Banana: (Botanical Name - Musa paradisiaca)
Banana is one of the oldest and best known fruits of the world. In the tropical Cook Islands it grows in abundance all year round. Except in winter, with the cooler temperature it slows the growth, and it takes longer for the bananas to ripen. By the way bananas are very easy to grow, and to look after.
Bananas may have originated in India and Malaya. In the mythological ages in Europe it was called the 'apple of paradise'. The Greek and Arabian writers referred to it as a wonderful fruit of India.
The Malayan soldiers probably took them to Madagascar about the fifth century AD and from
there it spread to the east coast and mainland of Africa.
Later, it was introduced in Western countries and other parts of the world.
Later, it was introduced in Western countries and other parts of the world.
What's In A Banana?
The banana has tissue building elements; high grade protein; vitamins and minerals, includes three of the essential amino acids. It is a good source of calories being richer in solids and lower in water content than any other fresh fruit. A large banana supplies more than 100 calories. It contains a large amount of easily assimilate sugar, making it a good source of quick energy and an excellent means of recovery from fatigue.
Banana is known for promoting healthy digestion. They help promote the retention of calcium, phosphorus and nitrogen all of which then work to build sound and regenerated tissues. Banana also contains invert sugar, which is an aid to youthful growth and metabolism.
The three natural sugars in banana: Sucrose, fructose, and glucose.
It's Healing Values
Intestinal Disorder: It is the only raw fruit which can be eaten without distress in chronic ulcer cases. It neutralizes the over acidity of the gastric juices and reduces the irritation of the ulcer by coating the lining of the stomach.
Constipation and Diarrhea: Bananas normalize colonic functions in the large intestine to absorb large amounts of water for proper bowel moments. Their usefulness in constipation is due to their richness in pectin, which is water-absorbent and this gives them a bulk, producing ability. They also possess the ability to change the bacteria in the intestines-from the harmful type of bacilli to the beneficial acidophilus bacilli.
Dysentery: Mashed banana together with little salt is a very valuable remedy for dysentery. A combination of ripe plantain, tamarind and common salt is most effective in this disease.
Arthritis and Gout: Bananas are useful in the treatment of arthritis and gout.
Anemia: Being high in iron content, bananas are beneficial in the treatment of anemia as they stimulate the production of haemoglobin in the blood.
Allergies: The fruit is very useful for those who are allergic to certain foods and who suffer from skin rashes, digestive disorders, or asthma. Unlike other protein foods, many of which contain an amino acid which these persons cannot tolerate and which causes allergy. Bananas contain only benign amino-acids which in most cases are not allergic. The fruit, however, does cause allergic reactions in certain sensitive persons and they should avoid it.
Kidney Disorders: Bananas are valuable in kidney disorder because of their low protein and salt content and high carbohydrate content. They are useful in uraemia, a toxic condition of the blood due to kidney congestion and dysfunction.
Tuberculosis: Bananas are considered useful in the treatment of tuberculosis. According to Dr. J. Montelvz of Brazil, South America, the juice of the plantain or the ordinary cooked bananas, works miracles in the cure of tuberculosis. He claims to have cured patients with advanced stage of tuberculosis with frequent cough, abundant expectoration or phlegm and high fever in two months by this treatment.
Urinary Disorders: Juice from Banana stem is a well known remedy for urinary disorders. It improves the functional efficiency of kidney and liver thereby alleviating the discomforts and diseased condition in them. It has been found to be of great help in the treatment for the removal of stones in the kidney, gall bladder, and prostate. It is advisable to mix this juice whenever possible with the juice of ash pumpkin.
Over weight: A diet consisting of bananas and skimmed milk is considered an effective remedy for weight reduction. In prescribed course of diet treatment, the daily diet is restricted to six bananas and four glasses of skimmed milk or buttermilk made from skimmed milk for a period of 10 to 15 days. Thereafter green vegetables may be introduced gradually, reducing the intake of bananas from six to four. This regimen of prescribed course of diet treatment can be continued till the desired results are achieved. Bananas are suitable for overweight people as they contain practically no sodium.
Menstrual Disorders: Cooked banana flower eaten with curd is considered an effective medicine for menstrual disorders like painful menstruation and excessive bleeding. Banana flower helps increase progesterone hormone which reduces the bleeding.
Burns and Wounds: A plaster is prepared by beating a ripe banana into a fine paste. It can be spread over burns and wounds and supported by a cloth bandage. It gives immediate relief. The young tender leaves of banana tree form a cool dressing for inflammations and blisters.
Ripe bananas are eaten raw, or used in salads, mixed together with other fruits and vegetables. The flour prepared from the dried unripe bananas is three times richer in minerals than the wheat flour, it is also more digestible than cereal starches and is an ideal food for infants and invalids.
(Precautions: - Banana must be taken when they are thoroughly ripe, as green ones will be difficult to be digested. The raw bananas contain 20 to 25 per cent starch. But during the process of ripening, this starch is almost wholly converted with assimilate sugar. Bananas should never be kept in a refrigerator as low temperature prevents their ripening. The fruit should not be taken by those who are suffering from kidney failure because of its high potassium content.)
Depression: According to a recent survey undertaken amongst people suffering from depression, many felt much better after eating a banana. This is because bananas contain tryptophan, a type of protein that the body converts into serotonin, known to make you relax,, and improve your mood and generally make you feel happier.
Anaemia: High in iron, bananas can stimulate the production of haemoglobin in the blood and so helps in cases of anaemia.
Blood Pressure: This unique tropical fruit is extremely high in potassium yet low in salt, making it the perfect food for helping to beat blood pressure. So much so, the US Food and Drug Administration has just allowed the banana industry to make official claims for the fruit's ability to reduce the risk of blood pressure and stroke.
Brain Power: Eating bananas can boost brain power. Research has shown that the potassium-packed fruit can assist pupils by making them more alert.
Constipation: High in fibre, including bananas in the diet can help restore normal bowel action, helping to overcome the problem without resorting to laxatives.
Depression: According to a recent survey undertaken by MIND amongst people suffering from depression, many felt much better after eating a banana. This is because bananas contain tryptophan, a type of protein that the body converts into serotonin - known to make you relax, improve your mood and generally make you feel happier.
Hangovers: One of the quickest ways of curing a hangover is to make a banana milkshake, sweetened with honey. The banana calms the stomach and, with the help of the honey, builds up depleted blood sugar levels, while the milk soothes and re-hydrates your system.
Heartburn: Bananas have a natural antacid effect in the body so if you suffer from heart-burn, try eating a banana for soothing relief.
Morning Sickness: Snacking on bananas between meals helps to keep blood sugar levels up and avoid morning sickness.
Mosquito bites: Before reaching for the insect bite cream, try rubbing the affected area with the inside of a banana skin. Many people find it amazingly successful at reducing swelling and irritation.
Nerves: Bananas are high in B vitamins that help calm the nervous system.
Studies at the Institute of Psychology in Austria found pressure at work leads to gorging on comfort food like chocolate and crisps. Looking at 5,000 hospital patients, researchers found the most obese were more likely to be in high-pressure jobs. The report concluded that, to avoid panic-induced food cravings, we need to control our blood sugar levels by snacking on high carbohydrate foods (such as bananas) every two hours to keep levels steady.
PMS: Forget the pills - eat a banana. The vitamin B6 it contains regulates blood glucose levels, which can affect your mood.
Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD): Bananas can help SAD sufferers because they contain the natural mood enhancer, trypotophan.
Smoking: Bananas can also help people trying to give up smoking, as the high levels of Vitamin C, A1, B6, B12 they contain, as well as the potassium and magnesium found in them, help the body recover from the effects of nicotine withdrawal.
Stress: Potassium is a vital mineral, which helps normalize the heartbeat, sends oxygen to the brain and regulates your body's water-balance. When we are stressed, our metabolic rate rises, thereby reducing our potassium levels. These can be re-balanced with the help of a high-potassium banana snack.
Strokes: According to research in "The New England Journal of Medicine"eating bananas as part of a regular diet can cut the risk of death by strokes by as much as 40%!
Temperature control: Many other cultures see bananas as a "cooling" fruit that can lower both the physical and emotional temperature of expectant mothers.
Ulcers: The banana is used as the dietary food against intestinal disorders because of its soft texture and smoothness. It is the only raw fruit that can be eaten without distress in over-chronic ulcer cases. It also neutralises over-acidity and reduces irritation by coating the lining of the stomach.
Warts: Those keen on natural alternatives swear that, if you want to kill off a wart, take a piece of banana skin and place it on the wart, with the yellow side out. Carefully hold the skin in place with a plaster or surgical tape!