Bananas are fruits that contain many minerals and numerous vitamins. Bananas are primarily a treasury of potassium, which is why people struggling with hypertension should reach for them. Bananas will also help children with ulcers and diarrhoea. However, banana peel is a proven way for warts, mosquito bites and teeth whitening. Check what other properties the bananas have.
What is a banana?
Banana is a fruit whose properties and nutritional values were known thousands of years ago. Bananas were probably grown more than 7,000 years ago in Malaysia, from where they reached India. Then they wandered through the Middle East and found themselves in Africa, where they are grown today.
Today, bananas also grow in Asia and Australia. Growers do not wait for the fruit to fully ripen but pick them when they are still green, and then load them onto the refrigerated vessels so that they do not reach overripe Europe. Then they are not only less tasty, but also have a lower nutritional value. And this one is unique because the banana contains all the most important vitamins - A, C, E, K and those from group B. There is also a shortage of fibre and minerals - magnesium, phosphorus and calcium. However, they have a significant amount of potassium.
Bananas in the diet of hypertensive people
In one medium-sized banana, which weighs about 100 g, there is as much as 358 mg of potassium. Thus, these fruits are at the forefront of products that have the most of this element that lowers blood pressure. Even tomatoes famous for its potassium-richness have much less (237 mg / 100 g). In addition, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommends including bananas in a low-sodium, high-potassium diet as they reduce the risk of hypertension.
Bananas can lower cholesterol level
Bananas can help in lowering cholesterol. All thanks to the high content of pectins (a type of dietary fibre). Indian scientists have found that the fibres of unripe banana plantains (vegetable bananas) administered to rats simultaneously with large portions of cholesterol excellently counteract the expected increase in blood cholesterol.
Interestingly, the fibres from ripe bananas do not work the same. Rats fed such fruit and cholesterol had a high level of harmful LDL cholesterol, and the addition of unripe banana plantains to their diet resulted in a 1/3 decrease in high LDL cholesterol. In addition, it increased by about 30 per cent. favourable HDL cholesterol.
Bananas have a high glycemic index
People with diabetes should consume products with a low glycemic index (<50) that have little effect on increasing blood glucose. The banana IG is 60, therefore they should be excluded from the diabetic's diet. Researchers at the University of California at San Diego and the University of Toronto have tested various products and arranged them according to their ability to cause blood sugar level to rise. It turned out that the biggest spikes in sugar levels are caused not by ice cream and candies, but by carrots, potatoes and bananas.
Bananas and cancers
Bananas can reduce the risk of developing kidney cancer. Studies on a large group of women have shown that patients who ate bananas four to six times a week had a risk of getting a kidney cancer by almost half compared to women who did not include bananas in their diet.
It has also been shown that green bananas, specifically the so-called their resistant starch may reduce the risk of many different types of cancer, especially colon cancer. It is worth knowing that this starch is digested more slowly, so it does not cause a sharp increase in blood glucose levels.
How can you make bananas ripen faster?
If you plan to eat bananas within a few days of buying them, choose intense yellow fruit. For baking, preparing mousses and dishes that require crushing bananas, it is best to use fully ripe bananas with spots on the skin. In contrast, slightly unripe fruits are best for cooking, because they do not fall apart during heat treatment.
If you want bananas to ripen faster, put them in the sun or leave them overnight in a paper bag with a piece of apple or tomato. Another way is ... putting a condom on a banana. Then it will mature in 2-4 hours. This is because the latex from which the condoms are made accelerates the ripening of these fruits. It's good to know that bananas are naturally covered with a layer of latex. It is a resin produced by the skin of a fruit. After collecting them, separated smaller bunches are soaked in water to clean them off a layer of latex, and thus - to prevent a significant acceleration of ripening, which is not indicated during transport. If the latex is not washed away, dark spots will appear on the skin and the rotting process will begin.
Bananas can be stored at room temperature as well as in the fridge. However, in the latter case, they will mature later and have black skin.
Can bananas protect against HIV?
Bananas can protect against HIV infection, say researchers at the University of Michigan Medical School in the Journal of Biological Chemistry. All thanks to BanLec - a type of lectin (plant protein) that binds to the virus-typical gp120 protein, blocking its action, thereby stopping the process associated with HIV infection.
Researchers are of the opinion that this compound is as effective as the drugs used to treat HIV infection T-20 and maraviroc. Researchers argue that BanLec can be a component of topical preparations, e.g. gels, which are designed to protect against HIV.
Bananas for stomach ulcers
Bananas should include people with stomach ulcers in their diet. Animal studies show that these exotic fruits cause the cells of the gastric mucosa to grow and stimulate the secretion of mucus that forms the protective layer, thereby preventing the harmful effects of gastric juices and damage. In addition, they contain so-called protease inhibitors that contribute to the destruction of bacteria, including H. pylori, which is probably responsible for most cases of peptic ulcer disease.
Brown spots and black dots on the banana are not a sign of spoilage
Brown spots or black dots on the banana peel are not a sign of spoilage, but only indicate that the fruit has reached its full taste and should be eaten as soon as possible.
Is the banana tip harmful?
Some say that the banana tip contains parasites (e.g. Giardia species), spider eggs and even snake venom. However, as specialists say, the tips of bananas do not pose any health risk.
Bananas for diarrhoea in children
Bananas are also a proven method for diarrhoea, especially in children, which has been scientifically proven. Three groups of children took part in the study. The first used a diet with the addition of bananas, the second received pectins, while the third - rice without additives. It turned out that children who consumed bananas got rid of diarrhoea faster - 82 per cent. the children recovered within four days.
Banana peel for warts and mosquito bites
In many cultures, banana peel is used to treat warts and to relieve mosquito bites. The bitten area is rubbed with a washed banana peel to reduce swelling, itching and irritation. The secret may be in the enzymes contained in the skin that relieve inflammation.
Banana peel for teeth whitening
Banana peel is supposedly a proven way to whiten your teeth. To find out, you need to rub your teeth with an inner layer of skin several times a week.
Banana - use in the kitchen
Bananas are eaten most often raw, peeled. They can also be baked, e.g. with rice. It is worth knowing that heating increases the taste and aroma of bananas. They can also be used for preserves - juices, drinks, jams. In addition, bananas combine perfectly with milk and its products - yoghurt or buttermilk.