Scientific Name: Musa paradisiaca
Common Names: Plantain
Properties: Anti-fungal, Antibiotic, Antibacterial, Anti-cancer, Antioxidant, Anti-inflammatory
What is Banana?
Bananas are one of the world’s most popular fruits and are grown in at least 107 countries of the tropical belt. People tend to think of bananas as coming from trees but, botanically, bananas are a berry produced by several different kinds of large herbaceous flowering plant in the Musa genus. 1,2
Bananas grow in large clusters near the top of the plant that produces fruit continuously throughout the year. They are a major food source in developing countries as well as available everywhere in the western world and have been consumed by humans for as far back as records go. 3
Bananas are also known as plantains, however there’s a slight difference in how they’re marketed. Our regular, soft yellow bananas are normally eaten raw whereas the darker and firmer bananas known as plantains are normally used for cooking. Regardless of how they’re termed, bananas have excellent health benefits. 1
Banana Health Uses and Health Benefits
Some of the banana uses for health and banana benefits are: 4
- 110 calories per banana
- Naturally fat and cholesterol free
- High in potassium
- Low in sodium
- 10 mg of vitamin C, or 15% of a daily dose
- Excellent source of vitamin B-6 (pyridoxine), or 35% of a daily dose
- 0.3 mg of manganese per banana
- Fiber content of 3 grams
- Carbohydrate source
- Other nutrients like iron, copper, magnesium, calcium, prosperous and amino acids
Eating at least one banana per day is a smart and beneficial food choice. They’re the perfect portion size, come in their own natural protective wrap and are extremely economical.
Bananas have a number of uses and health benefits. They’re effective home remedies and treatments for:
- Acid Reflux - Acid reflux is caused by stomach acids moving up into your esophagus resulting in heartburn, regurgitation and nausea. This could be a sign of gastroesophageal disease (GERD) which is a chronic condition. The fiber and vitamins in bananas help to control stomach acids and soothe acid reflux.
- Diarrhea - Diarrhea is loose, watery stool. It’s caused by many conditions which prevent the large intestine from extracting water from digesting food. The magnesium, manganese and phosphorous in bananas help to control diarrhea.
- Dehydration - When you’re dehydrated, your body doesn’t have enough fluid to function properly. Bananas are mainly composed of water. Combined with their mineral elements, the fluid in bananas helps prevent dehydration.
- Depression - Depression is a common but serious mood disorder. Tryptophan is an amino acid found in bananas that facilitate regulation of serotonin which is a “happy hormone”. Eating bananas increases serotonin production and can relieve depression. Magnesium and Vitamin B-6 from bananas also helps depression.
- Heartburn - As with acid reflux, heartburn is an excessive amount of stomach acid. The fiber and vitamins from bananas can be an excellent relief for heartburn symptoms.
- Hypertension - High blood pressure, or hypertension, can be a serious condition that can lead to other medical complications. Regular consumption of lemon juice can help reduce and manage blood pressure levels and prevent further complications.
Banana Side Effects and Precautions
Because bananas contain a high amount of fructose, a natural sugar, banana side effects are a quick spike in blood sugar levels. People who suffer from insulin deficiency, or have significant weight to lose, need to be cautious in excessive banana consumption. 2
Additionally, often bananas sold as dried slices may have been fried in hydrogenated oil. 2
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