HEALTH TIP: Instead of drinking caffeine or having a sugary snack, try eating a banana. Bananas provide a level of energy that lasts longer without the dramatic crash caused by caffeine and/or sugar. Containing three natural sugars (sucrose, fructose, and glucose) combined with fiber, research has proven just two bananas can provide enough energy for a strenuous 90 minutes of exercise. No wonder the banana is the #1 fruit that consumed by the athletes around the world.
Bananas contain tryptophan (an amino acid) which can be converted to serotonin, which helps your mind relax so you feel happier. They are relatively high in iron, which helps the body’s hemoglobin function (and anemia), and due to their content in pectin (fiber), bananas also help restore a normal bowel function. Bananas are extremely high in potassium yet very low in sodium, thus having a perfect ratio for preventing high blood pressure. They also stimulate the cells on the internal stomach lining to produce thicker mucus (which protects against acid), so bananas can be effective with ulcers. Bananas have a small amount of vitamin A, a fat-soluble vitamin that is vital for protecting your eyes and normal vision.
Interestingly, a recent study published in the Journal of Biological Chemistry found that bananas contain a lectin (sugar binding protein) compound known as “BanLec” which is effective in preventing the spread of HIV via successfully recognizing and binding to foreign invaders in the body. The research study abstract reported that the researchers “determined that BanLec inhibits primary and laboratory-adapted HIV-1 isolates of different tropisms and subtypes” and that “BanLec possesses potent anti-HIV activity.” The researchers also found that BanLec compared favorably to T-20 and Maraviroc (two anti-HIV drugs currently in clinical use).
I love to make “banana-loupe” ice cream with frozen bananas, frozen cantaloupe, almond milk, and a scoop of vanilla One World Whey protein. It tastes just like the “dreamsicles” we used to eat growing up, only it has no refined sugar. Our kids absolutely LOVE it! And before you throw those peels away, rubbing the inside of a banana peel on a mosquito bite will help reduce the itching and swelling. Then, if you have a garden, you might want to use the peel as an excellent fertilizer for the soil.
If you are at a loss as to what to do with your bananas, check out these Banana Recipes at Amazon.com