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Eat banana to keep cravings at bay

Winter is on to us. And so are the hunger pangs that strike so often now. If you are looking for a foolproof way to diminish hunger then turn to a banana.

india Updated: Dec 17, 2011 17:55 IST
Kavita Devgan
Kavita Devgan
Hindustan Times

Winter is on to us. And so are the hunger pangs that strike so often now. If you are looking for a foolproof way to diminish hunger then turn to a banana.

Surprised? Don’t be. The banana is considered an anomaly in fruits; a food that leads to weight gain. But that’s not true. Rather, bananas are a zero fat food loaded with resistant starch (RS), a healthy carbohydrate that fills you up and keeps those cravings away.

Plus, they help boost metabolism. And what’s more, resistant starch consumption is associated with lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels and better calcium and magnesium absorption in the body. Slightly under-ripe, firm, medium-sized bananas give you 4.7 grams of resistant starch, perfect to keep you full for a long duration.

Other high RS foods are bulgur wheat (dalia), corn, barley, brown rice, lentils and potato.

All in one fruit
The banana has a lot going for it. Compare it to an apple, a banana has four times the protein, twice the carbohydrates, three times the potassium and twice the vitamin C, iron and phosphorous than the fruit that apparently keeps the doctor away. And what’s more, a medium banana contains less than 100 calories. Not bad at all!

Bananas are good for health

Ever noticed that the banana is a hot favourite with athletes? That’s because it contains three natural sugars – sucrose, fructose and glucose – combined with an extra large dose of fibre, so it gives an instant boost along with sustained and substantial energy.

Bananas are chock-a-block with tryptophan, which gets converted into serotonin in the body. And serotonin is known to make you relax and improve your mood. It has high iron content and so has the ability to stimulate haemoglobin production in the bloodstream.

The high fibre content of bananas keeps the digestion humming along, so it beats constipation effectively without resort to laxatives. Bananas have a natural antacid effect in the body, so if you suffer from heartburn, try eating a banana for soothing relief.

If had with a little salt, it effectively treats dysentery too.

The potassium found in bananas keeps blood pressure down and also helps to promote bone health. It helps counteract the increased urinary calcium loss caused by the high salt diets typical of today’s times, thus helping to prevent bones from thinning at a too-fast rate.

Good to know
Bananas are a perfect Rescue Recipe for those trying to junk the cancer stick. The vitamins B6 and B12 and high potassium and magnesium found in it help the body recover from the effects of nicotine withdrawal.

From HT Brunch, December 18
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First Published: Dec 17, 2011 11:37 IST