9/15/2013

YUMMY BANANAS: HEALTH BENEFITS OF BANANAS

Bananas are widely known around the world. In Nigeria, it is probably the most sold fruit, as you can find banana hawkers everywhere. Bananas, I believe are also one of the most affordable fruits. I remember those days when we went on road trips, we usually bought bananas and groundnuts to munch on the way (delicious combo, I must say for those who have not tried it). Bananas are really good for suppressing hunger which is probably why many weight-watchers include a banana to their diet.


Cardiovascular Benefits: Having a banana at breakfast every day adds a nutrient to your body to support normal heart function. Bananas are a good source of potassium. Potassium is an important component of cell and body fluids that helps control heart rate and blood pressure, countering bad effects of sodium. In addition to its cardiovascular benefits, the potassium found in bananas also helps to promote bone health. 


Energy: Bananas are high calorie fruits. It is composed of soft, easily digestible fibers with simple sugars like fructose and sucrose that when eaten replenishes energy and revitalizes the body instantly. Research shows that bananas are used by athletes to get instant energy.

Digestion: Bananas have an antacid effect and are said to protect against stomach ulcers. Bananas contain pectin, a soluble fiber (called a hydrocolloid) that can help normalize movement through the digestive tract and ease constipation.

Healthy Eyes: Bananas have a small amount of vitamin A, a fat-soluble vitamin that is vital for protecting your eyes and normal vision. Vitamin A compounds preserve the membranes that surround your eyes and are a component of one of the proteins that brings light into your cornea. Adequate daily vitamin A intake also lessens your risk of night blindness and is essential for everyday vision.

Moderate Source of Vitamin C: Bananas are a moderate source of vitamin-C. Consumption of foods rich in vitamin-C helps the body develop resistance against infectious agents and scavenge harmful oxygen-free radicals. 

Antioxidants: Bananas are a good source of carotenoids which are antioxidants and have a protective effect against chronic disease condition. They also have a high content of antioxidant phenolic compounds.

Bananas can be enjoyed in many ways. You can eat it alone, add it to a fruit salad, to a bowl of cereal, make a smoothie, banana milkshake, banana pudding, etc.
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