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Tuesday, July 3, 2012


The health benefits of bananas are reason enough to eat this magical fruit but the packaging is almost as intriguing. This healthful fruit comes in its own ziplock bag that is not only biodegradable, it actually benefits the soil. Bananas not only are packed in nutrients, they have energy boosters that rival even coffee without the sudden drop in blood sugar and energy levels when the effects wear off.

Frequently doctors prescribe potassium tablets when people take diuretics. The diuretics reduce the sodium and water in your blood and lower the pressure on the artery walls but unfortunately also lower potassium levels. Ironically, low levels of potassium are linked to high blood pressure. In addition, potassium is necessary for many other bodily functions including reducing fluid retention.

The good news is that a banana contains as much as 10 percent of the potassium you require daily. By adding bananas to your snacks and meals, you can keep your levels of potassium higher. You cannot overdose on potassium since you excrete excess.

Bananas provide benefits for your bones by suppressing the amount of calcium you excrete, thanks to the potassium it contains. Higher available calcium translates into healthier bones and teeth. In addition, by not excreting the extra calcium, this also lowers the potential for kidney stones.

Besides potassium, bananas also contain vitamin B1, B2, B3, B5, B6 and B9. The B1 vitamins are important for a healthy nervous system and healthy mental attitude. B2, riboflavin, not only boosts the immune system, helps the growth of hair and nails and slows aging, it also prevents memory loss helps build red blood cells and increases energy levels. B3 helps prevent depression, diarrhea, and dementia.

Newer studies show it helps stroke victims rewire their brain and recover from a stroke. B5 helps the immune system among other things and B6 helps make neurotransmitters and may prevent some from of cancers. Along with vitamin B9 and B12, B6 also helps prevent heart disease. Bananas contain as much as 28 percent of the daily required amount of vitamin B6.

A single banana can give you approximately 15 percent of the necessary daily amount of vitamin C. Vitamin is probably best known as an immune system booster but it also is necessary to form collagen the substance that holds the body together and build healthy bones and teeth. Vitamin C also helps the body absorb iron and calcium, also in bananas, as well as contribute to brain function.

Bananas are a good addition to the diet of children suffering from gastrointestinal problems but also provide some relief for adults in that area because of its high fiber content, approximately 16 percent of the daily required amount. Not only does fiber keep you regular, but a studies show there's a link between high fiber diets and a reduced risk of type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

Best of all, bananas contain tryptophan, the same chemical that makes you sleepy yet satisfied after a big helping of Thanksgiving turkey. Tryptophan is a mood elevator only because it helps the body to create serotonin, which stabilizes moods and helps you relax. So after a tough day at the office, don't grab a glass of wine, peel back the yellow skin of a banana and have a bite of relaxation. Besides relaxation, you'll get all the other health benefits of bananas.


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