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Shagor Kola

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Shagor Kola (Banana Sagor)

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Banana the yellow coloured fruit with the legendary curvy structure, is among the fruits that are synonymous with healthy. This herbaceous plant of the genus Musa comes in a variety of sizes and shapes, being famous for its dessert-like pulp. Native to south and south-east Asia, bananas are now grown all year around, in more than 100 countries. Although primarily loved as a fruit, they are also used for making fiber, banana wine and as ornamental plants in various regions of the world. Bananas are enclosed within a peel and comprises of a delicious rich and creamy pulp that is a favourite among people of all ages. It must be remembered that apart from taste, bananas have several health benefits and high nutritive value. Nutritional information, health benefits, how to select and store these popular fruits, are  given in the following sections.

History

Bananas were said to have originated from India or Malaysia, approximately 4000 years ago. However, new archeological findings suggest that cultivation of bananas started in the Western Highlands Province of Papua New Guinea and dates back to 5000-8000 BC. It is believed that there is a possibility that other species of this fruit were later independently cultivated in regions of south-east Asia. It is in the Buddhists texts in 600 BC, where bananas have been mentioned for the first time in writing. Historians say that it was Alexander the Great who introduced the European nations to bananas, after he discovered their crops in the valleys of India. Further, it was in 200 AD that organized banana plantations were discovered in China. By the early 16th century, these special fruits were transported to South America from the West African coast by a group of Portuguese mariners. The 20th century saw the advent of refrigeration technologies and transportation systems, making bananas widely available.

 

Health Benefits of Banana

  • Bananas lower the levels of the acidic gastric juices in stomach and build a protective coating inside. This is of great help for patients with ulcers.

  • The mashed pulp of bananas can provide pain relief from minor burns and other wounds. This is done by placing the mashed pulp on the affected area and then wrapping it with a cloth or paper towel.

  • The three types of healthy and natural sugars: fructose, glucose and sucrose, present in bananas, are a good source of energy for the body.

  • Bananas are an excellent source of iron, which stimulate the production of haemoglobin in the body and increase the number of red blood cells in the bloodstream. Therefore, it helps in treating anemia.

  • Bananas also have high amount of potassium that plays a role in the treatment of cramps, as this element allows the muscles in the body to contract and expand.

  • The high levels of Vitamin B6 help in lowering the pain and improving the moods of women suffering from premenstrual syndrome. During this time, glucose levels in the blood are regulated.

  • The natural fiber present in bananas makes way for smooth bowel movement. Eating these fruits on a regular basis helps in overcoming the problem of constipation.

  • The mood levelling protein called tyroptophan and the chocolate proteins, norepinephrine and serotonin are also found in bananas, along with vitamin B. A combination of all these four compounds helps in calming the nervous system.

  • The combination of vitamin A1, C, B6 and B12 and potassium present in bananas helps the body to recover from the effects of nicotine withdrawal.

  • Research also shows that adults who consumed 3 servings of banana per day have a 36% lower risk of developing age-related macular degeneration as compared to those who consumed only half the number of servings.

  • A recent study in the New England Journal of Medicine shows that eating bananas as part of  the regular diet reduces chances of strokes by as much as 40%.

 

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