One of the most cultivated tropical fruits, bananas are a close relative to the plantain, which is larger and darker. Over centuries, bananas have been used to settle upset stomachs (including morning sickness), reduce stress, ease heartburn pain, relieve constipation, soothe PMS symptoms, cure warts, and stimulate brain power. Aside from being a delicious fruit, bananas have a number of often-overlooked health benefits. Archaeologists consider the Kuk Valley of New Guinea at around 8,000 BC to be the period where humans first considered the banana as an edible option. It didn’t take long for bananas to reach Southeastern Asia and countries across the Southern Pacific Ocean.
Bananas are one of the most widely consumed fruits in the world for good reason. Eating them could help lower blood pressure and reduce the risks of cancer and asthma.
Today, bananas are grown in at least 107 countries and are ranked fourth among the world’s food crops in monetary value. Americans consume more bananas than apples and oranges combined.
Bananas provide a variety of vitamins and minerals:
Vitamin B6 – .5 mg
Manganese – .3 mg
Vitamin C – 9 mg
Potassium – 450 mg
Dietary Fiber – 3g
Protein – 1 g
Magnesium – 34 mg
Folate – 25.0 mcg
Riboflavin – .1 mg
Niacin – .8 mg
Vitamin A – 81 IU
Iron – .3 mg
Here are the top 5 benefits of bananas:
Bananas Help Lower Blood Pressure
Bananas are extremely high in potassium content, containing 806 grams to be exact. Bananas are also very low in sodium, containing only 1 milligram. According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), 56% of American adults and 10% of American children have either hypertension or prehypertension. According to a discovery made by doctors in India, consuming 2 bananas per day can reduce blood pressure by 10% within 1 week. Consuming 5 bananas per day was 50% as effective as taking prescription medication. A diet that is high in potassium would reduce the risk of one suffering from high blood pressure.
Because bananas are overloaded with minerals and vitamins, they are a great source of natural energy that can last for several hours. Eat 1 or 2 bananas when your afternoon energy dip kicks in or just before doing a work-out and you will feel so much more productive.
Improve Bowel Health
The high fiber in bananas has positive effects on digestion and helps stop constipation. Bananas also help recover from diarrhea by restoring electrolyte levels which is necessary to rehydrate the body.
Much Better Nights
Bananas contain high amounts of tryptophan. That simply means that they’re more than capable of raising serotonin levels and could thus help people who find it very difficult to go to sleep.
Bananas are excellent in the case of stomach ulcers, as they will cause no pain, and their soft texture will coat the stomach’s lining. In this way, bananas will help you prevent corrosive acids and irritations.