Bananas are a great food for all round health benefits. For the average person, dieter or even athletes, bananas may provide greater benefits than most fruits. The combination of carbohydrates and B vitamins present in a banana helps provide an energy boost.
Bananas are originally from Malaysia. They were then brought to India around the 6th century. By 200 A.D., there were banana plantations set up in southern China. Here they were considered to be exotic fruits. It is said that when Alexander the Great visited India during his campaign in 327 A.D., he savored bananas and took them to the western world.
This fruit comes in yellow, green, and red varieties and has been proven to have a number of medicinal benefits:
- Boost of Energy: At only about 100 calories, bananas will give you a natural boost of energy. They contain sucrose, fructose, and glucose which will give you an instant and sustainable amount of energy. Athletes eat bananas frequently for this reason. A good way to start the day is to slice up a banana and add it to your whole grain cereal.
- Dysentery: Mashed banana together with little salt is a very valuable remedy for dysentery. Ripe bananas are also very useful in dysentery of children, but they should be thoroughly mashed and beaten to cream before use in these cases.
- Intestinal Disorder: The banana is used as a dietary food against intestinal disorders because of its soft texture and blandness. It is the only raw fruit which can be eaten without distress in chronic ulcer cases. It neutralizes the over-acidity of the gastric juices and reduces the irritation of the ulcer by coating the lining of the stomach. Ripe banana are highly beneficial in the treatment of ulcerative colitis. Being bland, smooth, easily digestible and slightly laxative, they relieve acute symptoms and promote the healing process.
- Constipation and Diarrhea: Bananas are of great value in constipation and diarrhea as they normalize colonic functions in the large intestine to absorb large amounts of water for proper bowel moments. Their usefulness in constipation is due to their richness in pectin, which is water-absorbent and this gives them a bulk producing ability. They also possess the ability to change the bacteria in the intestines from the harmful type of bacilli to the beneficial acidophilus bacilli.
- Cure a Hangover: A great remedy for a hangover is a banana milkshake with honey. The banana soothes your stomach. Along with the milk, it rehydrates your system. The honey also comforts your stomach and brings your depleted levels of blood sugar and potassium back to normal.
- Reduced Risk of Stroke: Bananas are an extremely good source of potassium and low in salt. Potassium is important for the body as it helps keep the body fluids and electrolyte balance in body cells and helps in regulating blood pressure, thereby reducing the risk of heart attacks and strokes. Research has shown that regular intake of bananas can reduce the risk of stroke by 40%. A medium-size banana contains at least 450 mg of potassium.
- Keeps You Alert: It's widely known that bananas help improve brain function. Once again, it's a good idea to add a banana to your breakfast before you start the day.
- Allergies: The fruit is very useful for those who are allergic to certain foods and who suffer in consequence from skin rashes or digestive disorders or asthma. Unlike other protein foods, many of which contain an amino-acid which these persons cannot tolerate and which causes allergy. Bananas contain only benign amino-acids which in most cases are not allergic. The fruit, however, does cause allergic reactions in certain sensitive persons and they should avoid it.
- Kidney Disorders: Bananas are valuable in kidney disorders because of their low protein and salt content and high carbohydrate content. They are useful in uremia, a toxic condition of the blood die to kidney congestion and dysfunction. In such cases, a diet of bananas should only be taken for three to four days, consuming eight to nine bananas a day. This diet is suitable for all kidney troubles, including nephritis.
- Menstrual Disorders: Cooked banana flower eaten with curd is considered an effective medicine for menstrual disorders like painful menstruation and excessive bleeding. Banana flower helps increase progesterone hormone which reduces the bleeding.
- Urinary Disorders: Juice from banana stem is a well-known remedy for urinary disorders. It improves the functional efficiency of kidney and liver thereby alleviating the discomforts and diseased condition in them. It clears the excretion organs in the abdominal region of toxins and helps to eliminate them in the form of urine. It has been found to be of great help in the treatment for the removal of stones in the kidney, gall bladder, and prostate. It is advisable to mix this juice whenever possible with the juice of ash pumpkin (petha).
- Over-weight: A diet consisting of bananas and skimmed milk is considered an effective remedy for weight reduction.
Bananas need to be treated with care as they bruise easily. The ideal way to store bananas is to keep them at room temperature. In order to ripen bananas, you can either wrap them in a newspaper or keep them in a brown paper bag. If you store a banana in a fridge it will turn black. However it will still be edible.