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Banana: Some heart-warming facts and myths

Last updated on September 13, 2019

Only a few fruits are as complete and have as many health benefits as bananas. To make them known, the Association of Banana Producers (Asprocan) have presented the book ‘Banana of the Canary Islands and Health’, in which prestigious professionals in the area of health sciences, coordinated by Dr. López Farré, professor of Medicine and co-director of the Technological Innovation and Applied Clinic Classroom of the Complutense University of Madrid, they scientifically collect and analyze the goodness of bananas. Richer in composition, the canary banana differs from banana steer not only for its sweetest taste but for its nutritional qualities. In a study led, with the participation of more than 640 medical practitioners, more than 90% of professionals considered that the increase in their consumption would be beneficial for the health, both that of children and adults.

1. Prevents cancer

Food is a major factor in cancer prevention. In this sense, there are some types on which the composition of the banana could contribute to preventing it because of its richness in minerals and vitamins. In addition, the effect of high fiber consumption can be very beneficial, being able to reduce by up to 42% the risk of colon cancer (the fiber content of a banana is 2.5 grams). It is also beneficial for preventing stomach cancer (due to its high vitamin C), breast (thanks to its soluble fibers), pharynx and esophagus (from riboflavin), lung (increased risk in people with vitamin A deficiency) and prostate (by the vitamin E).

Green or yellow – In what state of maturity should you eat a banana?

While mature bananas have more advantages, there is one exception: those who suffer from diabetes or elevated blood sugar levels should resort to the immature option as it contains less sugar. In the case of renal or liver failure, experts even recommend that you completely abstain from the nutritious fruit.

Green bananas contain a lot of resistant starch but are immature. But the bananas are still digestible and healthy. The color of the shell shows only the degree of maturity and sugar content.

During maturation, the starch is converted into single sugars, the banana becomes sweeter. However, the calorie content remains the same.

2. Keeps Athletes Fit

For every 100 grams, the banana contains:

Calories90 Kilocalories
Fat0.30 grams
Carbohydrates21 grams
Fiber2 grams
Protein1 gram
Calcium285 milligrams

The table lists the most outstanding nutritional values. However, it should be borne in mind that although in a smaller proportion the banana is also rich in vitamins of group A, B, C and E. It also contains magnesium, iron, and zinc.

3. Rich in antioxidants

Although it is one of its most unknown benefits, banana outperforms many fruits in terms of antioxidants. According to the ‘Oxigen Radical Absorbance Capacity’ index, which measures the antioxidant power of food, a banana is around 880 units, and the daily recommendation is between 3,000 and 5,000.

4. Protects the heart

Fiber, which lowers cholesterol levels and improves insulin sensitivity. Consuming seven grams of fiber a day reduces the risk of developing this disease and this fruit contains three.

Potassium, which balances blood pressure. Banana, the most important source of this mineral, contains 592 mg, while banana 434/100 g.

Antioxidant vitamins. Carotenes, beta complex vitamins, vitamins C and E make that fruit a great antioxidant that can help protect the body at the cardiovascular level and promote vasodilation.

5. Natural defense against bacteria

Thanks to the vitamins it contains, it can contribute to the proper development and functioning of the immune system through the synthesis of antibodies and increase the defensive mechanisms against bacteria. It is also considered to increase the immune activity of lymphocytes and the synthesis of proteins that respond to viruses. Polyphenols, on the other hand, have a recognized microbicide effect.

How does banana affect digestion?

We know Bananas are rich in magnesium, fiber, sugar, and starch. Especially the fiber stimulates digestion. However, the starch contained in the fruit is more difficult to digest, the content of which is determined by the degree of ripeness of the bananas. Immature bananas contain a lot of starch and are therefore less digestible. As the ripening level increases, the starch is converted into sugar, so that one does not have to fear any constipation when eating ripe fruit.

6. Bananas can help you lose weight

Bananas contain an average of 100 calories – but at the same time, the fruit is very saturated and provides important nutrients. Intake of fiber via fruit and vegetables has repeatedly been shown in studies as a factor for healthy weight and weight loss.

Immature green bananas also contain a lot of resistant starch – making them very saturating and can reduce appetite. Bananas are resistant starch granules, one of three types of resistant starch. It cannot be broken down due to the arrangement of its starch chains and starch grains and is contained not only in green bananas, for example, in raw potatoes and raw maize.

During digestion, only about ten percent of the ingested starch enters the colon unchanged, which means that the body automatically absorbs fewer calories.

A study also showed that 24 grams of starch from bananas daily after four weeks resulted in a weight loss of 1.2 kilograms.

Concluding, banana is a fruit recommended for all types of people. Eat this fruit and you will be full of energy. In addition, we recommend that you do not take it only natural, but try some of the recipes.

Read More- Banana: A Memoir of Food, Love, and Manic Depression by David Leite

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