Juice a banana | Daily News


Juice a banana

Over 100 billion bananas are consumed annually in the world! In addition to this incredible fact Bananas also calm the nervous system, reducing stress and depression, making it a fruit of immense value. Green Thumbs picks up from where we stopped last week on the banana series speaking to Institute of Indigenous Medicine, Department of Dravyaguna Vignana, Senior Lecturer, Dr. S. D. Hapuarachchi on the banana that revitalizes the body instantly.

“In my research on bananas I came across a recent survey undertaken by MINDS - an NGO that imparts educational programs on mental health and medical treatment services in rural India. Many people, suffering from depression, felt much better after eating banana. This happens because banana contains tryptophan, a type of protein which is converted by the body into serotonin, known to make us feel relaxed, improve mood and generally make us feel happier,” shared Hapuarachchi.

Hapuarachchi emphasized on the fact that Bananas calm the nervous system, reducing stress and depression. It replenishes energy and revitalize the body instantly. Therefore banana is most useful for athletes. A good amount of soluble dietary fiber helps normal bowel movements.

“Consuming banana juice regularly has many health benefits such as curing stomach ulcers and reduces the side effects of smoking as banana has a greater healing power. Researchers have also proved that drinking banana juice can prevent and cure kidney cancer. For all these reasons banana juice can be called as a perfect drink with various natural remedies to cure illness,” explained Hapuarachchi.

Hapuarachchi also pointed out that the marvelous banana is an athlete’s best friend. She pointed out that the banana contains three natural sugars such as glucose, fructose and glucose. These sugars can provide an instant boost in the energy level. Consuming two full bananas can provide you enough energy before a 90 minute workout. This is the reason why athletes prefer to have bananas before their athletic practices or before running a race.

“Full ripe banana with yellow skin and dark spots on it is eight times more effective in enhancing production and efficacy of white blood cells than the green skin version and its level of antioxidants also increases along with ripeness. These antioxidants protect the body against cancer and heart diseases,” added Hapuarachchi.

She also revealed that the banana leaves are not only food for elephant and other animals but also are of incredible medicinal value for human being.

“Banana leaves, at their tender stage, can be used to make poultice for treating burns. Astringent ashes of unripe peel and leaves are effective for preventing the growth of malignant ulcers, and are suitable to treat diarrhea and dysentery. The juice of the banana leaf is useful in cases of cough, cold, breathing problem, dropsy constipation, dysentery, acidity, high BP, blood disorder or poisoning and also for liver problems. The consumption of half cup of the juice of green leaf every morning, without use of sweetener or salt, will prevent various diseases. It purifies blood and is used as topical for chest pains. The chlorophyll in banana leaves protect us from intestinal ulcer, leukemia and skin diseases,” explained Hapuarachchi.

Hapuarachchi disclosed that fresh bananas are available year-round. Unlike other fruits, the ripening process of bananas does not slow down after they are picked. Bananas should be stored at room temperature. The warmer the temperature, the faster bananas will ripen. However, to slow ripening, bananas should be refrigerated. The outer peel of the banana will darken but the banana itself will stay intact longer. Today, bananas are grown in at least 107 countries and are ranked fourth among the world's food crops in monetary value.

“Bananas are rich in vitamins such as B3, B5, B6 and vitamin C. Due to the presence of these vitamins, drinking banana juice increases the immunity in the body. These vitamins are very beneficial to the nervous system. Bananas are rich in fiber that increases the digestion of the food particles in the digestive track of the body. A single banana is said to contain 10% of dietary fiber in it. Bananas are also rich in minerals such as magnesium and potassium. Magnesium increases the process of calcium absorption in the body and also increases the production of insulin. The potassium present in banana reduces the hypertension and heart disease,” said Hapuarachchi.

Why not add a sliced banana to your morning cereal or oatmeal for a more nutritious breakfast says Hapuarachchi. Like apple sauce, ripe mashed bananas can be used in baked goods to replace oil or butter. Mashed bananas lend a moist, naturally sweet flavor to muffins, cookies and cakes. Peel and freeze bananas for a great addition to any smoothie. Or take a banana with you on your way to work or school for a healthy, portable snack.



* Better Digestion

As bananas contain high fiber they help in the movement of the food in the digestive track which contributes to better digestion. Fibers also have the capacity to absorb water and this softens the stool and prevents constipation.

* Best Diet Supplements

Banana juice is considered an excellent diet supplement as it is rich in fiber, potassium, manganese and various vitamins. Banana juice plays an important role in a diet program, it can be used for both weight loss and weight gain. It can also be called as a ‘perfect fiber supplement’ due to its rich fiber content.

* Stress Regulator

Banana juice is rich in tryptophan which stimulates the body in production of serotonin which in turn is responsible to calm down a person’s mood. Drinking banana juice regularly can calm down the nervous system of a person undergoing stress.

* Energizer

Banana contains three natural sugars such as glucose, fructose and glucose. These sugars can provide an instant boost in the energy level. Consuming two full bananas can provide you enough energy before a 90 minutes work out. This is the reason why athletes prefer to have banana before their athletic practices or before running a race.

* Brain Power

Researchers have proved that consuming banana for breakfast by young ones can boost up their memory power. The reason for this is the potassium present in banana alerts the pupil which is related to the grasping power of the brain.

* Rich in Antioxidants

Banana juice is a rich source of antioxidants that helps to prevent chronic disorder. Also, being rich in potassium it aids heart health.

WORD OF CAUTION - Beta-blockers, a type of medication most commonly prescribed for heart disease, can cause potassium levels to increase in the blood. High potassium foods such as bananas should be consumed in moderation when taking beta-blockers. Consuming too much potassium can be harmful for those whose kidneys are not fully functional. If your kidneys are unable to remove excess potassium from the blood, it could be fatal.

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