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A Banana A Day Keeps the Dr. Away!!

andrewinnc's picture

I received the following information in an email and since we are all about staying healthy and skating/biking faster, I thought I would share it with the group:

A banana a day comes closer to keeping the doctor away than an apple ever will.

A professor at CCNY for a physiological psych class told his class about bananas. He said the expression 'going bananas' is from the effects of bananas on the brain. Read on:

Never, put your banana in the refrigerator!!! This is interesting. After reading this, you'll never look at a banana in the same way again.

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. No wonder the banana is the number one fruit with the world's leading athletes.

But energy isn't the only way a banana can help us keep fit. It can also help overcome or prevent a substantial number of illnesses and conditions, making it a must to add to our daily diet.

Depression: According to a recent survey undertaken by MIND amongst people suffering from depression, many felt much better after eating a banana. This is because 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: Forget the pills - eat a banana. The vitamin B6 it contains regulates blood glucose levels, which can affect your mood.

Anemia : High in iron, bananas can stimulate the production of hemoglobin in the blood and so helps in cases of anemia.

Blood Pressure: This unique tropical fruit is extremely high in potassium yet low in salt, making it perfect to beat blood pressure. So much so, 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: 200 students at a Twickenham (Middlesex) school ( England ) were helped through their exams this year by eating bananas at breakfast, break, and lunch in a bid to boost their brain power. Research has shown that the potassium-packed fruit can assist learning by making pupils more alert.

Constipation: High in fiber, including bananas in the diet can help restore normal bowel action, helping to overcome the problem without resorting to laxatives.

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, so if you suffer from heartburn, try eating a banana for soothing relief.

Morning Sickness: Snacking on bananas between meals helps to keep blood sugar levels up and avoid morning sickness.

Mosquito bites: Before reaching for the insect bite cream, try rubbing the affected area with the inside of a banana skin. Many people find it amazingly successful at reducing swelling and irritation.

Nerves: Bananas are high in B vitamins that help calm the nervous system.

Overweight and at work? Studies at the Institute of Psychology in Austria found pressure at work leads to gorging on comfort food like chocolate and chips. Looking at 5,000 hospital patients, researchers found the most obese were more likely to be in high-pressure jobs. The report concluded that, to avoid panic-induced food cravings, we need to control our blood sugar levels by snacking on high carbohydrate foods every two hours to keep levels steady.

Ulcers: The banana is used as the dietary food against intestinal disorders because of its soft texture and smoothness. It is the only raw fruit that can be eaten without distress in over-chronicler cases. It also neutralizes 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. In Thailand , for example, pregnant women eat bananas to ensure their baby is born with a cool temperature.

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD): Bananas can help SAD sufferers because they contain the natural mood enhancer tryptophan.

Smoking & Tobacco Use: Bananas can also help people trying to give up smoking. The B6, B12 they contain, as well as the potassium and magnesium found in them, help the body recover from the effects of nicotine withdrawal.

Stress: Potassium is a vital mineral, which 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. These can be rebalanced with the help of a high-potassium banana snack.

Strokes: According to research in The New England Jo urnal of Medicine, eating bananas as part of a regular diet can cut the risk of death by strokes by as much as 40%!

Warts: Those keen on natural alternatives swear that if you want to kill off a wart, 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!

So, a banana really is a natural remedy for many ills. When you compare it to an apple, it has four times the protein, twice the carbohydrate, three times the phosphorus, five times the vitamin A and iron, and twice the other vitamins and minerals. It is also rich in potassium and is one of the best value foods around

So maybe its time to change that well-known phrase so that we say, 'A banana a day keeps the doctor away!'


eebee's picture

Bananas are Great

I agree! Bananas are wonderful, although probably not if you're diabetic. I have decided that if I'm going to eat starchy carbs during this training season, it'll be fruits & veg first, then bread/pasta if I'm still hungry. Bananas do indeed get me through a 1 hour skate.

However, the comment about the er...women's issues...and morning sickness leads me to believe this guy doesn't live in a household full of women! Hmm...the bananas might help if we could THROW them at him :-).  And for morning sickness, pretty much anything I could keep down for any length of time made all the difference. Maybe he's on the Chiquita banana board? In any case I'm gonna go potassium-load now, in preparation for the training ride tomorrow - I have 4 almost black bananas contaminating everything else in my cooler, and I am going to force myself to eat them so I don't have to throw them away.

roadskater's picture

Banana Board

While much of it or all of it may be true, it does read like promotional material written by someone in love with bananas or making money off of them. It doesn't show up on the snopes.com hoax list I don't think. However, it is moderately successful, with 95 mentions to date on a google search for "CCNY for a physiological phych class told his class about bananas": http://www.google.com/search?q=CCNY+for+a+physiological+psych+class+told... Loosening the search produces much greater results (734) for: http://www.google.com/search?num=100&hl=en&q=%22PMS%3A+Forget+the+pills+... I am guessing this is a very effective piece of viral marketing. By the way, I read some interesting thoughts on keeping bananas in the refrigerator (once ripe a good idea, they said, though the outside turns black) and on speeding the ripening of bananas by putting an apple or tomato in a paper bag with the bananas: http://www.google.com/search?num=100&hl=en&q=apple+tomato+ripen+banana+b... OK. Interesting stuff. Who knows?!
Jack's picture


I've largely stayed away from 'nanas cause they're so hard to get down, but you're article has convinced me to at least add them to my diet for a couple of weeks to see what happens. Certainly couldn't be bad! Thanks, Jack
MikeB's picture

Nature's perfect snack

And the best thing of all ---- bananas are fully self contained and wrapped to be waterproof and airtight by mother nature. No 5 second rule with bananas......5 day rule?? maybe.
Bryan's picture

I'm not terribly fond of

I'm not terribly fond of bananas, but I can eat them. And eat them I do, every time I put my skates on. For a shorter skate I'll eat it as soon as I roll out the door, and on a longer skate I'll wait till I hit the halfway mark or at the first sign of hunger. I know it could be placebo, but I am convinced that I skate better and go longer without losing my form if I eat a banana. Also, carrying a banana for an hour and trying not to crush it while wearing wristguards is a fun challenge.

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