Going Bananas!

by Sharon Quercioli

A psychology professor in NY during final exams this year recently told his students that the expression “going bananas” is attributable to the positive effects of bananas upon the brain. Well…he’s right! So, let’s take a look at some basic facts about this wondrous fruit! Believe me, after reading this you’ll never look at a banana the same way again.

shutterstock_137472869Bananas contain three natural sugars (sucrose, fructose and glucose) combined with fiber. A banana also gives an instant, sustained and substantial boost of energy. In fact, one recent study showed that just two bananas provide enough energy for a strenuous 90-minute workout.

No wonder the banana is the number one fruit with the world’s leading athletes.

But energy isn’t the only way a banana can help us keep fit. It can also help overcome or prevent a substantial number of illnesses and conditions, making it a must to add to our daily diet.

Brain Power: In response to research that has shown that the potassium- packed fruit can assist learning by making pupils more alert, 200 students at a school in Twickenham, England were helped through their exams this year by eating bananas at breakfast, break and lunch. Yes, the school had reported positive results!

Depression: According to a recent survey undertaken by MIND among people suffering from depression, many felt much better after eating a banana. Why? 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.

Blood Pressure: This unique tropical fruit is extremely high in potassium yet low in salt, making it perfect 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.

PMS: Forget the pills — eat a banana. The vitamin B6 it contains regulates blood glucose levels, which can affect your mood.

Anemia: High in iron, bananas can stimulate the production of hemoglobin in the blood and so helps in cases of anemia.

So there you have it. Do yourself a favor and go bananas!

Tropical Green Smoothie Recipe:smoothie

1 cup of frozen or fresh pineapple
1 cup of bananas
1 cup of coconut water
1 tablespoon of coconut oil
2 cups of kale or spinach

• Start by pouring the liquid ingredients for each smoothie recipe into your blender.
• Toss in fresh or frozen fruits and vegetables.
• Add any optional ingredients, if you like — blending as you go.
• Add more liquid to reduce the thickness of your smoothie, ice to chill it, or more fruit to thicken your smoothie.
• You can substitute ingredients at your whim — it’s fun to experiment!

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