Some recent e-mail and web pages are touting some amazing health benefits of eating, or should I say “using”, bananas. Just do a Google search on a phrase like “banana health benefits” and you’ll come up with a variety of web hits that demonstrate some amazing things – some true and some unproven. This site is an example of what I mean (click here).
So here’s the reality on some of these fantastic claims.
Bananas reduce depression because of their tryptophan content. The fact is that there isn’t that much tryptophan in a banana. If tryptophan helps with depression, maybe you should eat a turkey.
Bananas mixed with milk and honey can cure a hangover. Yup, along with about a thousand other cures too. The best cure for a hangover – limit alcohol consumption.
If you rub a banana skin on mosquito bites it takes away the sting. I’ve never tried it, but the same web sites also claim that the healing properties of the banana peel will also cure you of warts if you rub it on them. Oh, and after your done with your mosquito bites and warts, rub the banana skin on your shoes then buff them with a soft cloth for an amazing shoe shine! I’m not kidding – these are the claims!
Some of the actual benefits do include:
Cardiovascular improvement from the fiber and potassium contained in bananas.
Stomach ulcer protection and antacid effects from the protease inhibitors found in bananas.
The same stomach protection also seems to help the stomach’s ability to absorb calcium which can help to build bone and stave off osteoporosis.
Bowel movement regularity is improved by the pectin and fiber in bananas.
The antioxidants in bananas have been shown to cut the risk of kidney cancer by about 40%.
So, while eating 5 servings of fruits and vegetables per day are vital to maintaining good health, and bananas are a good part of that mix, be sure you are clear on what that banana is actually doing for you – besides of course simply tasting great and bringing a smile to your face.