Banana, one of nature’s rich source of potassium

According to the Food and Nutrition Research Institute of the Department of Science and Technology (FNRI-DOST), banana, a general term embracing a number of species or hybrids of the genus Musa of the family of Musaceae, closely related to plantains, is a rich source of many nutrients ncessary for good health.

FNRI-DOST says banana is rich in potassium which is vital for controlling our body’s fluid balance, muscle contraction, transmission of nerve impulses, and the proper functioning of the body’s heart and kidneys.

Potassium is known to significantly lower the risk of high blood pressure and  heart attack and strokes as it is believed to prevent dangerous low-density lipoprotein from oxidizing, which causes it to accumulate in the walls of the arteries and contributes to atherosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries, a major contributor to heart attack, stroke and high blood pressure. Even one serving of banana can lower the risk of stroke by up to 40%.

A new research indicates that banana is helpful in ulcer treatment as it acts as a natural antacid. First, it stimulates the stomach’s production of protective mucus which helps to prevent harsh acids from touching the tender stomach lining, causing an ulcer. Second, the protease inhibitor found in banana appears to kill the harmful bacteria that help to cause ulcers.

It is also a good source of fiber and vitamin C.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says that one serving of banana gives a person about 8% of daily fiber dosage. Fiber is good for digestive health and prevents constipation. A person also gets 10% of vitamin C he needs every day from eating half a cup of banana. Vitamin C contains antioxidant properties that protect the cells from free radicals.

Banana is rich in minerals such as sodium, calcium and magnesium. These minerals help potassium regulate water balance and blood pressure in cells.

It is also a natural remedy for diarrhea and constipation.

Banana also contains electrolytes, which are essential for maintaining fluid levels and preventing dehydration. 30% of your DV of vitamin B6 is provided by one banana. B6 keeps your nervous system in top working condition and boosting immunity. Folate is also in banana, which is needed for proper tissue growth, and can protect against birth defects, heart disease, and cancer.#