(Natural News) Bananas, for the most part, come with a bevy of health benefits, making it a total package all on its own. It’s also one of the most consumed fruits in the U.S., with the average American eating more than 11 pounds of bananas each year (over just 10 pounds of apples, the second most-consumed fruit). Interestingly enough, bananas don’t come from trees — the plant the fruit comes from is technically a herb as the stem does not contain true woody tissue.
Still, no matter where it comes from, bananas offer a range of health benefits, including treatments for digestion, depression, and more. Eating two bananas a day can relieve bloating and increase the number of good bacteria in the gut. People who have mood problems would benefit from eating bananas, thanks to vitamin B6 and tryptophan which help in regulating and boosting mood. The fruit is also great for people with chronic conditions like cardiovascular diseases and diabetes, as it is packed with essential nutrients to improve their condition and help regulate their cholesterol levels.
Bananas have got you covered
People have been eating bananas for a long time, with written records saying that the fruit has been part of our diet for thousands of years. The plant is believed to be native to Southeast Asia, where many varieties of wild bananas still grow today. While the international trade of bananas started by the end of the 14th century, developments in transport — in particular, refrigerated maritime transport — helped make bananas into the most traded fruit in the world. Currently, bananas are grown in 150 countries, with 105 million tonnes produced annually. There are different varieties of bananas; however, the most commonly consumed is the Cavendish variety. (Related: Banana nutrition facts – nine things you probably never knew about this nutritious tropical food.)
In terms of calories, a medium-sized banana only has 95 calories, and it can provide a natural, sustained energy boost without the fat, cholesterol, and sodium of other common snacks. Here are more reasons to add bananas to your diet, if you haven’t already.
- It’s high in fiber. Bananas are rich in both soluble and insoluble fiber, which helps a person stay full for a long time. It’s one of the reasons that bananas are often part of breakfast in many regions in the world.
- It improves heart health. Foods that are high in fiber, such as bananas, lower the risk of cardiovascular diseases like coronary disease.
- It helps with digestion. In Ayurveda, bananas are described to have a sweet and sour taste. The sour taste, in particular, can stimulate agni or the digestive juices, which play a major role in digestion and metabolism build-up.
- It’s nutrient-rich. Bananas are packed with essential vitamins and minerals, including B-vitamins such as riboflavin, niacin, folate, and B6; calcium; potassium; manganese; and magnesium. These play a synergistic role in keeping the body healthy.
- It’s one of the best sources of potassium. The fruit is known to be a rich source of potassium, which is important in regulating heartbeat and blood pressure. The brain also uses potassium to stay alert. However, those with advanced chronic kidney disease should seek the advice of a healthcare professional before eating bananas, as this may cause potassium levels in the body to rise to unsafe levels.
- It regulates blood pressure. The low salt content in bananas, coupled with its high potassium content, make the fruits ideal in managing hypertension.
- It fights anemia. People suffering from anemia would do well to eat bananas, given its high iron content.
Bonus: Start your day with this healthy banana bread recipe
The difference with this banana bread recipe over others is that it uses ingredients like whole wheat flour and naturally sweetened honey, rather than using refined flour and sugar which can send a person’s blood sugar through the roof. (h/t to CookieandKate.com.)
What you’ll need:
- ? cup, melted coconut oil or extra-virgin olive oil
- ½ cup honey (or maple syrup, if you prefer)
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup, mashed ripe bananas
- ¼ cup milk or water
- 1 teaspoon, baking soda
- 1 teaspoon, vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon, salt
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 ¾ cups, whole wheat flour
- nuts or dried fruits of your choice (optional)
How to do it:
- Preheat oven to 325 F (165 C).
- Grease a 9-by 5-inch loaf pan.
- In a large bowl, whisk the oil and honey. Add the eggs and beat well, then whisk in mashed bananas and milk. (If the coconut oil becomes solid after coming into contact with the cold ingredients, rest it in a warm place like on top of a stove for a few minutes.)
- Add the baking soda, vanilla, salt, and cinnamon, then whisk to blend.
- Switch to a spatula and stir in the flour gradually until combined. If you have any additional mix-ins, such as walnuts, gently fold them in as well.
- Pour the batter into the greased loaf pan and lightly dust with cinnamon on top.
- Bake for 55 to 60 minutes. (To see if the bread is properly baked, poke it with a toothpick to the center. The toothpick should come out clean afterward.)
- Remove from the oven and let the bread cool in the loaf pan for 10 minutes.
- Transfer onto a wire rack to cool for an additional 20 minutes before slicing.
Hundreds of Indonesian healthcare workers contract COVID-19 despite vaccination, dozens hospitalised
JAKARTA: More than 350 Indonesian doctors and healthcare workers have contracted COVID-19 despite being vaccinated with Sinovac and dozens have been hospitalised, officials said, as concerns rise about the efficacy of some vaccines against more virulent virus strains.
Most of the doctors were asymptomatic and self-isolating at home, said Badai Ismoyo, head of the Kudus district health office in Central Java, but dozens were in hospital with high fevers and declining oxygen saturation levels.
Kudus is battling an outbreak believed to be driven by the more transmissible Delta variant which has pushed bed occupancy rates above 90 per cent in the district.
Designated as a priority group, Indonesian healthcare workers were among the first to be vaccinated when the inoculation drive started in January.
Almost all have received the COVID-19 vaccine developed by Chinese biopharmaceutical company Sinovac, according to the Indonesian Medical Association.
While the number of Indonesian healthcare workers dying from COVID-19 has decreased significantly – dropping from 158 deaths this January to 13 this May, according to data initiative group LaporCOVID-19 – public health experts say the Java hospitalisations are cause for concern.
“The data shows they have the Delta variant so it is no surprise that the breakthrough infection is higher than before because as we know the majority of healthcare workers in Indonesia got Sinovac, and we still don’t know yet how effective it is in the real world against the Delta variant,” said Dicky Budiman, an epidemiologist from Australia’s Griffith University.
China’s Covid-19 vaccine flops in Singapore too
New Delhi: In a major setback to Chinas Covid vaccines, Singapore is not counting its citizens who received Sinovac Biotech shots as being vaccinated against Covid-19 due to lack of data to show that the doses are effective against coronavirus, especially the Delta strain.
“We don’t really have a medical or scientific basis or have the data now to establish how effective Sinovac is in terms of infection and severe illnesses on Delta,” local media cited health minister Ong Ye Kung as saying at a press conference on Wednesday.
The decision comes close on the heels of serious doubts arising over Chinese vaccines in Indonesia as those who have received the shots are also contracting Covid-19 and infections are surging in the country.
The Delta variant is currently the dominant strain of Covid-19 in Singapore and was identified in the city state in May. Only people who have received the Moderna and Pfizer shots, are being considered as vaccinated in the official records.
Singapore had allowed some private clinics to offer the Sinovac shot, CoronaVac, from mid-June. Around 17,000 people are reported to have received one dose of CoronaVac.
Local media had also reported Singapore’s director of medical services saying last month that evidence from other countries showed people who had taken CoronaVac were still getting infected.
Most of the vaccines being used by Indonesia have also come from China’s Sinovac Biotech. Some health workers inoculated with Sinovac jabs have been hospitalized due to Covid-19. A few have even died despite being fully immunized, according to a report in Nikkei Asia.
The Indonesian Doctors Association says that of the 14 doctors who died from the virus between February and May, ten had been fully vaccinated with Sinovac, while the rest had been given one dose.
Although there is a serious problem with Chinese vaccines due to inadequate data to show their efficacy, some countries are being forced to opt for them because of the cute shortage of vaccines worldwide amid the devastating pandemic.
102 people qualify for S$451,000 in Covid-19 vaccine injury financial aid to date: Ong Ye Kung
SINGAPORE — The authorities have approved S$451,000 worth of financial aid to people who had suffered serious side effects from Covid-19 vaccines in Singapore, Health Minister Ong Ye Kung said on Tuesday (July 6).
The payments have either been paid out or are being processed to 102 applicants under the Vaccine Injury Financial Assistance Programme (Vifap) introduced by the Government in January.
They were among a total of 292 applicants who had submitted a complete Vifap application as of June 25, Mr Ong said.
Of these, 159 did not meet the eligibility criteria and 31 applications are waiting to be reviewed by an independent clinical panel or pending more medical information from the applicant’s doctor.
Mr Ong was responding in a written answer to a parliamentary question filed by Ms He Ting Ru, Member of Parliament for Sengkang Group Representation Constituency, who had asked about the applications made and payments approved under the programme.
TODAY has asked the Ministry of Health (MOH) for details of these approved payouts.
Vifap provides three tiers of support to people assessed to be adversely affected by their Covid-19 inoculation.
The first is a one-time payout of S$2,000 for patients who need hospitalisation and medical intervention and who later recover.
The second is a payout of up to S$10,000 that will be given to those who were hospitalised and required care in a high dependency or intensive care unit, but later recover from the side effects caused by the vaccine.
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