High in iron, bananas can stimulate the production of haemoglobin in the
blood and so helps in cases of anaemia.
Blood Pressure: This unique tropical fruit is extremely high in
potassium yet low in salt, making it the perfect food for helping to beat
blood pressure. So much so, the US Food and Drug Administration has just
allowed the banana industry to make official claims for the fruit’s
ability to reduce the risk of blood pressure and stroke.
Brain Power: 200 students at an English school were helped through
their exams this year by eating bananas at breakfast, break and lunch in a
bid to boost their brain power. Research has shown that the
potassium-packed fruit can assist learning by making pupils more alert.
Constipation: High in fibre, including bananas in the diet can help
restore normal bowel action, helping to overcome the problem without
resorting to laxatives.
Depression: According to a recent survey undertaken by MIND amongst
people suffering from depression, many felt much better after eating a
banana. This is because bananas contain tryptophan, a type of protein that
the body converts into serotonin – known to make you relax, improve your
mood and generally make you feel happier.
Hangovers: One of the quickest ways of curing a hangover is to make
a banana milkshake, sweetened with honey. The banana calms the stomach
and, with the help of the honey, builds up depleted blood sugar levels,
while the milk soothes and re-hydrates your system.
Heartburn: Bananas have a natural antacid effect in the body so if
you suffer from heart-burn, try eating a banana for soothing relief.
Morning Sickness: Snacking on bananas between meals helps to keep
blood sugar levels up and avoid morning sickness.
Mosquito bites: Before reaching for the insect bite cream, try
rubbing the affected area with the inside of a banana skin. Many people
find it amazingly successful at reducing swelling and irritation.
Nerves: Bananas are high in B vitamins that help calm the nervous
Overweight and at work? Studies at the Institute of Psychology in
Austria found pressure at work leads to gorging on comfort food like
chocolate and crisps. Looking at 5,000 hospital patients, researchers
found the most obese were more likely to be in high-pressure jobs. The
report concluded that, to avoid panic-induced food cravings, we need to
control our blood sugar levels by snacking on high carbohydrate foods –
such as bananas – every two hours to keep levels steady.
PMS: Forget the pills – eat a banana. The vitamin B6 it contains
regulates blood glucose levels, which can affect your mood.
Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD): Bananas can help SAD sufferers
because they contain the natural mood enhancer, trypotophan.
Smoking: Bananas can also help people trying to give up smoking, as
the high levels of Vitamin C, A1, B6, B12 they contain, as well as the
potassium and magnesium found in them, help the body recover from the
effects of nicotine withdrawal.
Stress: Potassium is a vital mineral, which helps normalise the
heartbeat, sends oxygen to the brain and regulates your body’s
water-balance. When we are stressed, our metabolic rate rises, thereby
reducing our potassium levels. These can be re-balanced with the help of a
high-potassium banana snack.
Strokes: According to research in ‘The New England Journal of
Medicine’ eating bananas as part of a regular diet can cut the risk of
death by strokes by as much as 40%!
Temperature control: Many other cultures see bananas as a ‘cooling’
fruit that can lower both the physical and emotional temperature of
expectant mothers. In Thailand, for example, pregnant women eat bananas to
ensure their baby is born with a cool temperature.
Ulcers: The banana is used as the dietary food against intestinal
disorders because of its soft texture and smoothness. It is the only raw
fruit that can be eaten without distress in over-chronic ulcer cases. It
also neutralises over-acidity and reduces irritation by coating the lining
of the stomach.
Warts: Those keen on natural alternatives swear that, if you want
to kill off a wart, take a piece of banana skin and place it on the wart,
with the yellow side out. Carefully hold the skin in place with a plaster
or surgical tape!