Food Sunday: Bananas
Okay we probably all know that what you want from bananas is potassium, but just yesterday I actually saw in print that heart health is a major benefit of that potassium fix. If you already know that, pardon my ignorance. Now I know why we keep bananas around. That is one of many reasons for munching that banana.
- It contains health promoting flavonoid poly-phenolic antioxidants such as lutein, zea-xanthin, ß and ?-carotenes in small amounts. These compounds help act as protective scavengers against oxygen-derived free radicals and reactive oxygen species (ROS) that play a role in aging and various disease processes.
- It is also a very good source of vitamin-B6 (pyridoxine), provides about 28% of daily-recommended allowance. Pyridoxine is an important B-complex vitamin that has a beneficial role for the treatment of neuritis, and anemia. Further, it helps decrease homocystine (one of the causative factors in coronary artery disease (CHD) and stroke episodes) levels within the body.
- The fruit is an also moderate source of vitamin-C (about 8.7 mg per 100g). Consumption of foods rich in vitamin-C helps the body develop resistance against infectious agents and scavenge harmful oxygen-free radicals.
- Fresh bananas provide adequate levels of minerals like copper, magnesium, and manganese. Magnesium is essential for bone strengthening and has a cardiac-protective role as well. Manganese is used by the body as a co-factor for the antioxidant enzyme, superoxide dismutase. Copper is required in the production of red blood cells.
- Fresh banana is a very rich source of potassium. 100 g fruit provides 358 mg potassium. Potassium is an important component of cell and body fluids that helps control heart rate and blood pressure, countering bad effects of sodium.
Once in my long ago toddler stage, I lives on Okinawa and acrtually got tree ripened bananas, so of course, no store bought banana will ever be good enough for me. However, I do make a point of eating one, usually just plain peeled and munched, a couple of times a week.
After making the discovery that my heart is the reason for eating the bananas, I did check for the amount of potassium dried bananas retain is good enough. Yep, you’re fine with the dried version, something I have in my snacking dish with the trail food.