banana – Healthy superfoods – by Dr. Nuwanthi Fernando

 

A banana is one of the healthiest foods and should be eaten on a regular basis. It can be eaten raw or cooked depending on an individual’s preference. The fact that it is easily available makes it recommendable for anyone. People of all ages can benefit from eating just one medium-sized banana a day. Here are the top ten reasons why you should consider buying a banana every time you visit the grocery store;

Energy Boost

Our bodies cannot function without energy and that is why we eat to survive. The brain needs so much energy because of the many processes that go on in it to guide the rest of the body. The normal energy intake may not be sufficient to serve the entire body. That is why you will probably feel dizzy when lunch time is approaching. Bananas are an excellent boost of energy in the system. Eating just two bananas gives you all the energy to hit the gym for about one and half hours. The energy that comes from a banana is longer lasting when compared to other types of foods. Caffeine and sugar candy produce energy but are full of health risks. Banana, therefore, remains to be the safest source of energy.

Potassium

You won’t know you need potassium in your body until when you have problems with the way your heart beats. Potassium is an important ion that helps in the circuits of the nervous system. Nerve conduction sends and receives impulses to various parts of the body. Bananas are a rich source of potassium. When you have enough potassium in your body, your brain gets good oxygen delivery. Moreover, potassium is needed for regulating the heartbeat so that problems such as arrhythmia do not occur. In the kidney, potassium is among the salts that assist in maintaining a proper water balance. This means that you won’t have excess water in the body that leads to dilution of the blood or too low amounts that leads to dehydration, and low blood pressure. Stroke can be prevented by eating a banana because of its potassium content. Muscle cramps are as a result of muscle exhaustion and it can get better when potassium found in bananas is availed to the muscles.

Constipation

Nothing irritates as recurrent constipation which does not respond to medications. A banana is a natural therapy of choice in constipated individuals because it has fibre in large quantities. The fibre helps regulate bowel functions so that the stool transit time is appropriate. Disturbances in peristalsis in the gut can lead to constipation. Bananas have multiple benefits in constipation and are safer than laxatives which may cause adverse effects such as diarrhoea. By eating the banana you get its energy and avoid dealing with food problems.

Mood Enhancer

Sometimes you feel very low and you lack the psyche to do anything. People with depression have been reported to feel better after eating a banana. This is because banana is known to lift your spirits and remove you from the world of melancholy. The amino acid tryptophan is found in large amounts in bananas. This vital basic unit of a protein is required in the synthesis of serotonin, a neurotransmitter with mood regulatory properties. Eating the bananas increases the amounts of this neurohormone in the body and hence it stabilizes the mood. You end up feeling relaxed and happy even thou you were depressed.

Iron Supplementation

Iron in the body does many functions including hematopoiesis which is the manufacture of new blood cells. Deficiencies of iron in the diet can be addressed by nutrition if you eat foods such as bananas which are rich in iron. Well-functioning blood cells are needed in preventing excess blood loss by initiating early clotting cascade. Hemoglobin is the carrier of oxygen and carbon monoxide in the body. Reduced hemoglobin could mean that your cells are at a risk of death or damage.

Low in Calorie

A good food should offer a high nutritional content with fewer calories. Bananas fit this description since they are loaded with nutrients and low in calories. A banana has only 110 calories and the rest is made up of fibre and water.

Fiber

Fiber is important in digestion. One banana has as much as 3 grams of fibre. This means that when you eat the banana you get full over longer periods. The fibre will enhance your digestion and make you comfortable even after a heavy meal.

Refueling

Bananas are a good source of fuel since it has carbohydrates in good amounts. Carbs are the primary source of fuel in the diet. When you are tired after a workout, eating a banana helps in refueling the body. A banana for breakfast is ideal for giving you energy for the day.

Manganese

A few bananas could help you easily reach your daily manganese target of between 1.8 and 2.3 mg. you need manganese for bone health and metabolism.

Fats and Cholesterol

Bananas are low in fats and cholesterol which are associated with diabetes and cardiovascular issues. This factor makes the banana one of the healthiest foods for human beings.