Bananas are just one of those fruits that are so apparently beneficial to the human body that it isn’t surprising how long it has been cultivated and distributed widely across various parts of the world.
It is said that the fruit was brought to the American continents from West Africa by Portuguese sailors in the 16th century. But long before that, possibly as far back as 5000 B.C., bananas had already been domesticated in Southeast Asia. It is in this region as well as in some parts of Africa that numerous varieties of bananas originated and some of them still thrive today.
The Superhuman Food Pyramid fully recommends bananas because they can help keep your heart, brain, and stomach healthy. Continue reading to learn more about the benefits of bananas.
For every 100 grams of banana there are about 350 milligrams of potassium and 2.6 grams of dietary fiber to be had. Along with sodium, this mineral is one of the main electrolytes that maintain the body’s fluid balance. Potassium is also necessary in regulating blood pressure and heart function. Include the dietary fiber that helps maintain normal cholesterol levels, and you get a fruit that’s quite suited to keep your cardiovascular system healthy.
Bananas can also provide adequate amounts of pyridoxine or Vitamin B6. 100 grams of the fruit can already supply 30% of the daily recommended intake of this type of Vitamin B for adults. B complex vitamins generally help the body breakdown carbohydrates. Pyridoxine has specific other functions such as helping your body produce neurotransmission chemicals and the hormones that influence behavior like norepinephrine and serotonin.
The fruit is considered to be an antacid because it helps prevent stomach ulcers. It does this through two actions. Phytonutrients in bananas stimulate the stomach to build a thicker protective layer of mucus against the strong acids present there. Then it eliminates certain types of bacteria that are primarily involved in causing stomach ulcers.
Besides being nutritious on its own, bananas improves how your digestive system can absorb nutrition from other food. The complex sugars in this fruit are prebiotic which means they promote the growth of good intestinal bacteria that aids in digestion. Bananas also contain short chain fatty acids that keep the cells of your intestines functioning properly. Healthy intestines mean better digestion and nutrient absorption.
Banana Practical Uses:
Cavendish bananas are so far the most cultivated and distributed that is consumed as a dessert or used in dessert recipes. But there are actually several varieties of bananas.
Examples of other sweet varieties that may be less available are apple bananas, Senoritas, and lacatan. The sweet ones don’t always come in yellow. Red bananas, as the name suggests, have a reddish-purple peel and pinkish meat but they are just as sweet and good for desserts.
Plantains meanwhile are the green unripe types. Since they’re starchy and a bit tough, plantains are more commonly used for cooking. Commercially they are sometimes made into banana or plantain chips. They can be left to fully ripen but this isn’t typical practice in the culinary cultures that use such bananas. More often plantains are:
- Peeled and sliced lengthwise then fried, with or without a coating of batter, to make banana fritters
- Left unpeeled and individual pieces steamed and consumed as you would boiled potatoes
- Added to a meat stew as an additional “vegetable” ingredient
There are no special preparations for using bananas medicinally. If you want to treat stomach ulcers or digestive problems simply eat a piece or two before a meal. This can calm and prepare your tummy for the upcoming heavier intake of food.
In the next post, I’ll tell you the benefits of berries that will help you in your quest to Become Superhuman.
In the meantime, if you care to jump ahead, here is a complete listing of the fruits on Superhuman Food Pyramid:
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