Consumption of bananas helps to improve mental alertness and is ideal for the maintenance of normal blood pressure and heart function, Miss Yemisi Olowookere, a dietician at the Garki Hospital, Abuja, has said.

Speaking with NAN in Abuja on Tuesday, Olowookere said bananas are the best source of potassium, an essential mineral for maintaining normal blood pressure and heart function, as a medium-size banana provides 350g of potassium, which helps the body to maintain normal fluid and electrolyte balances in the cells.

“Bananas help restore normal bowel activity, rich in non digestible fibres, help with constipation and diarrhoea and normalise the colon’s function to absorb large amounts of water for regular bowel movements,” she said.

“Bananas have long been recognised for their antacid effects that protect against stomach ulcers and ulcer damage. They help to neutralise acidity, a great way to get rid of heart burn. Bananas are a perfect baby food. They are the best solid food to introduce to infants. A mashed ripe banana is an extremely simple and healthy baby food.’’

Olowookere noted that bananas are easy to digest and rarely cause allergic reactions, and could be recommended for children recovering from diseases, particularly diarrhoea.

“The dietary fibre component in banana pulp has cholesterol-lowering effect and also promotes an overall improvement of the functional efficiency of kidneys due to the high potassium content present in bananas,” she added.

“Banana can calm an upset stomach and help rehydrate the body. It contains 25 percent of Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) for vitamin B6 necessary for producing antibodies, red blood cells, and aiding in the metabolism of fat.

She explained that while the Vitamin B6 present in banana serves as an immunity booster, bananas are capable of stimulating the production of haemoglobin in the blood, are therefore useful in cases of anaemia.

“Bananas make you smarter and help with learning by making one more alert. Eat a banana before an exam to benefit from the high levels of potassium,” she said.

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