"Orange you glad I didn't say banana?"
We've all heard the classic knock-knock joke about bananas, but did you know that when it comes to health benefits, these yellow fruits are no laughing matter? That's right, bananas are one of the best fruits you can be eating, and the list of great things they do for your body seems to go on forever! Even if you aren't aware of the healthy characteristics of bananas, there's no arguing that they're a delicious and satisfying natural treat - why else would banana splits be such a popular dessert?
Bananas are actually the most consumed fruit in the United States, with people eating more of them than both apples and oranges combined. Bananas, believe it or not, are technically classified as "berries." Whereas other fruits can be messy to peel, bananas are the perfect on-the-go snack, making it a favorite among kindergarteners and athletes alike.
One of the most important things to look for when selecting a banana is the color of its peel, which is a reliable indicator of its ripeness. Too green? The fruit inside will be tough and lacking flavor. Too brown? Well, as it turns out, there might not be such a thing. You see, the riper a banana is, the richer it is in TNF, or Tumor Necrosis Factor. TNF is a protein that helps detect and eliminate abnormal cell growth in the human body. Essentially, it aids our immune system response by directing cells to the parts of our bodies experiencing inflammation or infection. While bananas are certainly not a cure for cancer, the TNF they contain has been confirmed to inhibit tumor growth, in addition to helping our immune systems in other ways. Check out the following nine ways that bananas can seriously improve your health and be sure to stock up on your new favorite "berry" the next time you're at the grocery store.
Bananas are a natural antacid and the perfect solution for those suffering from heartburn or acid reflux. Skip the Tums and enjoy some fruit instead!
2. Blood Pressure
Bananas are great for your heart. They're low in sodium, high in potassium, and even higher in taste. Incorporating heart-healthy foods into your daily routine is a great way to protect against heart attacks.
Packed with vitamins and minerals to give you a boost, bananas are the ideal pre- and post-workout snack. Their potassium also combats pesky muscle cramps.
Anemia refers to a condition in which someone experiences low levels of red blood cells. The iron in bananas increases the production of red blood cells.
Bananas are one of the few foods that are perfectly safe to eat when suffering from stomach ulcers.
Bananas contain tryptophan, an amino acid that our bodies end up converting into serotonin. We often associate tryptophan with turkey and feeling sleepy, but when it's converted into serotonin, it has been known to improve people's moods and feelings of relaxation.
No one wants to admit that they're having trouble in the bathroom, so instead of taking laxatives or fiber supplements, try a banana! They're chock-full of fiber and will have you feeling regular in no time.
The B vitamins found in bananas are known to calm down the body's nervous system.
9. Cool Down
Bananas are capable of lowering one's body temperature. Try eating one in the middle of a summer day or the next time you're laid up in bed with a fever.
Of course, if you're looking to really cool yourself down, banana splits are always a good option.
Bananas are available in every produce section, so don't skip out on these super fruits the next time you're at the store.
Experiment with adding a banana to dishes you already love, like oatmeal or yogurt. Or, pair them with other vitamin-rich fruits like oranges. There's no wrong way to eat a banana. What are you waiting for? Get peeling!
H/T: Sun Gazing