It is one of the most widely consumed fruits on the planet. And that’s incredibly good news (we will tell you why a little later). The scientific name of the fruit is Musa acuminata Colla. Banana is called kela in Hindi, arati pandu in Telugu, vazhai pazham in Tamil, bale hannu in Kannada, and ethapazham in Malayalam. The fruit is variable in color, size, and firmness. Though there is no sharp distinction between bananas and plantains, the former is the softer variety while the latter is more firm.
Health Benefits Of Bananas
1.Enhance Brain Health
Bananas are also rich in vitamin B6, which improves cognitive function.The magnesium in bananas facilitates the electrical activity of the nerve cells in your brain. More importantly, the cells in your brain utilize glucose as fuel. Since our brain cannot store glucose, we must regularly supply it. Bananas release their sugars slowly into the bloodstream, and your body uses this sugar more gradually than refined sugar this provides a steady supply of glucose to your brain. The potassium in bananas also keeps the oxygen levels in the brain cells normalized. The fruit is also rich in manganese that is known to prevent brain conditions like epilepsy and Parkinson’s disease. The serotonin and melatonin in bananas promote stress relief. Eating bananas regularly can improve brain power and nerve function. They help boost concentration as well.
2. Promote Bone Health
According to the National Osteoporosis Foundation, potassium in bananas is good for bone health. Bananas are also good sources of silicon, which, as per certain preliminary studies, can contribute to bone health. And the magnesium in the fruit is another important nutrient for bone structure. Foods rich in potassium also produce alkali in the body to maintain the acid-base balance. This is important to note because when a body is acidic, the bones get a signal to neutralize the acid – and the bones tend to achieve this by breaking down to release the alkali. But potassium-rich foods can prevent this and allow the bones to maintain their structure. In other words, potassium consumption can prevent calcium loss from bones. Potassium intake has also shown to improve bone density in senior women. The study also links long-term potassium intake to a reduced risk of osteoporosis. Another American study links potassium consumption to the prevention of age-related bone loss.
3. Promote Digestive Health
Bananas help restore normal bowel function. And since they are rich in fiber, they are what you must be looking for digestive health. Potassium plays a major role in muscle function, which is why it can aid in this process. Bananas are rich in both insoluble and soluble fiber. The former adds bulk to your food and aids in its smooth movement – it also helps you feel full after a meal. Soluble fiber improves the health of your intestines. It also slows down the absorption of fats and carbs, keeping your blood sugar levels in a healthy range. Since bananas are natural antacids, they can help neutralize stomach acid and aid in ulcer treatment. Another component in bananas, leucocyanidin, increases the thickness of the mucous membrane of the stomach – this offers additional protection from ulcers.
4. Whiten Teeth
Though there is limited research, certain reliable sources say that the potassium, manganese, and magnesium in ripe banana peels help whiten teeth. You can simply rub the inside of the peel on your teeth for a couple of minutes. Wait for about 10 minutes before you brush as usual. But even otherwise, the magnesium in bananas is great for teeth.
5. Offer An Instant Energy Boost
Bananas are a combination of complex carbs, amino acids, natural sugars, and other minerals that give an energy boost. The carbs in bananas are slowly released into the blood, providing a sustained supply of energy. Even bread and pasta, like bananas, contain slow-release carbs.
Bananas also contain nutrients that are vital post a workout – these nutrients aid muscle repair and balance water retention. In fact, research says that just two bananas can give you enough energy for a strenuous 90-minute workout. According to a report by the Appalachian State University, bananas could be as beneficial as sports drinks. Another report by the Harvard Medical School says that bananas can have benefits absent in most sports drinks. The fruit contains antioxidants and a healthier blend of sugars (and fiber and vitamin B6) that can further help sustain energy.
6. Help Fight Cancer
A yellow banana is healthy. But a banana going brown and spotty could be healthier. The more the brown patches, the more Tumor Necrosis Factor (TNF). Research says TNF is a cancer-fighting compound that helps fight the abnormal cells in the body. Also, yellow skin bananas with dark spots are about 8 times more effective in combating the bad cells than the green skin variety. They also stimulate the production of white blood cells, which enhance immunity.Another study links banana consumption to a reduced risk of colorectal cancer. Bananas also have a protective association with lung cancer. The fruit can also offer protection against kidney cancer as per a study. The study states that women who consume four to six bananas a week can cut their risk of kidney cancer by 50 percent. This effect can be owed to the antioxidant phenolic compounds in bananas.
7. Improve Eye Health
Medical practitioners in Nigeria are known to combine with another African herb (called Orinol) to treat macular degeneration and cataracts. This can be attributed to the vitamin A content in bananas, which protects the eye membranes and offers light to the cornea.
8. Relieve Menstrual Pain
This could be attributed to the potassium in bananas. The mineral can work as a muscle relaxant and relax the uterine muscles during periods. Bananas can also work wonders for muscle cramps triggered by menstruation. And the vitamin B6 (and the potassium) can prevent water retention and keep you from feeling bloated (a common symptom during periods).