Banana (Musa Paradisiaca)The banana, a plant originating in South Africa, is considered to have been the first fruit to appear on the Earth, having been mentioned in writings that date back to the beginning of mankind. Today it is the favorite fruit of many people, being rich in vitamins and minerals.
DescriptionThe banana plant is a herbaceous plant of the family Musaceae, which because of its size and structure, is on many occasions confused with a tree. The plant is grown for its fruit, being of southeastern Asian origin.
Bananas that are destined for human consumption do not contain seeds. The plant produces two stems at the same time: a bigger one for the immediate obtaining of the fruit, and a smaller one, which produces the fruit 6-8 months later. The lifespan of a banana plant plantation is at least 25 years.
PropertiesBananas are true sources of energy. A banana contains potassium, proteins, fibers, carbohydrates and an association of vitamins: A, B, B6, C and E; it is rich in calcium, magnesium, iron, zinc and folic acid. These facts being taken into consideration, the banana is one of the healthiest fruits. It also contains serotonin or the substance of happiness, having an anti-stress role.
Other properties of bananas: especially helpful in anti-fat treatments, being very dense, it offers a sensation of satisfaction.
TreatmentsBeing rich in iron, the bananas stimulate the production of hemoglobin in the blood, thus helping in cases of anemia. Because of its high potassium, but low salt content, it is indicated for those having problems with arterial pressure.
Being an aliment that is rich in fibers, the banana helps with constipation, through the regaining of the intestines' normal activity. Containing a type of protein, which the body transforms into serotonin, the fruit is indicated in treatments against depression, leading to an improved affective state. The banana is also indicated for calming of nerves, being used in treatments for the regulating of intestinal traffic. Having a fine and soft texture, it is also used in treating ulcer.
The fruit has the power of growing its concentration capacity. The potassium contained in bananas helps regulating heartbeats, brings oxygen to the brain and maintains the water quantity in the body at a constant level.
At moments of stress, the metabolism is accelerated and the level of potassium decreases, a situation in which the consumption of bananas is recommended.
The fruit is also useful against smoking, helping the body regenerate after the effects of lack of nicotine.
Many cultures see the banana as a refreshing fruit, which can decrease the physical and emotional temperature of pregnant women.
Against hangovers, a milkshake can be prepared, sweetened with honey. The banana calms the body and rebuilds the sugar level in the body, while the milk calms and hydrates the body.
Mosquito bites can be treated if the affected area is rubbed with the interior part of a banana peal. Bananas are used in cosmetics for treating dried complexions, limp skin and itches. In cases of solar burns or numbness from cold, a crushed banana can be applied on the face to calm pain and reduce inflammations.
MixturesIt is recommended that bananas be consumed when they have only a few spots of brownish color because that is when it is richest in minerals and vitamins.
Creams based on bananas, used in cosmetics for treating dried complexions, are prepared from crushed bananas, a teaspoon of liquid honey is added and the mixture is stirred well. It is applied on the face under the form of a mask. It is kept that way for 15 minutes, and then washed away with mineral water. Another mask against itching is prepared of a crushed banana mixed with yogurt. It is applied on the face and kept for ten minutes before washing it away.
Facial lotion, for dried complexions is obtained like this: a very ripe banana is taken, crushed in the mixer, added to a glass of milk and a teaspoon of olive or sweet almond oil.
RecommendationsIn the moment of the fruit's consumption, its color has to be taken into account. It shouldn�t be eaten while it is of a pale yellow or green color because at such a time it contains starch, which is hard to digest.
Being rich in calories, it is recommended that those who are holding anti-fat treatments and who suffer from diabetes consume it moderately. It is not indicated for use in a severe anti-cholesterol diet. Bananas do not bear temperatures lower than 12 degrees and they should never be kept in refrigerators.
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