Miss Yemisi Olowookere, a dietician at the Garki Hospital, Abuja says consumption of banana is ideal for the maintenance of normal blood pressure and heart function.
Olowookere told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Tuesday that bananas were the best source of potassium, an essential mineral for maintaining normal blood pressure and heart function.
According to her, a medium sized banana provides 350g of potassium which helps the body to maintain normal fluid and electrolyte balances in the cells.
“Bananas help restore normal bowel activity, rich in non digestible fibres, help with constipation and diarrhoea and normalise 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.
“Bananas are a perfect baby food. They are the best solid food to introduce to infants. A mashed ripe banana is an extremely simple and healthy baby food,’’ she said.
Olowookere explained that bananas were easy to digest and rarely cause allergic reactions and could be recommended for children recovering from gastrointestinal problems particularly diarrhoea.
According to her, the dietary fibre component in banana pulp has cholesterol-lowering effect and also promotes 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 minimises the kidney stone.’’
She said that bananas were known to calm an upset stomach and help rehydrate the body.
Olowookere said that 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.
She added that the Vitamin B6 present in banana serves as an immunity booster.
Olowookere said bananas contained tryptophan, a type of protein that converts into serotonin known to make one relax, improve one’s mood and generally make one feels happier.
She also said that bananas could stimulate the production of haemoglobin in the blood and so helps in cases of anaemia.
“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,’’ said Olowookere. (NAN)