The Amazing Banana
By Mr Breakfast
A banana a day keeps the doctor away... and the dermatologist...and the psychologist... and if current research can be trusted... death. It seems there's almost no ailment that the banana can't help cure. The word "banan" is Arabic for finger.
The banana is unique among fruits. Rather than growing on trees, bananas come from the world's largest herb, Musa sapientium, which is directly related to the orchid family. They are believed to be the first fruit farmed by man. Available all year round, they are currently the most popular fruit in North America.
In February 2002, the International Banana Association reported that 60% of respondents in a recent study had a banana for breakfast at least once a week. The Mr Breakfast Institute of California (MBIC) recommends that bananas be included with breakfast at least twice a week.
According to a 2003 research project conducted by MBIC, bananas may aid in alleviating a very long list of ailments.
What Bananas Cure:
Numerous other conditions are said to be cured by bananas by old wives, if not yet by scientists. Consider using bananas to relieve hangovers (blend with milk and honey), heartburn, morning sickness, mosquito bites and warts (apply the inside of peel to irritated skin).
- Anemia -- Because of their high iron content, bananas have the ability to stimulate hemoglobin production in the bloodstream.
- Bone Mass Decay In Salt Eaters - A study at the University of California at San Francisco discovered that "The potassium [found in bananas] appears to counteract the bad effects of high-salt diets by preventing bones from decaying at a fast rate."
- Constipation - If you're blocked up, stick a banana in your... mouth. The banana's high fiber content helps to restore normal bowel function. It also contain pectin, a water-absorbing nutrient which aids in firming your stool.
- Depression - Like turkey, bananas contain tryptophan, a protein that converts to the neurotransmitter serotonin. Serotonin is instrumental in facilitating relaxation. Low levels of serotonin are believed to cause mood disorders including depression.
- High Blood Pressure - The U.S. Food and Drug Association recently allowed the banana industry to make official claims that bananas reduce the risk of blood pressure problems.
- Nervousness - Bananas are high in the B-complex vitamins, which are known to have a calming effect on the nervous system.
- Strokes -- A study of 5,600 people revealed that those with the lowest intakes of potassium were 50% more likely to suffer a stroke. The New England Journal of Medicine reported that adding banana to your regular diet can cut the risk of death by stoke by as much as 40%.
- Ugliness - The Body Shop uses some 250,000 bananas each year in the manufacture of its beauty products. In Central America, mashed bananas are used to relieve dry skin. Other homespun banana beauty treatments include exfoliating masks (blend mashed bananas with cosmetic clay), hair conditioner (combine mashed banana with a few drops of almond oil) and hand moisturizing lotion (mash a banana with 2 pats of butter).
The Oxford English Dictionary recognizes the term "going bananas" as a comical series of actions associated with moneys picking bananas. But the only comical monkey in these days of modern science is a fool who doesn't eat bananas.
|50 Banana Breakfast Recipes
- "Bananas Could Prevent Strokes", BBC NEWS, August 13, 2003
- "Pick of the Bunch: Top Banana Facts", The Observer, June 30, 2002
- "Study Finds That Bananas Help Boost Bone Mass" and "Banana Facts from 2001 Consumer Research", International Banana Association, June 5, 2002
- "Banana, Serotonin and Depression", Dr. Damayanthi Piyadasa Perer, January 26, 2002
- Additional Information from The Colombian Banana Growers Association and The Australian Banana Growers Council Inc.
This article was written by Mr Breakfast (aka Eddy Chavey).
The editorial content above may not be reproduced without the written permission of Mr Breakfast.com. Please contact us for reprint requests.|