I am not always a fan of pass-along emails, full of information I may or may not want to read.
But---as I am a sucker for new info on food---when this long-winded montage on bananas landed in my in box, I was all eyes. Granted, bananas and I aren't best friends: the texture strikes my palate as gummy or chalky. I can usually down a few raw bites, but prefer eating them incognito. I have experienced them in varying disguised fashion over the coarse of my life: sliced and bobbing in milk with a sprinkle of sugar on top, various renditions of the uber-popular banana bread and even dipped in chocolate and frozen on a stick---mimicking a popsicle.
Lately, my favorite way to consume bananas covertly is via fruit smoothies. A close second would be a dessert I made over a year ago, and still remember fondly: Banana Tart Tatin.
Stealth banana-eating aside, here are some valuable pieces of pass-along banana info:
- Bananas contain three natural sugars---sucrose, fructose and glucose---combined with fiber.
- A banana gives an instant, sustained and substantial boost of energy.
- Research has proven that just two bananas provide enough energy for a strenuous 90-minute workout.
- Bananas can also help overcome or prevent a substantial number of illnesses and conditions:
- Depression: 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.
- PMS: bananas contain vitamin B6, which regulates blood glucose levels, affecting your mood.
- Anemia: high in iron, bananas can stimulate the production of hemoglobin in the blood.
- Blood pressure: high in potassium yet low in salt: ideal to help combat high blood pressure. 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: research has shown, that this potassium-packed fruit can assist learning by making pupils more alert.
- Constipation: high in fiber, bananas can help restore normal bowel action.
- 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, offering soothing relief.
- Morning Sickness: snacking on bananas between meals helps to keep blood sugar levels up, helping minimize morning sickness.
- Mosquito bites: rub the affected area with the inside of a banana skin; many people find it reduces swelling and irritation.
- Nerves: bananas are high in B vitamins that help calm the nervous system.
- Stressed out at work? Instead of unhealthy binging, reach for a banana---leading to more healthful blood sugar levels.
- Ulcers: The banana is used as the dietary food against intestinal disorders because of its soft texture and smoothness. Bananas help neutralize our stomaches from over-acidity, and reduces irritation, by coating the lining of the stomach.
- Temperature control: many other cultures see bananas as a 'cooling' fruit that can lower both the physical and emotional temperature of expectant mothers.
- Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD): bananas can help SAD sufferers because they contain the natural mood enhancer tryptophan.
- Trying to quit smoking?: bananas can help. The B6, B12, potassium and magnesium they contain, help the body recover from the effects of nicotine withdrawal.
- Stress: potassium is a vital mineral, it helps normalize 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; eating a banana will help your recalibrate.
- 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 bystrokes by as much as 40%!
- Warts: 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, to help remove warts.
If you really want to 'Go Bananas,' here are some recipe lists: