Wednesday, June 15, 2011

on the mild banana

Andy Warhol banana bag by Loop NYC

Bananas have such a great reputation for being quick and easy nutritious snacks, don’t they. I mean, unlike apples or oranges, all you have to do is peel one -- you don’t even have to wash it! (Or do you – well, I don’t).

Bananas are an excellent source of potassium and iron, which are of great benefit to the health of your heart, kidneys, blood, bones and nervous system. Bananas are also a great source of natural energy and fibre, and contain trytophan, a chemical that helps the body produce serotonin.

Which is why I’d always grab a banana when I’m in a rush -- whether it’s rushing out the door, or rushing to get something in my stomach so it won’t be completely empty when I take a Panadol.

But I started to notice a little trend with my banana consumption -- within an hour or so of eating one, I’d start to feel “funny”. Basically, indigestion. Well! I couldn’t quite believe that the apparently mild-mannered banana could be the cause of this, but after some observation, I finally realised there was a definite link.

On looking up bananas and indigestion, I learned that sensitive digestive tracts can have difficulty breaking down the starches in bananas, unripe ones in particular. Banana starches that don’t get digested start breaking down and decomposing, releasing gasses that build up in the intestines and cause indigestion. It’s best to stick with bananas that are fully ripened, because then the starches are converted into digestable sugars.

NB: Bananas are actually considered great antacids, so I guess the main thing is to make sure they’re really ripe before eating them.

Incidentally, I also learned that you can try rubbing the inside of a banana peel on mosquito bites; this apparently helps reduce the itching and swelling -- handy when you’re in a rush, eating a banana, and walking through a mosquito-infested place.

1 comment:

Kris said...

but but but... my girls hate them!! grrr... can you pls tell them that while its not the greatest fruit around, its good for them!


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