Go ape over bananas
by MELISSA SNYDER, Banner Lifestyles Writer
Oct 10, 2010 | 2193 views | 0 0 comments | 21 21 recommendations | email to a friend | print
After hearing a banana would help alleviate my bothersome heartburn I headed for my kitchen fruit bowl. Living with two banana lovers there are usually bananas around.

I eat them from time to time but not like my husband and my son, who is a high school wrestler. If you know any wrestlers you know the banana is a staple food for them. But do you know why?

The rich and sweet food wrapped in its own yellow packaging has so many benefits for the mind and the body it’s no wonder sports enthusiast reach for one. It isn’t just for the energy delivered from the potassium either.

A physiological psychology professor in New York challenged his students to “go bananas” and study the effect they have on the brain. He pointed out that a banana has four times the protein, twice the carbohydrates, three times the phosphorus, five times the vitamin A and iron, and twice the other vitamins and minerals of an apple. Now, we know why monkeys are so happy and energetic all the time!

From little tots to the elders, its a preferred fruit for everybody. Some of the benefits may surprise you as much as they surprised me.

According to nutritiondata.com, the raw banana is very low in saturated fat, cholesterol and sodium. It is also a good source of dietary fiber, vitamin C, potassium, manganese, a very good source of vitamin B6 and so much more.

In addition bananas can calm the nerves and regulate blood glucose levels which affect the mood. A survey by MIND found people suffering from depression felt much better after eating just one banana. This is due to the tryptophan, a protein which the body coverts to what I call “the happy one” — serotonin.

Very low in salt and high in potassium, the tropical fruit is great at reducing blood pressure. It has such remarkable abilities that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has permitted the industry to make the claims official.

“Brain Fuel” is another name some call the banana. One school in England was so impressed by the brain power it produced they gave 200 students a banana at breakfast, break and lunch to help with their exams for the school year. Students were assisted by being more alert.

Other things bananas can be effective with are morning sickness, ulcers, constipation, nicotine withdrawal, stress, nerves, anemia and obesity. And just by rubbing it on a mosquito bite the swelling and irritation is relieved and warts have been known to die off.

One thing is certain ... I am going to “go bananas” more often. With all of the heath benefits maybe it’s the yellow fruit — not the red one — that keeps the doctor away.