By Gladys Halima
Banana can be eaten ripe as a fruit or cooked when raw as a plantain. Banana when ripe is best described as sweet, firm and creamy prepackaged in own yellow jackets.
The fruit is one of our best sources of potassium, an essential mineral for maintaining normal blood pressure and heart function. A banana a day may help to prevent high blood pressure and protect against atherosclerosis.
Bananas have long been recognised for their antacid effects that protect against stomach ulcers and ulcer damage. Simply add milk to banana and it will significantly suppress acid secretion.
They also contain pectin, a soluble fiber called a hydrocolloid that can help normalise movement through the digestive tract and ease constipation. During and after a bout of diarrhoea, banana is good for you to replenish lost electrolytes like potassium, which is depleted in case of diarrhoea.
Three servings of the fruit may sound like a lot to eat each day, but by tossing a banana into your morning cereal, topping off a cup of yogurt or green salad with a half cup of berries, and snacking on an apple, plum, or pear, you will have lowered the risk of muscular degeneration, the primary cause of vision loss in older adults.
Enjoying bananas frequently as part of your healthy way of eating can help improve your body’s ability to absorb calcium, through several mechanisms and help keep build better bones and keep them strong. Bananas whose flesh is more golden contain the most carotenoids. So when shopping for bananas, look out for the color of edible flesh, for more prevention and management of chronic disease like diabetes, cardiovascular disease and certain cancers.