Bananas: Yellow Fuel
Bananas are one of the world’s best foods for supplying fuel for our bodies. They supply a unique blend of vitamins, minerals, and carbohydrates that metabolize quickly and efficiently to useable energy. Bananas are a very good source of vitamin B6, vitamin C, potassium, dietary fiber, and manganese. Bananas are famous as a good source of potassium, a mineral involved in proper muscle contraction. Insufficient potassium is one of the main causes of fatigue, muscle cramping and dehydration. Whether you need quick energy release or long lasting energy, bananas supply the fuel for the occasion.
Our bodies convert food into simple carbohydrates (sugars) for use as energy. This process can require considerable energy, and will often leave you tired, especially after a large meal. The carbohydrates in ripe bananas are already in their simplest form, and can be digested easily with a minimum of energy loss. Bananas supply the dense and ready carbohydrates necessary to replace the muscle glycogen (muscle sugar) used during exercise. It is a good idea to eat bananas before, during, and after activity. Research has proven that just two bananas provide enough energy for a strenuous 90 minute work out.
Not All Bananas Are Equal
Unripe bananas contain resistant starch, so it cannot be digested by the small intestine, so it ferments in the large intestine. Because ripe bananas are very easily digestible and rarely cause any allergic reactions, they are a popular solid food for babies. Since bananas are picked off the tree while they’re still green, it’s not unusual to see them this color in the store. Base your choice of bananas depending upon when you want to consume them. Bananas with more green coloration will take longer to ripen than those more yellow in hue and/or with brown spots.
Bananas should be firm, but not too hard, bright in appearance, and free from bruises or other injuries. Their stems and tips should be intact. The size of the banana does not affect its quality, so simply choose the size that best meets your needs.
While bananas look resilient, they’re actually very fragile and care should be taken in their storage. They should be left to ripen at room temperature and should not be subjected to overly hot or cold temperatures. Unripe bananas should not be placed in the refrigerator as this will interrupt the ripening process to such an extent that it will not be able to resume even if the bananas are returned to room temperature.
If you want to quicken the ripening process, you can place bananas in a paper bag or wrap them in newspaper, adding an apple to accelerate the process. Ripe bananas that will not be consumed for a few days can be placed in the refrigerator. While their peel may darken, the flesh will not be affected. For maximum flavor when consuming refrigerated bananas, remove them from the refrigerator and allow them to come back to room temperature. For the most antioxidants, eat fully ripened fruit.
Bananas are the number one fruit with the world’s leading athletes. But energy isn’t the only way a banana can help us keep fit. It can also help overcome or prevent a substantial number of illnesses and conditions, making it a must to add to our daily diet. Bananas are also prevent or cure these ailments:
Heart Burn: Bananas have a natural antacid effect in the body. So if you suffer from heart burn, try eating a banana for quick relief. Fresh or dried bananas both apparently can conquer heartburn for many. Bananas are a natural antacid, says Dr. P. Bradley Carey. They neutralize stomach acid. In most cases, they will give heartburn relief in minutes. Bananas can provide heartburn relief by stimulating the stomach lining’s production of mucus. Mucus creates a natural barrier between your stomach lining and gastric acids that cause the burning of heartburn. Bananas can be a natural alternative to OTC antacids. Most people prefer the taste of bananas anyway. Remember that unripe bananas can actually cause heartburn in some cases instead of relieving it, like a ripe banana would.
Hangovers: One of the quickest ways of curing a hangover is to make a banana milk shake with raw honey. The banana calms the stomach and with the help of honey, builds the depleted sugar levels, while the milk soothes and re-hydrates your system.
Stress: Potassium is a vital mineral, which helps normalize heartbeat, sends oxygen to the brain and regulates your body’s water balance. When we are stressed, our metabolic rate increases, thereby reducing our potassium levels. These imbalances can be re-balanced with the help of a sweet yellow snack.
Depression: According to a recent survey undertaken amongst people suffering from depression, many felt much better after eating a banana. This is because bananas contain tryptophan, a type of protein that the body converts into serotonin, known to help you relax, improve your mood and make you feel happier.
Anemia: High in iron, Bananas can stimulate the production of hemoglobin and help in the cases of Anemia.
Blood Pressure: This unique tropical fruit is extremely high in potassium yet low in salt, making it the perfect to beat blood pressure. So much so, the US Food and Drug Administration has just allowed the banana industry to make official claims for the fruit’s ability to reduce the risk of blood pressure and stroke. Bananas are one of our best sources of potassium, an essential mineral for maintaining normal blood pressure and heart function. Since the average banana contains a whopping 467 mg of potassium and only 1 mg of sodium, a banana a day may help to prevent high blood pressure and protect against atherosclerosis. The effectiveness of potassium-rich foods such as bananas in lowering blood pressure has been demonstrated by a number of studies.
Constipation: High in fiber, including bananas in the diet can help restore normal bowel action, helping to overcome the problem without resorting to laxatives.
Temperature control: Many other cultures see bananas as a “cooling” fruit that can lower both the physical temperature of expectant mothers. In Thailand, for example, pregnant women eat bananas to ensure their baby is born with a cool temperature.
Smoking Cessation: Bananas can also help people trying to give up smoking. The nutrients in Bananas help the body recover from the effects of nicotine withdrawal.
Ulcers: Banana is used as a dietary food against intestinal disorders because of its soft texture and smoothness. It is the only raw fruit that can be eaten without distress in chronic cases. It also neutralizes acidity and reduces the irritation coating the line of the stomach.
Morning Sickness: Snacking on bananas between meals helps to keep the blood sugar levels up and avoid morning sickness.
Mosquito Bites: Before reaching for the insect bite cream, try rubbing the affected area with the inside of a banana skin. Many people find it amazingly successful in reducing the sweeling and irritation caused due to insect bites.
Bananas are a natural remedy for many ills. When compared to an apple it has four times the protein, twice the carbohydrates, three times the phosphorous, five times vitamin A and iron, and twice the other vitamins and minerals. If it is inconvenient to carry a banana with you, carry banana powder. This dried, ground form of bananas can be found in health food stores. You can also carry a bag of dried banana slices. Bananas give relief in many cases. If you suffer from the conditions discussed earlier, relief could be as near as a sweet, yellow fruit. Considering the multitude of benefits, it may be a good idea to start including them as a regular part of our diets. Sweet and easy to eat, bananas might encourage people to eat breakfast instead of skipping it.
The Morning Banana Diet
The Banana Diet, more commonly called the Morning Banana Diet, is a weight loss diet that swept Japan before being introduced to the United States. On the diet, you eat a banana for breakfast, which supposedly helps fill you up and burns fat. On the Miracle Banana Diet, you begin the day by eating a raw banana. You can eat another fruit if you prefer, and you can eat more than one banana. Wait for at least 15 minutes after eating the banana, then eat another food if you’re still hungry. Drink plenty of room temperature water. Chew your food thoroughly and be mindful of what you’re eating. Eat just until you’re satisfied, not full. Go to bed at a reasonable time and don’t eat more than four hours before bedtime.