Banana, The Wonder Fruit
Bananas contain three natural sugars, namely sucrose, fructose, and glucose, as well as fiber. Thus, it provides an instant, sustained and substantial energy boost. Glucose is a sugar that the body can use immediately. Fructose must first be metabolized in the liver before it can be used for energy, while glucose can be used directly by any cell in the body for energy. Fiber causes a delay in the absorption of sugars resulting in a sustained energy effect.
Bananas also contain starch, a complex sugar, which must be absorbed and then broken down before it can be used for energy. This process takes time, resulting in the sustained release of energy.
Many leading athletes use bananas as a source of energy while competing. It has been shown to be more effective than energy drinks. Two bananas provide enough energy for a strenuous 90-minute exercise.
Bananas also have other health benefits. Bananas have a wide range of vitamins, minerals, and other chemicals, including potassium, iron, magnesium, vitamin C, various B vitamins, to name a few.
The health benefits of bananas
Anemia: This usually occurs in females and is due to a lack of iron. Bananas contain iron, to supplement dietary intake, and magnesium, essential in energy production. The symptoms of anemia are lack of energy and lethargy. The iron will directly help in the production of more blood cells to carry oxygen to the body and the magnesium will help reduce symptoms by increasing energy production.
Surveillance: Due to the energetic effects of the bananas, the banana-fed students were more alert and serotonin (see below) improved their mood and they were able to study better.
Blood pressure: The US FDA (Food and Drug Administration) has allowed the banana industry to claim that bananas can reduce the risk of blood pressure and stroke. This is due to high potassium and low sodium levels.
Constipation: Bananas are high in fiber, an essential ingredient for normal intestinal functions. It also contains tryptophan, which is broken down into serotonin, a neurotransmitter in the body. Serotonin in the intestines controls the movement of the intestines.
Depression: Bananas contain a protein, tryptophan, which is broken down into serotonin, a neurotransmitter in the body. In the Central Nervous System (CNS, brain) serotonin is responsible for mood states. Increased levels increase the feeling of well-being.
Hangover: A honey-sweetened banana smoothie is an excellent hangover cure. Banana and honey increase blood sugar levels, banana and milk have a calming effect on the stomach, and milk also rehydrates.
Morning sickness: Due to its ability to maintain blood sugar levels, a banana between meals can help reduce morning sickness. A banana right before bed will keep your blood sugar levels up overnight.
Stress: Bananas should be the ideal food for this problem. It is high in the B vitamins essential for coping with stress and has tryptophan, broken down into serotonin, the happy neurotransmitter in the body. It is a perfect snack to eat comfortably. Stress also lowers our body’s potassium levels, resulting in an imbalance. The banana with its high levels of potassium replaces this.
Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD): Tryptophan and increased energy levels help reduce this problem.
Tuxedo: Eat a banana instead of lighting a cigarette. Bananas can help people who are trying to quit smoking. The various B vitamins and tryptophan elevate mood by reducing the withdrawal effect of nicotine. Eating a banana for a snack will also reduce the problem of weight gain experienced by people who give up.
Strokes: The New England Journal Of Medicine has published research showing that having a banana as a regular part of your diet can reduce strokes by up to 40%.
As can be seen from the above the the banana is truly a remarkable fruitone that you should make part of your daily diet.