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A Banana A Day Keep Doctors Away

By The Saigon Times

Ripe bananas contain many carbohydrates, protein, dietary fiber, vitamins and minerals that are essential for the body. Scientific research shows that the banana (Musa paradisiaca L.) has high concentration of potassium and 10 kinds of amino acids that are essential for the body. In Oriental medicine, the banana is considered good for the lungs, stomach and intestine.

A banana contains fourfold higher protein, twofold higher carbohydrates, threefold more phosphorus, fivefold more vitamin A and iron, and other vitamins and minerals twofold higher than those in an apple.

Bananas are the food of choice for athletes and those doing manual work thanks to the high contents of carbohydrates, natural sugars such as sucrose, fructose and glucose, and potassium. The potassium can help reduce the risk of cramp, so bananas are highly recommended for athletes before, during and after their physical exercises.

With abundant iron, intake of bananas can stimulate the production of blood and is thus able to treat anemia.

Bananas have dietary fiber that can stimulate the peristalsis in the large and small intestines. This can help prevent constipation and many large intestine diseases, even cancer.

Bananas can help relieve depression, as an amino acid in the fruit, the tryptophan, can turn into serotonin, which can make people relaxed and happy. The tryptophan is also healthful for those suffering from seasonal affective disorders.

Eat a banana if you are suffering from heartburn, since the fruit is a natural antacid. A mixture of milk, banana and honey can help relieve the dizziness caused by alcoholic drink abuse.

Studies show that ripe bananas can help lower high blood pressure without any side effect. Intake of two bananas a day within a week can help decrease the blood pressure by 10% because the fruit has a high content of potassium but a very low content of sodium chloride. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has acknowledged that banana can lower the risks of high blood pressure and strokes.

Eat a banana and its vitamin B6 will help regulate the blood sugar, which will relieve the uneasiness caused by premenstrual syndrome.

Bananas are recommended for those who are trying to quit smoking because the fruit supplies vitamins B6 and B12, potassium and magnesium, which can help them recover from the shock of nicotine deficiency.

According to studies conducted by British and Indian scientists, intake of dried green bananas can cure stomach ulcers. Green bananas should be dried in a shady place, as those dried under high temperatures do not have this remedy, neither do ripe bananas.

Bananas can help relieve stress. The potassium in the fruit can help normalize heartbeats, convey oxygen to the brain and regulate the water in the body, thus relieving the stress.