The island’s rich, warm climate makes it quite ideal for a variety of tasty and mouth-watering fruits to grow. Although many of these delectables that we have come to know and love did not originate in Jamaica, they can be found across the island.
And while delicious and/or sweet, these fruits provide some great health benefits. In another edition of Our Today‘s fruit feature series, we explore the health benefits that Jamaica-found fruits are able to provide, and this time around, the spotlight is on the banana.
Originally found in South East Asia, some scientists believe the banana is the world’s first ever fruit. Aside from Jamaica, the fruit is grown in other areas including India, China and parts of the African continent.
Helps with anxiety
The B-vitamins found in bananas help to control functions such as one’s mood and sleep, which can help to relax feelings of anxiety.
The B-vitamins release the chemical called serotonin. This chemical is able to carry messages between nerve cells in the brain and throughout the body, which also helps with other bodily functions such as blood clotting, wound healing, sexual desire and nausea.
Alcohol intake, which blocks the production of a hormone that helps the body to hold water, often leads to vomiting and excessive urination. This then results in dehydration and the loss of electrolytes such as potassium and sodium.
Electrolytes imbalance has been known to be one of the biggest causes of a hangover. Thus, having a banana, which contains the electrolyte potassium, acts as hangover remedy.
Helps with Asthma
Studies have shown that banana intake can help to decrease wheezing in children. This is attributed to the potassium and antioxidants found in the fruit.
Helps with menstrual cramps
A good source of potassium, the banana also contains two more (magnesium and calcium), out of four nutrients needed to ease muscle cramps.
Not only are these three nutrients known to lessen the severity of cramps, but the fibre found in the fruit performs a similar function.
The fibre, which helps with bowel movements, can result in an individual feeling less bloated and less pain overall. It can also help with other types of muscle contractions.
Improve digestive health
Packed with fibre, as are many other fruits, the banana helps to improve one’s digestive health.
The fibre which increases the weight and size of the stool, helps to make it softer, resulting in an easier passing of faeces.
May lower risk of cancer
Banana peels are filled with polyphenols, carotenoids and other antioxidants which are able to fend off free radicals that often result in certain types of cancers.