Most people know that bananas are an excellent resource for potassium (one ripe banana supplies more than 10 percent of an adult's daily requirement). That's important because people with a low dietary intake of potassium are 28 percent more likely to suffer a stroke than those who consume higher levels, according to a study conducted by Tulane University. Some lesser know medical uses of bananas:
- Depression: Bananas are a good source of tryptophan (a precursor to serotonin, a chemical in the brain that helps regulate mood).
- Diarrhea: Unripened bananas and plantains are a rich source of tannins, astringent plant compounds that help stop water accumulation in the intestines, thus diminishing diarrhea.
- Heartburn and ulcers: Bananas neutralize acidity and soothe and coat esophageal tissue with pectin (a substance used as thickener and stabilizer in jellies).
Important: In rare cases, bananas may trigger an allergic reaction. Bananas with blackened skin can increase blood sugar levels. Because bananas have high levels of potassium, people with kidney problems should check with their health care provider before eating this fruit.
Remember: Bananas are a tropical fruit, if eaten in the winter it will lower your body temperature and make you feel cold. Eat and enjoy bananas during the hot days of summer.
Improve your health: Eat local & seasonal!