Bananas, those sweet yellow-jacketed fruits, are a rich source of nutrients. Beside the fact that they are loaded with carbs and sugars as a source of energy they also contain other important nutrients. Bananas are rich in potassium and other minerals. Bananas are also a great source for dietary fiber, vitamin C and B6, and aminoacids.
Health Benefits of Bananas:
Bananas are said to boost memory. Students who took bananas daily had better performances in their examinations. The potassium present in bananas (more than 400mg) helps reduce high blood pressure, thus, preventing cardiovascular problems. A study has shown the lower risk of stroke in people whose intake of potassium is higher. Food rich in dietary fiber (such as bananas) prevent all sort of problems such as colon and kidney cancer. A study published on the International Journal of Cancer recommends banana consumption as a protective strategy for kidneys. Having bananas 4-5 times a week produces a reduction of the risk of developing any condition (including cancer) related to kidney’s function.
Bananas are rich in fructooligosaccharide, a compound referred to as a prebiotic because it helps natural friendly probiotic bacteria in the colon. These probiotic bacteria improve the ability of the system to absorb nutrients and to fight unwanted harmful microorganisms. Green bananas contain short chain fatty acids which are not digested by humans. These short chain fatty acids help the intestines cells to be healthy and function properly.
Bananas should be eaten fully ripened. Green bananas can also be consumed although they are not as good as fully ripened bananas. Bananas can ripen very fast if kept at room temperature. If you need to extend their “shelf live” you will need to store them in the refrigerator.
Bananas are usually eaten raw but you can consume them in fruit salads or in smoothies. Bananas can also be added to breads, cookies and ice creams.
Bananas become dark as soon as they are cut. So if you want to enjoy their white flesh you should eat them as soon as you open or cut the fruit.
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