Going bananas

When you read this, you are going to think that I have no doubt “gone bananas,” and you would be absolutely right – I have gone bananas.

If the truth were known, the Little Lady and I went for bananas years ago. Seldom would a day go by that we failed to add a banana to our diet.

I like bananas because they have no bones. But lately, since I have with good reason become a vegetarian, I have started to take an interest in the nutritional value of what I shove into my mouth.

As a small child, I was able to stick my big toe into my mouth, but Mother Nature stopped that contortion along about the time I reached 10. It was a good exercise, but its nutritional value on being sucked was very, very low. It certainly couldn’t compete with my mother’s breast.

Now, courtesy once again from Bart Russell, up Markdale way, comes a long list of reasons why you too should add a banana to the daily consumption of the food that you munch for lunch.

Bananas contain three natural sugars – sucrose, fructose and glucose – combined with fibre. A banana gives an instant, sustainable and substantial boost of energy. Research has proven 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 is not the only way a banana can help us keep fit. It can also help to or prevent a substantial number of illnesses and conditions, making it a must to add to our daily diet.

Depression: Many feel 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.

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 haemoglobin in the blood, which helps in cases of anemia.

Blood pressure: This unique tropical fruit is extremely high in potassium, yet low in salt, making it perfect to beat blood pressure.

Brain power: Research has shown that the potassium-packed fruit can assist learning by making pupils more alert.

Constipation: Because they are high in fibre, including bananas in the diet can help restore normal bowel action, helping to overcome the problem without resorting to laxatives.

Hangovers: 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 rehydrates your system.

Heartburn: Bananas have a natural antacid effect, so if you suffer from heartburn, eat a banana.

Mosquito bites: Try rubbing the affected area with the inside of a banana skin to reduce swelling and irritation.

Nerves: Bananas are high in B vitamins that help calm the nervous system.

Overweight: To avoid food cravings, we need to control our blood sugar levels by snacking on high carbohydrate foods every two hours to keep levels steady.

Ulcers: The banana neutralizes over-acidity and its soft texture reduces irritation by coating the lining of the stomach.

Temperature control: Many cultures see bananas as a “cooling fruit”; for example, in Thailand, pregnant women eat bananas to ensure their baby is born with a cool temperature.

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD): Bananas help sufferers because they contain the natural mood enhancer tryptophan.

Smoking: Bananas help people to give up smoking. The B6 and B12 they contain, as well as potassium and magnesium found in them, help the body recover from the effects of nicotine withdrawal.

Stress: Potassium is a vital mineral that helps normalize the heartbeat, sends oxygen to the brain and regulates your body’s water balance.

Strokes: Eating bananas as part of a regular diet can cut the risk of death by strokes by as much as 40 per cent.

Warts: Those keen on natural alternatives place a piece of banana skin, held in place with yellow side out, on warts.  The Little Lady and I have also had great successes with the milky juice of the common milkweed.

That’s it, folks, and remember,  that catchy tune of the 1950s  sung by Chiquita Banana, that ended with “never put your banana in the refrigerator.” I personally thought that it would hurt too much when you close the door.

See you all at the Erin Fair next weekend.

Take care, ’cause we care.




Barrie Hopkins