There it is, the unforgiving twinge, the craving for sugar. It’s back again and this time it’s demanding you pay up. It’s your sweet tooth, but don’t sacrifice your hard work spent at the gym by snacking on a candy bar, instead reach for a banana. This super food is America’s favorite fresh fruit according to U.S. Department of Agriculture, and its contents are enough to help you silence that sweet tooth without compromising your diet. But First, Some Fun Facts:
Bananas don’t actually grow on trees. This common misconception happens because of the tall nature of the banana plant (considered an arborescent perennial herb).
A cluster of bananas is referred to as a hand, whereas a single banana is called a finger.
Bananas float in water, among other fruits like apples and watermelons.
The fastest marathon runner in the history of the sport ran the race dressed as a banana.
More than 96 percent of American households purchase bananas at least once a month.
People say that an apple a day will keep the doctor away. Well, no offense to the apple, but a banana can keep the doctor, counselor, ophthalmologist and personal trainer away. Under 110 calories, this fruit provides plenty of potassium, vitamin A and C, and fiber to keep you performing at your best. Below is a list of 10 health benefits found in bananas and their peels: 1. Heart Health
Bananas are full of potassium that helps circulate the flow of blood throughout your body. Coupled with its low sodium content, bananas can also reduce high blood pressure and the risk of cardiovascular disease.
The next time you are having trouble falling asleep or feeling a little blue, grab a banana. Tryptophan, the amino acid found in the banana, triggers the compound known as 5-HTP, which sends signals to the brain to generate melatonin and serotonin. (Remember how sleepy you get after a Thanksgiving meal, eating all that turkey? Bananas offer that same effect.)
3. Weight Loss
In addition to their sweet taste, bananas are rich in fiber and can help you reach your weight loss goal. Fiber regulates your body, ridding it of waste that can cause the numbers on the scale to plateau. Doctors recommend that people ages 18-50 years old should consume 30 to 38 grams a day, and people 51 and older should have 21 grams. Bananas contain about three grams of total fiber, which is between 11 and 15 percent of the daily recommended intake. 4. Improve Eyesight
Does sitting in front of a computer screen throughout the day cause you to have dry/irritated eyes? Eating a banana can help cure eye fatigue and keep you concentrated on your work!
An 18-year study published in the Archives of Ophthalmology suggest that fruit like bananas are the best food to eat to strengthen your eyes. Ophthalmologist surveyed over 100,000 men and women with a finding that a greater intake of fruit over vegetables reduced the chances of macular degeneration (blindness)—sorry carrots.
5. Stronger Bones
Step aside milk, the banana is here to help people protect and enrich their bone health. Minerals like calcium, nitrogen, and phosphorous are essential to regenerate bone tissue, which we provide to our body on a daily basis. To absorb more of these minerals and build stronger bones, munching on a banana is the key.
Bananas contain fructooligosaccharides, a healthy prebiotic that nourishes the probiotic bacteria found in our colon. Fructooligosaccharides increase the number of our probiotic bacteria allowing the body to be able to absorb more nourishments! To get the most intake, stock up on foods like bananas, other fruits and vegetables, whole wheat, etc. 6. Relieve Rashes/Itches
Suffering from itchy skin from Eczema, psoriasis, bug bites or rash is a nuisance and an irritation. To relieve these symptoms, eat a banana and save the peel.
Apply the white side (inner surface) of the peel directly to the affected area of the skin and leave it for 10 minutes. The peel of the banana contains anti-inflammatory antiseptic, reducing the itchy symptoms.
7. Warts Be-Gone
Warts can be embarrassing, and if you have one, you want them removed immediately. Most over-the-counter medicines promise fast results, but at a high price. For one of the fastest and natural cures to warts, use a banana peel.
1 banana peel
2 to 4 drops of tea tree oil (optional)
Use a banana peel (brown or black) and cut a small square that is enough to cover the wart
Apply tea tree oil directly onto the wart. This method helps to maximize all of the benefits of the banana peel (optional)
Place the inner surface of the peel on the wart and secure with medical tape
Leave the peel on overnight
Repeat until the wart disappears
Our skin battles the elements daily, be it from the sun, air quality, etc. To reduce the chances of premature aging caused by these exposures, people use the blocking power of vitamin C.
One of the best sources of vitamin C are bananas! Bananas (on average) provide 10.3 milligrams, roughly 16 percent of the daily recommended intake. To enhance their wrinkle-fighting power, rub the inner surface of the banana peel on fine lines and wrinkles. In weeks you will begin to notice smoother skin.
Acne! Those red bumps always appear at the worst moments, but before you drive to the nearest convenient store to purchase every acne treatment in sight, try remedying with a banana peel.
Rub the inner surface of the banana on the troubled spots and allow the peel remnants to absorb for 30 minutes before washing your face. Keep consistent and use this method daily. Within three days, the acne should disappear, giving you your confidence and clear face back!
Warning: The inside of the banana peel with turn brown/black after you rub your face. This is completely normal!
10. Bright Eyes
Didn’t get much shut-eye last night? Banana peels will be your best weapon, helping you rejuvenate those puffy, tired eyes. Collect all the white fibers you see on the peel of the banana and mix it together with pure aloe vera gel. This will form a paste that you can spread around the outside of your eyes (avoid getting the paste in your eyes). Allow it to sit for 15 minutes before rinsing with cool water. The banana’s potassium content will help alleviate the puffiness.
Who knew that all these benefits could be found in such a small, yellow fruit? Next time you are in the need for something sweet and healthy, grab a banana and remember to save the peel!
Did you love learning about the benefits of bananas? Let us know how you feel in the comments below or email us your own blog to share!
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Allyson Miller is a bookworm, history nerd and outdoor enthusiast who loves writing creative and informational content for SBT in Rock Hill, SC. Depending on the day, you can find her with her nose in historical documents, shopping for trendy exercise outfits or trying new cooking recipes. Allyson dreams that one day, engineers will figure out a way to build roller coasters sans the incline, ridding her of coasterphobia.