Have you ever bought a bunch of bananas that sat on the kitchen counter for a little longer than you wanted them to? We’ve all been there. When you buy a banana it might still be a little green, meaning it’s really not ripe yet. As time goes by, the green tint turns to yellow, and the yellow gives way to small black spots that eventually turn the entire banana black.
Most times when a banana starts getting those black spots on them, we start tossing them in the trash because we think they’re rotten. Contrary to what most people think, those black spots don’t mean that bananas are rotten. They actually mean that the banana is just starting to ripen.
Though they may look unsightly, when bananas get those black spots, an important process is just beginning. As the black spots increase so does the TNF—or, tumor necrosis factor. The more spots a banana has the higher the TNF. TNF is an anti-carcinogen that helps fight aberrant cells in our bodies.
This substance contained in truly ripe bananas helps our immune system communicate better and send extra cells to damaged or hurting areas in our body. This normally happens when there’s inflammation or infection. When we eat bananas with a high TNF factor, research suggests that it allows our body to fight the growth of tumor cells. Since this superfood also has high levels of antioxidants, it boosts our immune system, increasing our overall health.
To take full advantage of all a banana’s health benefits, we recommend you eat two per day.
Take a look at a few other reasons why you should eat those ripening bananas instead of throwing them away:
Blood pressure Most people know that bananas contain lots of potassium, but not everyone knows that they contain little sodium. That makes them heart healthy. Lower sodium levels can mean lower blood pressure and a lower risk of cardiovascular diseases.
Higher energy levels Bananas have multiple essential vitamins and minerals, and they are a great source of low glycemic carbs, meaning that they don’t have a tendency to raise your blood sugar. Therefore, they provide quick energy and are a great snack to have before hitting the gym.
Anti-acid Not only do they give you more energy and lower your blood pressure, they also can quickly relieve the symptoms associated with heartburn. If you suffer from heartburn, keep a banana nearby and eat it when you start having discomfort. Let this natural anti-acid go to work.
Depression Bananas are also a good source of tryptophan. Once you eat a banana, your body converts this tryptophan into serotonin, a powerful neurotransmitter. Serotonin positively affects mood, social behavior, sleep, and sex drive. Eating a banana could be just what you need to make you feel better.
Temperature regulation That tryptophan that gets converted into serotonin also has the capacity to lower your body temperature. So, when you’ve got a fever a banana could help you cool down.
Improved Digestion Because they’re high in fiber, bananas stimulate our bowels and fight against whatever may be keeping you bound up. Our bodies can’t digest fiber, so it tends to pass through our system quickly.
Source of Iron Bananas are rich in iron, so anyone feeling weak or rundown should look to incorporate more of them into their diet. Getting more iron will strengthen your blood and cure anemia by sparking the production of hemoglobin.
Ulcers Bananas are great because they protect the stomach lining from high acid levels. If you struggle with ulcers, you know that it’s difficult to find foods that don’t upset your stomach. Bananas are safe and will keep your stomach from being irritated.
Lowered Stress B vitamins have a calming affect on our nervous system. They relax us, allow us to de-stress, and help put us in a better mood. Bananas contain plenty of these mood improving B vitamins.
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