Bananas are perhaps one of nature’s most under-rated fruits. The yellow skinned fruits are easy to overlook, especially when it seems as if there’s always some new and exotic type of fruit that’s being touted as the next big thing. However, the fact remains that bananas are a tasty super food that can give our bodies all the good stuff it needs to thrive. They’re packed full of nutrients, vitamins, fiber, and all-natural sugars, like sucrose and fructose. That’s part of the reason why eating bananas regularly can help to keep the doctor away.
In the United States bananas are the top most consumed fruit and Americans eat more of them every year than apples and oranges combined. Many of us bring home a bunch of bananas from the store and eat them throughout the week. They start off mostly greenish-yellow and spotless, but as time goes by, the bananas continuously ripen. Eventually, they begin to develop brown spots, which grow bigger and bigger until the entire banana is covered in brown. Many people are turned off by brown bananas and think it means they’re rotten so they toss them out. It makes sense, most fruits that turn brown are indeed rotten and unappetizing.
However, the more dark patches a banana appears to have, the riper it is, and the more TNF it contains. TNF stands for Tumor Necrosis Factor, and it’s a cancer-fighting substance that helps fight against abnormal cells in our bodies. Specifically, TNF helps to assist communication between cells in our immune response system and it guides the movement of cells towards areas in our bodies which are inflamed or infected. Research has confirmed that the TNF found in ripe bananas interferes with tumor cells growth and inhibits them from spreading by causing cell death, or apoptosis. This, in conjunction with the high levels of antioxidants which are also found in bananas, boosts our immune systems and can increase our white blood cells as well. The next time you see a banana with brown spots, don’t pass it over. Instead, eat it up and give your body a mini-health boost and some extra energy.
In addition to the brown spots and their immune system strengthening qualities, bananas have a number of other health benefits. Below are a few of the main ones that bananas can give you, and the accompanying video covers even more than just these, so check it out:
1) Heartburn- Bananas are nature’s anti-acid and can provide relief from heartburn and acid reflux. Eating just one banana can immediately bring soothing relief and lessen your heartburn symptoms.
2) Blood Pressure- Bananas help to lower blood pressure and protect against stroke or heart attack because they are low in sodium and high in potassium, making them a heart-healthy food.
3) Energy- Eating a banana or two before a workout gives you enough energy to last an hour or more. The low glycemic carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals all support your body increase endurance, while potassium helps to prevent muscle cramps.
4) Anemia- They can help those with anemia by providing much needed dietary iron, which stimulates red blood cell and hemoglobin production and strengthens the blood supply.
5) Ulcers- When you suffer from stomach ulcers many foods are off limits, but bananas can be eaten without having to worry about whether or not they’ll cause pain. That’s because their smooth, soft, mushy texture coats the stomach lining and protects it against corrosive acids and irritation.
6) Depression- They can help overcome depression because they have high levels of tryptophan, which our bodies convert into serotonin. Serotonin is a brain neurotransmitter that makes people relax, feel happy, and improves mood. Thus, bananas can help people feel better and beat depression.
7) Constipation- If you are clogged up, eat a few bananas. They have enough fiber in them to stimulate regular bowel movements and provide natural relief for constipation.
8) Nerves or PMS- When you’re feeling moody and stressed, eat a banana. They help to regulate blood sugar and are rich in B vitamins, which naturally calm the nervous system and make people relax, resulting in an overall improved mood.
9) Temperature Control- Eating a banana on a hot day can cool you off by lowering your body temperature. The same is true for it you have a fever.