Elite fruits

The health benefits of bananas

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I believe that a “perfect” banana is flecked with brown spots.

Josh Pigozzo, Staff Writer

The scientific name for banana is musa sapientum, which means “fruit of the wise men.”  This clearly shows that bananas are one of the alphas in the fruit industry.  Not only are they one of my favorite fruits they have a plethora of health benefits and incredible recipes.

 

Bananas are rich in Vitamin B6 which is easily absorbed from this wonderful fruit.  One medium sized banana can provide you with around a quarter of your daily vitamin B6 needs.  Vitamin B6 benefits the body in numerous ways such as helping make melatonin, which is important in helping regulate your internal clock and your sleep.  It metabolizes carbs and fats, turning them into energy, as well as amino acids.  It produces red blood cells and gets rid of unwanted chemicals from your liver and kidneys.  The nervous system is also assisted.  The B6 vitamin flushes it so that it is maintained and healthy.  Many pregnant women have also seen benefits from a lot of Vitamin B6 as it helps meet their babies’ development needs.

 

You may not associate bananas with vitamin C however they are a respectable source of vitamin C.  In fact, a medium sized banana can give you about 10% of your daily vitamin C requirements.  It also helps support a healthy brain because it produces serotonin.  Serotonin is a hormone that affects your sleep cycle, mood, and experiences of stress and pain. Vitamin C protects your body against cell and tissue damage and produces collagen which is a protein that that holds your skin, bones, and body together.  Bananas are full of manganese which is great you’re your skin and produces this collagen as well. So if you want your skin to be glowing then I would recommend that you eat your daily banana.

 

That is not nearly the end of the countless benefits.  The fiber will help aid the digestive system, lower cholesterol, and depress heart burn.

 

I would say that bananas are essential for athletes.  The approximate 320-400 mg of potassium will moderate blood pressure and boost your heart health.  I’d say the most important benefit for athletes is that all of the potassium can prevent the oh so dreaded muscle cramps.  Take it from the Toronto Blue Jays short stop Munenori Kawasaki.  Kawasaki was having issues with his body cramping during games so he stated to eat three bananas a day.  His reason, “monkeys never cramps.”  Additionally, you will gain a little pep in your step due to the three natural sugars: sucrose, fructose, and glucose.  This will give you a fat and cholesterol free source of energy.

 

You can simply cut up a banana and it will immediately change anything you can think to put it on.  A personal favorite is putting it in my boring morning cereal and it transforms it into a delightful treat.  It’s also great to integrate into banana bread, muffins, and pancakes because the riper they get, the sweeter they get. So there is no need to waste your overly ripe bananas because they only get tastier.

 

This makes bananas the ideal fruit for breakfast, midday snack, or compliment to your meal.  The health benefits are through the roof and can fuel your whole body with essential vitamins to boost your mood, energy, and sleep.  Make the right decision today and eat a banana.