A Favorite Super Food
From a protective standpoint, bananas are high in a variety of compounds, many of which are antioxidants. While blueberries, acai, and other fruits get more time in the antioxidant spotlight, bananas are especially loaded with these compounds, thereby helping to reduce premature aging of the body’s cells. Alpha linolenic acid, one of these compounds, demonstrates significant antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer activity. Alpha linolenic acid also boosts immune function and enhances blood circulation.
Bananas are a great source of the super-protective compounds kaempferol and quercetin. These compounds have been extensively studied, and are known to protect cells, reduce inflammation, fight numerous types of tumors, protect nerves, enhance blood circulation, and reduce the risk of a number of diseases. So even as you are slicing bananas into your morning cereal, these compounds are ready to impart serious benefits to your overall health.
Bananas also contain high amounts of rutin, a compound that complements the activity of vitamin C, and helps to maintain strong, flexible blood vessels. Rutin also possesses antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties.
As much as bananas are protective, they are also very significant mood food. They are excellent sources of the two important brain compounds dopamine and serotonin. Dopamine is the primary “reward” chemical in our bodies. When we do something and feel a sense of satisfaction, that satisfaction is the effect of dopamine in the brain. Dopamine helps to protect against some kinds of neuro-degneration, including Parkinson’s disease. Dopamine demonstrates numerous benefits for the brain, helps to strengthen the heart, and enhances circulation.
Serotonin, on the other hand, may be the best known of all brain chemicals. Serotonin is our so-called “feel good” neurotransmitter. Serotonin is absolutely essential for mood, and is the target of numerous antidepressant drugs. Some of these drugs work to increase serotonin production, while others help to maintain serotonin in the brain for longer periods of time. Of all its many known functions, serotonin is powerfully antidepressant.
And while many foods are loaded with beneficial compounds, bananas are one of the truly great foods. Rich in vitamins B 6 and A, bananas are the most popular fruit in America. Yet in addition to their great flavor and ease of use, they also demonstrate very significant health-imbuing properties. Often the first solid food of infants, bananas offer a great way to take in easy to digest nutrition, enhance digestive health, protect the body from a host of ills, and elevate mood. You could easily make the claim that in bananas, we have one of nature’s most perfect foods.
Original article by Chris Kilham. Chris Kilham is a medicine hunter who researches natural remedies all over the world, from the Amazon to Siberia. Chris advises herbal, cosmetic and pharmaceutical companies, is a regular guest on radio and TV programs worldwide, and is the author of fifteen books.
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