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Pearl Royal banana
Pearl Royal Banana
Banana Pearl Royal

 HEALTH BENEFITS OF BANANAS

1. Control High Blood Pressure & Keep Bones Strong

Potassium is an essential mineral which maintains proper heart function and regulates your blood pressure. Potassium-rich foods such as bananas actually offset the effect of sodium (salt) in raising your blood pressure.  This, along with a healthy diet and lifestyle, lowers your risk of heart attack and stroke.

US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) allows the banana industry to make official claims, much like they would a pharmaceutical drug, with respect to the reduction in risk of high blood pressure and stroke.  Research published in the American Heart Association’s journal suggests eating bananas regularly can cut your risk of having a stroke by up to 20%.

Bananas’ potassium content also benefits your kidneys and bones. Increased potassium intake suppresses calcium excretion in the urine, preventing painful kidney stones.

Decreased calcium excretion means more calcium to preserve your bones.  This means a banana or two a day can reduce the risk of developing osteoporosis and brittle bones.

2. Increases Fibers & Improves Digestion

Dietary fiber is known for its ability to promote healthy digestion. Bananas contain two types of fiber: pectin and resistance starch. As discussed earlier, resistant starch skips digestion and serves as food for your gut-replenishing your body by feeding the good bacteria in your stomach.

Studies have shown pectin can help protect the body from colon cancer. The pectin content in bananas, however, decreases as they ripen. Also, green bananas will offer higher protection for your colon.

Bananas, particularly yellow bananas, are an easy-to-digest food, and thus an excellent choice for when you’re sick with an upset stomach. The BRAT (bananas, rice, apple sauce, and toast) diet is highly recommended for both adults and children dealing with stomachaches, diarrhea, or nausea. Recent studies have even suggested other fruits be added to the BRAT diet to increase fiber, making bananas an especially important component of this remedy.

3. Good for Pregnant Women

There are many reasons bananas are a great food choice for pregnant women. First off, bananas are rich in folic acid. Folic acid is used to make extra blood your body needs during pregnancy. In addition, bananas have a high iron content that helps prevent anemia, which is perfect since the body needs to keep enough blood for the growing fetus and the mother.

Bananas are also great for preventing, or at least helping to ease, some of the not-so-fun side effects of pregnancy. The fruits high fiber content is a great aid to combat constipation. This natural solution is a healthier alternative for chemical laxatives. As mentioned already with the BRAT (bananas, rice, apple sauce, and toast) diet, bananas can help take the edge off of nausea, making them a perfect snack for pregnant women dealing with morning sickness. They also help regulate blood sugar levels when eaten in between meals.

Pregnant women have to be extra careful of their salt intake because it can easily cause the body to retain water and can elevate blood pressure levels. The potassium in bananas helps the body process salt out quickly, decreasing the chances of negative salt-induced side effects.

4. Improves Male Health

Bananas are full of potassium, bromelain, and B vitamins- nutrients that all play a vital role in the production and regulation of sexual hormones. With these natural aphrodisiac properties, bananas can increase libido, sexual function, and enhance stamina. Eating this superfood a few hours before partaking in such activities will provide the fullest benefits.

The magnesium and manganese found in bananas are also extremely beneficial for male health, as they both help the body maintain a healthy prostate. A deficiency in either has been shown to put the individual at a higher risk of developing prostate cancer.

5. Improves Mood and Reduces Stress

Bananas are a good source of the amino acid tryptophan which your body converts to serotonin.

Amongst many other things, proper serotonin levels help improve your mood, reduce stress and enhance your general outlook and happiness levels.

Tryptophan has also been found to help promote a healthy sleep schedule. Great for those who suffer from insomnia, eating a banana before bed can help regulate your sleep pattern. The high amount of B vitamins found in bananas also have a calming effect on the mind and can leave you feeling more relaxed and at peace.

Bananas, while certainly not the highest source out there, are one of the easiest ways to get a little more tryptophan. Another reason why bananas make such a great snack for when you’re feeling stressed out at work.

6. Superfood for Endurance Athletes & Boost Energy

Bananas are composed of three different types of sugars: glucose, fructose, and sucrose. Glucose and fructose are quickly absorbed into the blood stream and provide an immediate energy boost. Sucrose, on the other hand, is absorbed slowly and thus keeps blood sugar levels stable so that they never peak and abruptly drop. This spares you the sugar crash that can be a result of other sweet foods, like soda. This longer-lasting energy supply from bananas is great for increasing stamina and endurance.

Some people are worried about bananas spiking blood sugar, but tests show they actually have a glycemic index of around 52, with 24 g of available carbs (lower the less ripe they are).  That’s a glycemic load in the vicinity of 12 which isn’t considered that high. These figures will obviously vary depending on variety and ripeness.

Bananas are also a great energy-booster for your intellect. Potassium acts as fuel for the brain, making us more alert and receptive to learning, while magnesium helps improve our ability to focus. Various studies have shown bananas, rich in both potassium and magnesium, to be a great snack choice before exams and combat that mid-afternoon slump.  They’re a good choice for weight loss too – a small banana contains about 100 calories and will satisfy your sweet cravings.

If you can replace candy bars and other junk foods with bananas, it’s a helpful step towards losing weight.  Not only will your body thank you for the vitamin and mineral boost but the energy release will be much more consistent.
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