Apples & Bananas

Many of us forget that sometimes, the simplest answers are the best. Better health could be as easy as reaching in the fruit bowl for an apple or banana next time you need a snack. Here are a few things about both of these fruits that might surprise you!

Apples:

Asthma Help
One recent study shows that children with asthma who drank apple juice on a daily basis suffered from less wheezing than children who drank apple juice only once per month. Another study showed that children born to women who eat a lot of apples during pregnancy have lower rates of asthma than children whose mothers ate few apples.

Alzheimer’s Prevention
A study on mice at Cornell University found that the quercetin in apples may protect brain cells from the kind of free radical damage that may lead to Alzheimer’s disease.

Lower Cholesterol
The pectin in apples lowers LDL (“bad”) cholesterol. People who eat two apples per day may lower their cholesterol by as much as 16 percent.

Lung Cancer Prevention
According to a study of 10,000 people, those who ate the most apples had a 50 percent lower risk of developing lung cancer. Researchers believe this is due to the high levels of the flavonoids quercetin and naringin in apples.

Breast Cancer Prevention
A Cornell University study found that rats who ate one apple per day reduced their risk of breast cancer by 17 percent. Rats fed three apples per day reduced their risk by 39 percent and those fed six apples per day reduced their risk by 44 percent.

Colon Cancer Prevention
One study found that rats fed an extract from apple skins had a 43 percent lower risk of colon cancer. Other research shows that the pectin in apples reduces the risk of colon cancer and helps maintain a healthy digestive tract.

Liver Cancer Prevention
Research found that rats fed an extract from apple skins had a 57 percent lower risk of liver cancer.

Diabetes Management
The pectin in apples supplies galacturonic acid to the body which lowers the body’s need for insulin and may help in the management of diabetes.

Bananas:
If you want a quick fix for flagging energy levels there’s no better snack than a banana. Containing three natural sugars – sucrose, fructose and glucose – combined with fiber, a banana gives an instant, sustained and substantial boost of energy. Perfect for a pre-workout snack!

Anemia
High in iron, bananas can stimulate the production of hemoglobin in the blood and so helps in cases of anemia.

Blood Pressure
This unique tropical fruit is extremely high in potassium yet low in salt, making it the perfect food for helping to beat blood pressure. So much so, the US Food and Drug Administration has just allowed the banana industry to make official claims for the fruit’s ability to reduce the risk of blood pressure and stroke.

Constipation
High in fiber, including bananas in the diet can help restore normal bowel action, helping to overcome the problem without resorting to laxatives.

Depression
According to a recent survey people suffering from depression, many felt much better after eating a banana. This is because bananas contain trypotophan, a type of protein that the body converts into serotonin known to make you relax, improve your mood and generally make you feel happier.

Hangovers
One of the quickest ways of curing a hangover is to make a banana milkshake, sweetened with honey. The banana calms the stomach and, with the help of the honey, builds up depleted blood sugar levels, while the milk soothes and re-hydrates your system.

Heart-burn
Bananas have a natural antacid effect in the body so if you suffer from heart-burn, try eating a banana for soothing relief.

Morning Sickness
Snacking on bananas between meals helps to keep blood sugar levels up and avoid morning sickness.

Mosquito bites
Before reaching for the insect bite cream, try rubbing the affected area with the inside of a banana skin. Many people find it amazingly successful at reducing swelling and irritation.

Ulcers
The banana is used as the dietary food against intestinal disorders because of its soft texture and smoothness. It is the only raw fruit that can be eaten without distress in over-chroniculcer cases. It also neutralizes over-acidity and reduces irritation by coating the lining of the stomach.

Smoking
Bananas can also help people trying to give up smoking, as the high levels of Vitamin C, A1, B6, B12 they contain, as well as the potassium and magnesium found in them, help the body recover from the effects of nicotine withdrawal.

Stress
Potassium is a vital mineral, which helps normalize the heartbeat, sends oxygen to the brain and regulates your body’s water-balance. When we are stressed, our metabolic rate rises, thereby reducing our potassium levels. These can be re-balanced with the help of a high-potassium banana snack.

Strokes
According to research in The New England Journal of Medicine eating bananas as part of a regular diet can cut the risk of death by strokes by as much as 40%!

Warts
Those keen on natural alternatives swear that, if you want to kill off a wart, take a piece of banana skin and place it on the wart, with the yellow side out. Carefully hold the skin in place with a plaster or surgical tape!

When compared to an apple, it has four times the protein, twice the carbohydrate, three times the phosphorus, five times the vitamin A and iron, and twice the other vitamins and minerals. It is also rich in potassium and is one of the best value foods around. Maybe its time to change that well-known phrase to, “A Banana a day keeps the Doctor away!” Maybe we could just consider making a fruit salad and get the benefits of both.