Saturday, July 4, 2009

6 Ways Bananas Can Help Your Health

Bananas are one of my favorite fruits. As I eat so many of them I thought it was interesting to see what type of health benefits were associated with bananas.

There are many of them and I will not mention all of them here. However I think the ones listed below make a good start.

Bananas can help to reduce depression. They contain the amino acid tryptophan which is converted to serotonin. Serotonin is associated with improved mood.

Bananas can help you have healthy kidneys. Bananas are high in potassium and a high potassium diet can minimize the risk of kidney stones. Studies have shown that eating 4 - 6 bananas a week can half the risk of developing kidney cancer.

Blood Pressure
Potassium is an essential mineral for the maintenance of normal blood pressure and heart function. The high potassium and low sodium content of bananas is the perfect ratio for preventing high blood pressure. Indian scientists have found that bananas contain compounds that have similar effects to anti-hypertensive drugs. They found that eating 2 bananas per day for a week would decrease high blood pressure by 10%.

Bananas neutralize the acidity of the gastric juices. This coats the lining of the stomach, so reducing ulcer irritation. Bananas also contain protease inhibitors that help eliminate the type of bacteria in the stomach that has been recognized as a primary cause of ulcers. Another benefit from bananas in relation to ulcers is that they contain a flavonoid called leucoyanidin. This helps to increase the thickness of the mucous membrane layer of the stomach.

It seems that regular banana consumption reduces the risk of dying from stroke by 40%. This is thought to be because of the high potassium content.

Normal bowel Function
The non digestible fibers of cellulose, hemicellulose and alphaglucans in bananas help restore normal bowel activity in either constipation or diarrhea. Bananas are also rich in pectin, which is water absorbent and helps the colon's function of absorbing large amounts of water to enable regular bowel movements.

There are many ways of including bananas in your daily diet. Try to include them as part of your healthy diet plan so you can reap the banana benefits.

Be healthy,

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