South Beach Diet - Bananas--a "power food"?

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02-04-2005, 05:35 PM
I got this by e-mail today. I tried checking it out on, but they don't have this letter there. They do have some other items that mention some of these health benefits, and you can find more at:

This is interesting...makes me want to eat bananas more often! Remember, we can have a medium banana in Phases 2 & 3.

Bananas, The Power Fruit

After Reading THIS, you'll NEVER look at a banana in the same way again! Bananas. Containing three natural sugars - sucrose, fructose and glucose combined with fiber, a banana gives an instant, sustained and substantial boost of energy. Research has proven 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.

Depression: According to a recent survey undertaken by MIND amongst people suffering from depression, many felt 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 hemoglobin in the blood and so helps in cases of anemia.

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

Brain Power: 200 students at a Twickenham (Middlesex) school were helped through their exams this year by eating bananas at breakfast, break, and lunch in a bid to boost their brain power. Research has shown that the potassium-packed fruit can assist learning by making pupils more alert.

Constipation: High in fiber, including bananas in the diet can help restore normal bowel action, helping to overcome the problem without resorting to laxatives.

Hangovers: One of the quickest ways of curing a hangover is to 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 soothes and re-hydrates your system.

Heartburn: Bananas have a natural antacid effect in the body, so if you suffer from heartburn, try eating a banana for soothing relief.

Morning Sickness: Snacking on bananas between meals helps to keep blood sugar levels up and avoid morning sickness.

Mosquito bites: Before reaching for the insect bite cream, try rubbing the affected area with the inside of a banana skin. Many people find it amazingly successful at reducing swelling and irritation.

Nerves: Bananas are high in B vitamins that help calm the nervous system. Overweight and at work? Studies at the Institute of Psychology in Austria found pressure at work leads to gorging on comfort food like chocolate and crisps. Looking at 5,000 hospital patients, researchers found the most obese were more likely to be in high-pressure jobs. The report concluded that, to avoid panic-induced 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 is used as the dietary food against intestinal disorders because of its soft texture and smoothness. It is the only raw fruit that can be eaten without distress in over-chronicler cases. It also neutralizes over-acidity and reduces irritation by coating the lining of the stomach.

Temperature control: Many other cultures see bananas as a "cooling" fruit that can lower both the physical and emotional temperature of expectant mothers. In Thailand, for example, pregnant women eat bananas to ensure their baby is born with a cool! temperature.

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

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

Stress: Potassium is a vital mineral, which helps normalize the heartbeat, sends oxygen to the brain and regulates your body's water balance. When we are stressed, our metabolic rate rises, thereby reducing our potassium levels. These can be rebalanced with the help of a high-potassium banana snack.

Strokes: According to research in "The New England Journal of Medicine," eating bananas as part of a regular diet can cut the risk of death by strokes by as much as 40%!

So, a banana really is a natural remedy for many ills. When you compare it to an apple, it has four times the protein, twice the carbohydrates, three times the phosphorus, five times the vitamin A and iron, and twice the other vitamins and minerals. It is also rich in potassium and is one of the best value foods around.

So maybe its time to change that well-known phrase so that we say, "A banana a day keeps the doctor away!"

Suzanne 3FC
02-04-2005, 06:30 PM
Thanks for that! Great information :) :cb:

02-04-2005, 06:44 PM
LOL...that's one happy banana! :D

little chick
02-04-2005, 10:03 PM
I have a banana almost everyday with peanut butter for breakfast. Which reminds me I need to pick up some more. :lol:

02-05-2005, 09:49 AM
I found an old bunch of bananas on top of my fridge once. They looked like black pencils.

02-05-2005, 10:43 AM
The top of your fridge sounds like mine, Ellis! I found some petrified bread on mine not long ago. I think it had had a penicillin experiment going on inside the bag at one point.

I banished bananas in Phase 1 and never brought them back. Must do.

02-05-2005, 11:37 AM
I love bananas on my cereal :) Yummmmm

02-06-2005, 06:57 AM
I adore bananas. And if, like me, you find that sometimes they get too ripe too fast to consume, just peel them, slice in half lengthwise, and put them in an oven at 170* F until they are completely dried out. Then pop them in a ziplock bag in the freezer. If you need a quick snack, eat a piece for a really yummy snack. Also, they make excellent snacks for kids.

In the warmer months, my breakfast usually consists of a shake made with half a banana, a small handful of berries, a scoop of whey protein, and either water or semi-skim milk. It give me energy to get through my workout and keeps me going all morning at work right through to lunch. :)


02-06-2005, 11:05 AM
Great Tip Mama! I only like slightly un-ripe nanas. I hate the soft texture of ripe ones!

02-06-2005, 01:19 PM
Me too Jenn, when they start getting black spots they are too ripe for me. However, those would be good in a smoothie.

02-07-2005, 12:40 PM
A friend of mine gave me this tip...if the bananas get too ripe, wait until they are almost all black, then throw the in the freezer. When you want to make banana bread, cut off the stems from the frozen ones, put them in a bowl, and microwave. When they are soft, you can just squeeze the banana out of the skin into your mixing bowl and make banana bread. Yum! :T

Unfortunately, this means I have about 20 black bananas scattered around my freezer and I've only made banana bread once. I think DH tosses them when I'm not looking. :lol: