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Eating Well is Jiu-Jitsu: The multiple benefits of bananas.

banana

Every athlete and sportsman knows very well an excellent benefit provided by bananas: they help to prevent painful cramps.  So far, nothing new. But today at ‘Eating well is Jiu-Jitsu’ you will get surprised with so many additional benefits that this fruit can offer you!

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After reading this, you will never look at a banana the same way you would do before.

Energy: Bananas contain three types of natural sugar – sucrose, fructose and glucose, all combined with fibers. Thus, bananas can give you a real energy boost. Some researches already show that as few as two bananas are already enough to give you the necessary energy for a really heavy 90-minute training. It’s not by chance that banana is the number one fruit for the world’s greatest athletes.

But the energy is not the only point that makes the banana a real ally for keeping yourself healthy and in good shape. This fruit can also help us to prevent or even cure lots of diseases. That being said, it is essential to add bananas in our daily diet.

Depression: According to a recent research done by MIND with people who were suffering from depression, those ones who had a banana would actually feel better after that. That’s because the banana has tryptophan, a kind of protein which is converted in serotonin by the body. This latter substance is known for relaxing, improving the mood and, usually, making people feel better and happier.

budha_banana_wallpaper_hd-normalPMS: Eat a banana. Vitamin B6 moderates the blood’s glucose levels, which directly impacts on your humor.

Anemia: With a high level of iron, bananas will stimulate the hemoglobins production by the blood, helping in anemia scenarios.

Blood pressure: Bananas has lots of potassium. On the other hand, it shows an acceptable level of sodium. This makes a perfect combination to control high-pressure levels. That’s so true that US Food and Drug Administration allowed the banana industry to officially inform the costumers about this fruit benefits against high blood pressure and heart attacks.

Brain: 200 students from Twickenham, England, were helped with their exams this year, by having bananas in their breakfasts, snacks and lunches, aiming to improve their mental capacity. The research demonstrated that the high potassium levels present in bananas could help with the learning processes, keeping the students ‘alert’.

Constipation: with their high levels of fiber, when bananas are included in your daily diet, they can help to regulate the intestine functions, providing great results without the use of laxative substances.

Hangover: One of the best ways to cure a hangover is having a banana and honey smoothie. The fruit will ‘calm down’ the stomach and, combined with honey, it will also increase the blood sugar levels. Meanwhile, the milk will hydrate and refresh all the body.

Heartburn: Bananas have an antacid effect in the human body. This way, if you use to suffer from heartburns, try to have a banana and see the results.

Morning sickness: Having a banana between each meal will help you to keep the right sugar levels in the blood, avoiding nauseas.

bananas_2Mosquito bites: Before using any cream or medicine, just try to rub the internal part of a banana peel on the bite and inflamed area. Many people say that this is excellent to mitigate the pain and bumps.

Nerves: Bananas are rich in vitamins B, which help to calm the nervous system. Too much pressure at job? Some studies from Austria Psychology University show that job pressure leads to excessive ingestion of foods like chocolates and cookies. With an analysis comprising 5,000 patients, it was noticed that the most obese individuals were the ones who would suffer more from high blood pressure and anxiety. This study report concluded that, in order to avoid cookies and candies during our anxiety periods, it would be necessary to have foods rich in carbohydrates every 2 hours, keeping the sugar levels stable. And that’s where the bananas shows up.

Ulcers: Bananas are also used on a daily basis against gastrointestinal diseases, thanks to its smooth texture. That’s the only fruit you can have raw without problems under a chronic ulcer scenario. It also helps to reduce acidity and irritation, protecting the stomach walls.

Temperature control: Many cultures see the banana as a ‘refreshing’ fruit, which can reduce both the internal and emotional temperature in pregnant women. In Thailand, for example, pregnant women eat banana hoping that their children may be born with a low temperature.

banana-2Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD): Banana also helps those who suffer with SAD, since this fruit has Vitamin B6 and tryptophan, which help us to stay calm and in a good mood.

Tobacco: Bananas can also help people to leave the tobacco and smoking habits. Vitamins (A, B6 and B12), likewise potassium and magnesium help the body to recover itself from the nicotine abstinence.

Stress: Potassium is a vital mineral, which helps to normalize the heartbeats, the oxygen flow to the brain and the correct water balance in the body. When we are under stress, our metabolic rates go up and our potassium levels are lowered. It can be regulated with bananas, well known as rich-potassium fruits.

Infarction: According to a research published by New England Journal of Medicine, eating bananas as part of your regular diet can reduce the heart attack risks in up to 40%.

Moles: Some people, interested in alternative treatments, can assure that one way to eliminate moles is putting a banana peel (the internal side) over them. You only need to gently secure it with an adhesive.

Therefore, as you may see bananas are like a natural medicine for many problems. If you compare it to an apple, the banana will have 4x more proteins, 2x more carbohydrates, 3x more phosphorus, 5x more Vitamin A and iron and 2x more other vitamins and minerals. It is also rich in potassium. Thus, this is one of the most valuable foods for our lives.

Banana-and-peanut-butter-750-250Today’s recipe is an afternoon or pre-training snack.

Smashed bananas with peanut butter and cinnamon.

This is an ideal mixture, as combines carbohydrates (banana) with healthy fat (peanut butter). Besides, cinnamon is a thermogenic substance. Have you ever imagined an ‘energy boom’?

Ingredients:

1 Banana

1 Tbsp. (shallow) of peanut butter.

Cinnamon to taste

Method #1:

Smash the bananas, cover it with peanut butter and spread cinnamon.

Method #2:

Chop the banana and cover with peanut butter.

BananaMicrowave it for about 40 seconds.

Remove and add the cinnamon.

BananaPS: Bananas must be the reason why monkeys are happy all the time! 

This article has only an informative purpose and has no intention to replace a professional guidance.  The use of vitamins and supplements can offer you great results. However, before using any product, we strongly recommend you to visit a Nutritionist, Doctor or another specialist for an analysis and follow-up.

NOTES: Illustrative photos.

Sources (in Portuguese): Revista Fisiobrasil

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