Why should apples get all the credit for keeping the doctor away? You either love them or you hate them, but bananas pack quite the nutritional punch. We all know that bananas are high in potassium, but what exactly does that mean for your health? And what other healthy nutrients are hiding in there?
Eating a banana every day has numerous health benefits, some of which may even surprise you. Here are 10 healthy reasons you should eat at least one banana everyday.
1. Bananas Beat High Blood Pressure
The average banana contains 500 milligrams of potassium, with very little salt, making them a good weapon to battle high blood pressure. Potassium lessens the effect of sodium in your system, so eating a banana after an exceptionally salty meal is always a good idea.
2. Bananas Increase Bone Density
The potassium in bananas is important for preventing bone loss, especially in women, who lose bione density at a faster rate than men as they age. While potassium itself doesn't directly affect the bones, potassium can neutralize acids that remove calcium from the body and cause bones to weaken.
3. Bananas Stabilize Your Mood
Bananas contain tryptophan, a protein that your body converts into serotonin, your feel-good chemical. The potassium in bananas also stabilize your heart rate and send oxygen to your brain. Stress reduces potassium levels, throwing off your heart and disrupting oxygen to the brain, so re-balancing yourself with a high-potassium snack like a banana can leave you feeling calm, cool and collected.
4. Bananas Ease Menstrual Symptoms
Don't turn to the medicine cabinet next time you start feeling the effects of PMS, a banana may be all you need. The vitamin B6 in bananas regulate blood glucose levels, which can calm even the most severe mood swings. The potassium protects against muscle cramps and aids in digestion, relieving menstrual cramps, aches and pains.
5. Bananas Protect Against Iron Deficiency Anemia
Iron deficiency anemia is a lack of red blood cells in the bloodstream, negatively affecting the amount of oxygen your tissues receive. Symptoms of iron deficiency anemia include dizziness and fainting, brittle nails, cold hands and feet and low energy. Bananas are high in iron and help stimulate the production of hemoglobin in the blood.
6. Bananas Regulate Digestion
Bananas are high fiber, and a high fiber diet regulates the digestive system, easing symptoms of constipation and irregularity.
7. Bananas Cure Hangovers
One of the best hangover cures is a banana smoothie, sweetened with a little honey. The banana calms the stomach and, along with the honey, restores depleted blood sugar levels.
8. Bananas Can Help You Quit Smoking
The B6 and B12 vitamins found in bananas, along with potassium and magnesium, help the body recover from the miserable effects of nicotine withdrawal, which include headache, naseau, and of course, nicotine cravings. Exercise also helps, so eat a banana and workout daily to make quitting smoking that much easier (and healthier!)
9. Bananas Treat and Prevent Ulcers
Bananas help ulcer-sufferers neutralize over-acidity and reduce irritation by coating the stomach lining. Eating bananas regularly may help protect against developing ulcers in the first place: the compounds in bananas that protect against irritation create a protective barrier in the stomach against hydrochloric acid. Bananas also contain protease inhibitors, which help eliminate bacteria in the stomach that causes stomach ulcers.
That same protective coating that protects your stomach against ulcers, combined with the naturally antacid effect, makes bananas a great natural remedy for heart burn and acid reflux.
Source: Fitness Republic
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