home Remedies for Common Ailments (H. K. Bakhru)