The importance of Bananas

All fruit contains vitamins and minerals that are beneficial to one’s health, however there are several reasons why Bananas stand out and should be a part of every person’s daily diet. I will discuss a few of the main reasons below.
  1. Bananas are a good source of Potassium. 100g of Bananas contain 358mg of Potassium. This is 10% of the recommended daily requirement. Potassium helps maintain proper heart function and regulates your blood pressure. While doing Yogasana maintaining good blood pressure will reduce the chance of feeling dizzy, especially when coming up from poses such as Prasarita padottanasana or Ardha baddha padmottanasana.
  2. Bananas are good for digestion. They contain fibre and also the probiotic fructo-oligosaccharides (FOS), which help feed the important “friendly” bacteria that live in the digestive tract. These bacteria help absorb nutrients more efficiently, thus leading to a more nutrient dense body.
  3. Bananas are also a boon for sustaining and increasing energy. They contain sufficient amounts of carbohydrates and natural sugars; which are distributed to the body gradually due the fibre content. Thus, eating a few Bananas throughout the day is the perfect way to maintain energy/glucose levels.
  4. 100g of Bananas contain 6% of the daily Magnesium requirement; a mineral that is crucial to nerve transmission, muscle contraction, blood coagulation, energy production, nutrient metabolism, and bone and cell formation. Needless to say, for one who practices Yogasana, or any physical activity, Magnesium is an important tool in maintaining optimal health and fitness.
  5. Bananas also contain sufficient amounts of Vitamin B6, a crucial vitamin which many people in the west are lacking in their diet. Vitamin B6 helps create haemoglobin and maintains proper blood sugar levels. It also helps produce serotonin, which influences mood, and melatonin which regulates sleep. A deficiency in Vitamin B6 can lead to many health issues such as depression and insomnia. Thus, a daily dose of Bananas will help in avoiding these now all too common ‘western’ illnesses.
Apart from the above mentioned reasons, Bananas are also known to improve skin and help fight cancer. For a practitioner of Yoga, Bananas are an obvious dietary choice. Not only are they incredibly healthy, light, easy to eat and can be found in any supermarket, they also have a skin which helps protect the fruit from any bacteria. So, Bananas should certainly be an important part of a Yogis diet. Interesting facts about Bananas:
  • The scientific name for banana is musa sapientum, which means “fruit of the wise men.”
  • Bananas don’t actually grow on trees—they grow on plants that are officially classified as an herb (not surprisingly, the world’s largest herb). They’re in the same family as lilies, orchids, and palms.
  • Bananas are technically berries.
  • Banana peels are actually edible if cooked.
  • Bananas float in water
  • Some cultures (most notably Japan) use the fiber in the banana plant to make fabric and sometimes even paper.
  • Rubbing a banana peel on your forehead can help cure a headache.
  • You can use the inside of a banana peel to clean and polish leather shoes.
  • More than 100 billion bananas are eaten every year in the world, making them the fourth most popular agricultural product.
  • 51 percent of bananas are eaten for breakfast at home.
  • The highest average per capita consumption of bananas in the world is in Uganda, where residents eat an average of 500 pounds of bananas per person every year. In fact, the Ugandan word matooke means both “food” and “banana.”
  • India produces more bananas than any other country on the planet, accounting for about 28 percent of the worldwide crop.
  • A man in India once ate 81 bananas in a half hour.
  • More songs have been written about bananas than about any other fruit.
    • (Source: http://thebananapolice.com/fun-facts/)
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