When searching Internet sites related to health, diet or nutrition you will be sure to see a pop up with a lovely bunch of bananas featured. A caption states ‘Five Fruits You Should Never Eat If You Want to Lose Belly Fat,’ and the banana is right there in the ranks of these five fruits to avoid. It’s time we give bananas a break or better yet, give them a blend.
Have we advanced so much as a species that we are going to stop our relationship with the banana? Many cultures throughout the globe have used every part of the banana plant for centuries. The banana has been a staple diet for newborns for thousands of years. Even in the western world one of the first foods introduced to our infant children are mashed bananas. It is highly nutritious and friendly on a newborn’s early digestion. Research also shows that the potassium-packed fruit boosts brain power and alertness for children in their developing learning process.
Some research notes that bananas have been around for some 4,000+ years. Bananas are a globally known fruit originating in South East Asia, spreading throughout the Philippines and India. Making their way to Africa and eventually being brought over by Portuguese explorers to the Americas. Countries such as Ecuador, Brazil, Costa Rica and Mexico provide most of the commercial produce to North America. These countries can yield many species of banana because of their tropical and subtropical climate.
There may be some misnomers to the banana being the culprit in causing that extra bit of bulge around the belly. The banana has a higher caloric value than most fruits and has been considered a carb that packs on pounds and limits your daily caloric intake. Also, it’s accused of a high glycemic index. Bananas contain a fiber that has a resistant starch which cannot be absorbed. It will fill you up temporarily but surely not permanently. One of the byproducts according to Janine Higgins, Ph.D., Nutrition Research Director at the Colorado Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute, is an unabsorbed carbohydrate in your system (butyrate), a fatty acid that may inhibit the body’s ability to burn carbs, forcing it to incinerate fat instead. All evidence points to a diet rich in produce and high fiber – including bananas – can lead you to lose and maintain healthy weight. When addressing the glycemic index, we must understand that all fruit is rich in fructose. Fructose is digested and absorbed slowly by the liver, unlike other refined sugars that metabolize through the small intestine.
Some of the world’s esteemed endurance athletes swear by bananas and eat them daily as a part of their fitness and nutrient intake protocol, stating that before training, eating a banana will fill the stomach temporarily without weighing the body down as well as provide a consistent amount of energy during their physical performance. Bananas aid in avoiding muscle cramping and expediting recovery time after training. Bananas provide equal amounts of glucose and fructose and a small amount of sucrose (having a low-moderate glycemic index of 51). This index falls within the same levels as pineapples, mangos and grapes. Bananas don’t spike your blood sugar levels as do processed sweets and fizzy drinks containing high amounts of sugar.
So let’s take a look at a few good reasons why it’s time for us to reconsider the banana as friend not foe:
- Available in a bright yellow, biodegradable, earth friendly package. Appealing to the eye.
- High in fiber; helps to regulate digestion and neutralize over-acidity by coating the lining of the stomach. A great dietary food for intestinal disorder and chronic ulcers.
- High in potassium and low in salt which helps to maintain blood pressure, normalize heart rate and send oxygen to the brain.
- Contains the ‘cooling’ property of Tryptophan that stabilizes one’s emotional state. Known to help to “calm” your mood.
- Rich in Magnesium and B vitamins. Helps relax the mind and muscles to induce restful sleep.
- High in iron, stimulating the production of hemoglobin in the blood.
- Small, yet significant amount of vitamin A which is essential to protecting the eyes and maintaining normal and improved night vision.
- Great weight loss food. Sweet in flavor, satisfying and filling which helps to curve cravings.
- Sustains blood sugar levels during physical activity.
- Contains healing properties for curing bites and even wart removal.
This smoothie recipe will soon become one of your favorites. Named after a dear client overcoming stomach cancer. This feature is dedicated to Valentina.
- 1 banana (peeled and sliced)
- 2 oz. barley grass
- ½ Cup aloe vera juice
- ¼ Cup ice
- ¼ Cup water
Place all ingredients in blender and blend until smooth; enjoy!
by Zina Docto
Zina is the founder of “i AM WOMAN”. Educating woman to discover their health and beauty from the inside out: overcome weight issues, sickness and disease.
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