Who doesn’t love that yellow, mushy, sweet and irresistible fruit? They’ve been around for centuries and even though there’s a new, exotic fruit coming out on the market every week, bananas are still our life-long favorites.
Americans eat more bananas every year than oranges and apples combined; it’s the top consumed fruit in the states. We buy a bunch of bananas in the local grocery and usually they last until the end of the week. But you’ve probably noticed that in time black spots start to appear on them, growing bigger and bigger until they turn black. We usually tend to throw away the bananas when they turn brown and mushy because we think they’re rotten, which usually is the case with most fruits. However, the dark patches in bananas are actually not a sign of rotting, but something entirely different.
When the bananas start getting those dark spots they actually start to ripen and the more brown spots it has the better. The brown spots actually represent the TNF (tumor necrosis factor) which starts to develop and the more spots the higher levels of this factor. TNF is a cancer fighting substance which helps in the fight against abnormal cells in the body. Specifically, TNF helps to assist communication between cells in our immune response system and it guides the movement of cells towards areas in our bodies which are inflamed or infected. According to recent research the TNF from bananas stops tumor cells growth and spread and causes apoptosis, or cell death. This property combined with the high levels of antioxidants they contain strengthens our immune system and increase the white cells count, enabling our body to fight off infections and even cancer. Try to remember this the next time you see a banana with brown spots and don’t throw it away.
However, aside from their high antioxidant levels and cancer-fighting properties bananas have a long list of other benefits which is why you need to include them in your everyday diet immediately. Here’s what two bananas a day can help you with:
- Heartburn – Bananas are natural anti-acid and can relieve your heartburn in a minute. If you feel the symptoms just munch on one banana and you’ll feel better instantly.
- Blood pressure – Bananas are rich in potassium but contain almost no sodium in them which is why they’re good for your heart. They can lower the blood pressure and prevent stroke or a heart attack.
- Energy – We already mentioned but let’s repeat just in case. Bananas give you energy and are a great pre-workout snack. They contain vitamins, minerals and low glycemic carbs which increase your endurance and the high levels of potassium prevents muscle cramps.
- Anemia – People suffering from anemia can benefit greatly from introducing bananas into their diet because they can provide them with the much needed iron. Iron stimulates hemoglobin production and strengthens the blood supply
- Ulcers – Ulcers can be really annoying because there are a limited number of things you can eat without causing stomach upset. Luckily for you, bananas are just perfect for this condition because they’re soft and mushy and protect the stomach lining from acid and irritation.
- Depression – Did you know that bananas can help you with depression? They are rich in tryptophan, which is converted into serotonin, when ingested. In case you didn’t know, serotonin is the neurotransmitter which makes us feel happy, relaxed and in better mood. SO if you’re feeling down take one banana and you’ll feel much better.
- Constipation – Bananas have high amount of fibers which is beneficial if you’re suffering from constipation. They can stimulate bowel movement and relieve the symptoms.
- Nerves or PMS – If you’re feeling kind of down and stressed out, take a banana. They can regulate blood sugar and are rich in B vitamins, which naturally calm the nervous system and make people relaxed, resulting in an overall improved mood.
- Temperature Control – This may be the thing that surprised me the most, but bananas can lower your temperature and cool you off. This goes for when you’re feeling hot or if you have a fewer. Amazing, isn’t it?