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Healthy Diet Plans >>  Therapeutic Value of Different Foods >>  Fruits >>  Banana


The yellow jacket of bananas with firm creamy and wonderfully sweet flesh is available throughout the year. Banana plant belongs to the same family of that of the lily and the orchid and it grows up to 10 to 26 feet tall. Cluster of this fruit contains anywhere about 50-150 bananas with bunch of individual groups called hands containing 10-25 bananas each.

Health and bananas

Bananas are a rich source of potassium which is valued by sports enthusiastic. The creamy, sweet and rich flavor of banana is cherished by all from infants to elders.
Bananas are a very good source of potassium, vitamin B6, vitamin C, manganese and dietary fiber.
  1. Potassium is an important mineral from bananas to maintain normal blood pressure and heart function. Since a medium sized banana contains 467 mg potassium and only 1 mg sodium it may help prevent high blood pressure and also protect against atherosclerosis and stroke. Potassium may also promote bone health by counteracting the increased calcium loss caused by typical American high salt diets.
  2. Potassium that is important to regulate heart function and maintain electrolyte balance is lost along with other electrolytes during a bout of diarrhea. Banana that is rich in potassium helps to replenish the stores of potassium and other electrolytes in such situation. Moreover pectin, a soluble fiber in banana helps to normalize the movement in digestive track and ease constipation.
  3. Depending on the degree of ripeness bananas also contain resistant starch.
  4. Bananas have an antacid effect and protect the stomach lining against stomach ulcers and other ulcer related damage. This effect occurs in two ways, first the substances in bananas activate the cells in the stomach lining to produce thicker mucus  that acts as a barrier against stomach acids. Secondly protease inhibitors from bananas help eliminate bacteria in stomach that are the primary cause of stomach ulcers.
  5. Free radicals may cause an injury to the eye lenses and may lead to cataract or damage the blood supply to the eye causing macular degeneration. Researches suggest that three or more servings of fruits per day may help lower the risk of age related macular degeneration, which is the primary cause of vision loss in older people by 36% than the other counterpart who consumed less than 1.5 servings of fruits per day.
  6. Bananas are an excellent source of fructooligosaccharide, which is also known as a prebiotic compound as it nourishes the friendly bacteria in the colon. These beneficial bacteria help better absorption of nutrients and also protect against unfriendly microorganisms. When fructooligosaccharide are fermented the body’s ability to absorb calcium is increased that in turn helps build better bones. Also green bananas are good source of short chain fatty acids which is the favorite food of the cell lining of the intestine.  
  7. Bananas contain substances called chitinases which are associated with latex-fruit allergy syndrome.
Submitted on January 16, 2014