Miss Yemisi Olowokere, a nutritionist with Garki Hospital, Abuja, on Tuesday said consumption of banana was ideal for the maintenance of normal blood pressure and heart function.
Olowokere told agency reporters in Abuja that bananas were the best source of potassium, an essential mineral for normal blood pressure and heart function.
“Bananas help restore normal bowel activity, rich in non digestible fibers, help with constipation and diarrhea and normalize the colon’s function to absorb large amounts of water for regular bowel movements.”
“Bananas have long been recognised for their antacid effects that protect against stomach ulcers and ulcer damage.”
“They help to neutralise acidity, a great way to get rid of heart burn,” she said.
Olowokere said bananas were a perfect baby food, adding that they were the best solid food to introduce to infants.
She said that bananas were easy to digest and rarely caused allergic reactions, and that they could be recommended for children recovering from gastrointestinal problems, particularly diarrhea.
Olowokere said the dietary fiber component in banana pulp had cholesterol-lowering effect and also promoted an overall improvement of the functional efficiency of kidneys.
“The benefits that the kidneys derive from bananas are due to the high potassium content present in it.”
“A normal intake of potassium suppresses calcium excretion in the urine and minimizes the kidney stone,” she said.
Olowokere said bananas were also known to calm an upset stomach and helped to rehydrate the body.
She said bananas contained 25 per cent of Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) for vitamin B6 necessary for producing antibodies, red blood cells and aiding in the metabolism of fat.
“The Vitamin B6 present in banana serves as an immunity booster.”
“Bananas contain tryptophan, a type of protein that converts into serotonin known to make one relax, improve one’s mood and generally make one feels happier,” Olowokere said.
She said bananas could stimulate the production of hemoglobin in the blood and so helped in cases of anemia.
“Bananas make you smarter and help with learning by making one more alert. Eat a banana before an exam to benefit from the high levels of potassium,” Olowokere said.