Banana is a sweet yellow fruit that is easily available throughout the year. From banana bread to smoothies and from crunchy banana chips to those fluffy pancakes, it has certainly become a breakfast favourite for many. It is not just the taste of this fruit but its myriad benefits that attracts people towards it. Bananas are rich in nutrients such as potassium, fiber, magnesium, folate and other essential nutrients due to which it helps to improve the blood sugar levels, support heart health, improve digestion, aid weight loss, is good for kidneys and supports recovery. Where the consumption of fresh banana as a fruit is enriched with so much goodness and comes with multiple health benefits, you must know that it is not just the fruit but other parts of this fruit as well that can be consumed for better health and well being. From leaf to stem and from flowers to peels, know about the health benefits of different parts of the banana plant.
#1. Banana Stem
Banana stem is known to be rich in potassium and Vitamin B6, two nutrients that are important for proper functioning of various organ systems. Rich in fiber content, consumption of banana sem is known for its blood sugar management properties, aids weight loss, helps in treating kidney stones and urinary tract infection. Flushes out toxins and aids digestion along with healing gastric problems such as acidity. Here are some of the health benefits of consuming banana stem-
- Aids weight loss- In today’s world where having a slim waist and perfect figure is something that many people strive for, banana stem is something that can come to your rescue. Consumption of banana stems helps in slowing down the release of fats and sugar that has been stored in the body. It is a low calorie food that improves metabolism and is known to aid weight loss.
- Heals gastric problems- Gastric issues such as heartburn and acidity can cause a lot of discomfort. If you usually suffer from gastric issues like these then banana stem can be your go to solution. It helps in regulating the acidic levels of the body that provides a relief from the burning sensation in the tummy and restores the balance.
- Improves digestion- A good digestion leads to a good mood and healthy life. Banana stem is known to be good for digestion as it helps to regulate your bowel movement and keeps your digestion on track. The rich fiber content of banana stems is good for your gut and also helps in flushing out the toxins from the body.
- Helps to manage blood pressure- Fluctuating blood pressure is an issue that many people deal with. Rich in iron, potassium and vitamin B6 content, banana stems are known to treat high blood pressure and cholesterol issues.
- Helps to treat Urinary Tract Infection- Banana stem is one of the most effective remedies when it comes to treating urinary tract infections. The diuretic properties of this stem along with vitamin B6 and potassium helps in fighting the urinary tract infections.
#2. Banana Flower
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Known as the heart of banana blossom, banana flower is one such superfood that comes along with some amazing medicinal properties. Banana Flowers are enriched with the goodness of nutrients such as calcium, copper, phosphorus, potassium, magnesium and iron. These flowers are known to be very beneficial for menstruating women, improves lactation, controls diabetes, fights infection, reduces anxiety, slows the process of aging, improves digestion and provides several other health benefits as well. Here are some of the health benefits of consuming banana flower-
- Reduces Anxiety- the presence of magnesium in this flower works as a natural antidepressant. This helps in reducing anxiety and boosting mood.
- Reduces menstrual cramps- Menstrual cramps can be really painful and cause a lot of discomfort, especially during the winter months. Consumption of these flowers along with curd helps to increase the progesterone levels in the body and provides relief from these painful cramps.
- Slows the process of Aging- A rich source of vitamin C, banana flower is an anti-aging food that not just delays the skin aging but the overall process of aging of the body. It works by reducing the stress upon the cells and the presence of antioxidants helps to slow down aging.
- Promotes kidney functioning- Including banana flowers in your diet can help you to reduce the risk of getting kidney diseases due to its rich nutrient profile. It helps in dissolving the kidney stones and and solving the urinary problems by reducing inflammation.
#3. Banana Leaf
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You might have seen people using banana leaves as a plate to consume food in southern parts of the country. Where this eco-friendly practice of using this leaf as a plate instead of disposables made up of plastic is good for the environment, consumption of these leaves can be good for your health. Packed with the goodness of antioxidants and polyphenols, eating banana leaves can help in treating Parkison’s disease and helps to keep infectious diseases at bay. Here’s how consumption of banana leafs can benefit your health-
- Offers Natural Antioxidants- The presence of antioxidants in banana leaf is helpful in reducing the free radical damage that helps to prevent various illnesses and diseases.
- Has Antimicrobial properties- The antimicrobial properties of this thick wax coated leafs exhibits an antibacterial property against infection causing pathogens.
- Treats Parkison’s Disease- Consuming food on a banana leaf can help a person with Parkinson’s disease due to the presence of polyphenol oxidase in it.
#4. Banana Peel
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Where we all tend to throw away the thick yellow peels of a banana after consuming the fruit, one must know that these peels are actually rich in nutrients and can provide several health benefits. The peels of this fruit are known to aid digestion, increase the production of white blood cells and strengthen the immune system functioning. The fibrous peels of this fruit can provide several health benefits such as-
- Providing relief from depression- Banana peels consists of high levels of vitamin B6 along with tryptophans. These tryptophan tend to turn into serotonin after breaking down which helps in improving mood, reducing stress and providing relief from other such symptoms of depression and other mood related disorders.
- Improves Eyesight- You might be surprised to know that the peels that you used to throw away out of habit can actually help you to improve your eyesight. The abundance of Vitamin A in these peels helps to strengthen your eyes, keep them healthy and improve eyesight.
- Lowers the risk of cancer- Packed with the goodness of antioxidants, polyphenols and carotenoids, banana peels are known to exhibit anticancer properties. These peels help to fight the cancer causing free radicals present in your body and hence provides you protection from this severe disease.
#5. Raw Bananas
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Most of us enjoy eating those yellow spotted ripe bananas, whereas the green unripe ones tend to get ignored. These green raw bananas have less sugar content as compared to the ripe ones and are a good source of fiber and calcium. Consumption of these bananas help in regulating the bowel movement while improving digestion and also beneficial for diabetes patients. Here are some of the health benefits of consuming these raw bananas-
- Improves heart health- Jam packed with the goodness of potassium, green bananas or raw bananas are said to be good for your heart health. As potassium is a vasodilator, it keeps the blood pressure levels in check and keeps several heart diseases at bay.
- Is good for diabetics- With a low glycemic index of 30, raw bananas are known to be gut microbe friendly and helps in managing diabetes by reducing inflammation and improving insulin resistance.
- Is good for Digestion- Rich in fiber, raw bananas are known to regulate bowel movement and kee issues such as irritable bowel syndrome at bay and hence ensures proper functioning of the digestive system.