Saturday, March 30, 2013

A Banana A Day, Keeps The Doctor Away...

You read that right. I really do mean a banana, not apple.
I realized something today. I have been eating about two bananas a day. I know, I know. Bananas are sweet and contain sugar. Yes, but it's an all natural source of sugar. And let's face it, they are better than me eating a cupcake a day, okay. I recently started liking bananas a lot. Obviously. I usually eat them because they do soothe my stomach when I'm just feeling, off. Whenever you or your family has an upset stomach, a banana and some peppermint tea should do the trick. Funny thing, I USED to be allergic to them! I guess I grew out of that one. And thank goodness. I can't go a day without at least one banana. 

So this got me thinking, what exactly are bananas good for? To my knowledge they are full of potassium and keep charlie horses away...don't judge....

Well, bananas have more vitamins, nutrients, and health benefits than apples. I guess my healthy instinct fully kicked in and that's why I've been eating bananas. 

Provide energy: Full of vitamins and minerals, bananas are a natural source of energy. A healthier alternative to a daily cup of java when you're feeling low on energy during midday. 

Potassium: Your body may not be getting enough. Potassium helps reduce strokes by regulating blood pressure. 

Depression: According to a recent study amongst people with depression, many felt better after eating a banana. This is because bananas contain tryptophan. Which is a type of protein that the body converts into serotonin, known to make you relax and improve your mood. 

PMS: The vitamin B6 found in bananas can have a positive effect on your mood. Also contains glucose which helps regulate blood sugar levels. This can also help with morning sickness when snacking on one between meals. 

Heartburn: Bananas have a natural antacid effect in the body. 

Promote Bowel health: Bananas can help stop constipation. 
Bananas have a certain type of fiber that helps to restore and maintain regular bowel functions. Instead of using laxatives that might have chemicals or other synthetic substances, bananas are a natural source for lessening the effects of constipation without causing other bowel problems such as diarrhea.

Quit Smoking: Bananas can help someone quit smoking. The B vitamins and other minerals they contain reduce the physical and physiological effects of nicotine withdrawal

Soothe Stomach Ulcers: Bananas can reduce the acidity that some foods can leave in the stomachThey help reduce the irritation of the digestive system by leaving a protective coating around the inner walls, making it a natural way to promote intestinal health as well. 

Anemia: Bananas are rich in iron. So they are great for anyone suffering from an iron deficiency. 

Brain Power: Research has shown that bananas, since packed with potassium can help assist learning, by making the person more alert. 

Easy to digest: When you're sick with a virus or indigestion. Bananas may be the only thing to calm an uneasy stomach since they are easily digested. Also, can help you feel better since your body will absorb all the vitamins and nutrients. 

****Important Fact**** 

According to Japanese Scientific Research, full ripe banana with dark patches on yellow skin produces a substance called TNF (Tumor Necrosis Factor) which has the ability to combat abnormal cells. The more darker patches it has the higher will be its immunity enhancement quality; Hence, the riper the banana the better the anti-cancer quality. Yellow skin banana with dark spots on it is 8x more effective in enhancing the property of white blood cells than green skin version.
Eating 1-2 bananas a day increases immunity. Read the longer explanation

Bananas aren't just for monkeys anymore. Seriously. (I hate monkeys by the way, no really, I'm seriously terrified of them) There are many good reasons to eat a banana a day. Since bananas are so easy to take with you on the go, they are a much better snack than some "snack bar". 

 A few different, but delicious ways to consume bananas: 

"Ice Cream"- Throw a frozen banana in a blender with some cinnamon. For extra treat, add in some almond butter or even dark chocolate. 

A banana smoothie.

Add to cereal or oatmeal.

On waffles, pancakes, or french toast.

For a sweet treat, slice a banana and add honey and cinnamon. Much better than a piece a cake to cure your sweet tooth. 

Those are just a few examples. Of course the possibilities are endless.

My favorite "treat" is slicing a banana, and adding dairy free dark chocolate. Then warming the up in the microwave. Yum! 

Cheers to health, and bananas!!