Banana or ‘Kela’ is an edible fruit, which is variable in size, color and firmness. The fruits grow in clusters hanging from the top of the plant. The banana plant is the largest herbaceous flowering plant which is normally tall and fairly sturdy. It is all season fruit covering with a rind which is commonly green, yellow in color and in some countries- red, purple, or brown when ripe. Yellow colored bananas (kela) are usually more sweet in taste in comparison of green and red.
Almost more than 100 countries produce it. India and China are among the top producers of the world. 23% of total production of the world is produced in India and Maharashtra state is the largest producing state of India. Its cultivation is supposed to be started 8000 B.C. and the birth place is probably the Papua New Guinea of South Africa.
Banana (kela) is one of the most consumed fruit of the India. Its leaves are large, flexible, and waterproof and are also used for the religious rituals in India. In South Asia, people often use its leaves as ecologically friendly disposable food containers.
Nutritional Value of Banana:
Bananas are an excellent source of vitamin B-6 and potassium. Actually, one medium size of banana (kela) usually has 110 calories, 1 gm protein and 30 gm carbohydrates and contains a good amount of vitamin C, manganese and dietary fiber. It has a very little amount of protein and no fat, cholesterol and sodium. Its other nutrients are – magnesium, folate, pantothenic acid, riboflavin, niacin, choline, Vitamin A, and iron. It is a complete food and very good in nutritional value. Therefore, everyone should eat at least one piece daily to fulfill body requirement.
Health Benefits of Banana (kela):
Bananas are good for health and also has many medicinal properties. It is useful to control blood pressure and acidity. It has pryptophan, an amino acid which is supposed to play an important role in boosting and preserving memory. Its main health benefits are-
1. Bananas for Blood Pressure:
Banana (kela) is rich in potassium and very-very low in sodium. These important components help to maintain blood pressure. Low sodium is necessary to control high blood pressure and likewise a high potassium intake is quite important to regulate high blood pressure. (2)
2. Banana for Heart:
Bananas are rich in a mineral electrolyte called potassium which is necessary to maintain your heart rhythm (heartbeat). Potassium deficiency may result in irregular heartbeat, so eat it regularly. A normal size banana (kela) provides 360 mg (approx.) of potassium to your body. Likewise, its other components like fiber, vitamin- C and B-6 are also good for heart health. Therefore, eat one piece daily in breakfast to support your normal heart function and to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.
3. Controls Headache:
Because of its main component- potassium, banana helps to control headache too. In fact, generally the reason of headache is pressure on blood vessels and potassium regulates this pressure.
To control headache, make paste of banana peel and apply the paste on your forehead (affected area). It will remove the headache within seconds.
4. Banana for Teeth Whitening:
Banana (kela) helps to remove stains, whiten teeth and gleam your smile. Its main components- magnesium and potassium help to clear yellowish color and cavity of teeth. By rubbing the inner side of the peel on your teeth for 1-2 minutes daily, you can also make your teeth white and shining.
5. Wrinkle- Resistant:
Peel of banana has some wrinkle- resistant properties. To control wrinkles, rub the inner part of the peel on your face and leave it for half an hour. Then wash your face with clean water. Continue it for a longer period because there is no harmful effects of it.
6. Banana for Jaundice:
Bananas cure jaundice also. If you are suffering from jaundice, eat one piece of ‘kela’ with honey twice a day. Chop it into small pieces after peeling, spray 2 spoons honey on it and consume.
7. Banana for Diarrhea:
Bananas (kela) are good to control diarrhea because in diarrhea, electrolytes like potassium are lost and patient feels weakness. It helps to replenish the potassium and to recover health. It can be applied on small kids too. Mash a 2 inch piece of banana, add some mishri powder and give it to your child. Repeat it 3-4 times in a day but every time mash fresh piece.
8. Good for Controlling Acidity:
By eating banana (kela), you can get relief in acidity and heartburn. Chop it into small pieces and mix it with sweet curd (curd with sugar). It also helps to relieve gas or to reduce bloating; eat 2 banana daily.
9. Banana for Weight Loss:
If you want to lose weight through dieting, banana is a good option because of its soluble fiber. (3) In fact, a normal size banana has a minimal 90 calories and about its half of the fiber content is soluble. And this soluble fiber helps in slowing down the digestive process, so that you do not feel hungry for some more time. Therefore, eat banana with milk (fat free) in your daily meal to lose weight.
Though banana is a complete diet in itself and fulfills the daily requirement of calories, but some people may feel weakness by following this diet. So it is better to try it after consulting some dietitian or doctor. Pregnant ladies should not try it and it is also not advisable during menstrual cycle.
10. Banana Peel for Bee’s bite:
Bananas peel gives excellent relief on bee’s bite. Apply or rub the inner side of peel on bee’s bite, it immediately controls pain or burning.
11. Pimples and Warts:
If you usually have pimples on your face, apply the paste of the peel of banana on your face daily and leave it for 5-10 minutes. To make paste, grind the peel into mixer.
Similarly, in case of warts, rub the inner part of the peel on warts daily for 2-3 minutes and put paste of peel on wart at night. Continue it for some days, warts will be disappeared completely.
12. Banana for Depression:
Banana (kela in Hindi) has tryptophan amino acid which produces serotonin hormone. This serotonin hormone plays an important role to keep you in a good mood and remove depression. Therefore, eat 2 pieces of bananas daily to cure depression.
13. White Blood Cells Deficiency:
Bananas are helpful to increase white blood cells. If you are facing the problem of white blood cells deficiency, include it in your daily diet.
14. Banana for Cramps:
In addition, banana is also good to maintain energy level during workout because it is a good source of carbohydrates. So, whenever you feel tiring during workout, eat one banana to boost up your energy level.
15. Banana for Insomnia:
Bananas contain tryptophan, potassium and magnesium which are muscle relaxants. Therefore, eat one piece daily at bed time (before half an hour); it makes you sound asleep at night. You can continue this natural remedy of insomnia for a long time because there is nothing harmful in it.
16. Good for Digestive System:
Bananas are good for digestive system. Its fiber helps in digesting food naturally. In addition to that, its antacid properties also protects from stomach ulcer.
Bananas have deworming properties too that helps to destroy intestinal worms and remove out through excretion.
17. Banana for Bones Health:
Bananas also keep bone healthy. Include it in your daily diet to protect yourself from bones related health problems like- arthritis, osteoporosis etc.
18. Good for Immune system:
Bananas are good source of vitamin-C and this vitamin-C is most essential component to keep your immune system healthy. By eating one piece daily, you may fulfill your 14-15% daily requirement of vitamin-C.
19. Gaining Body Weight:
If you are slim enough and want to gain body weight, banana is an excellent solution. Eat it with milk twice a day in addition to other diet; it will definitely increase your weight.
Or eat three bananas after meal daily (twice a day) and continue it for at least three months.
20. Controls Cholesterol:
Banana is a rich source of magnesium. It controls cholesterol level and thins the blood. Therefore, eating three bananas daily (breakfast, lunch and evening) provide enough potassium to reduce the chances of blood clot. Though there is not any scientific proof of this.
21. To take Out Coin from Child’s Mouth:
If your child has swallowed a coin, penny or a quarter, give him to eat a ripe banana. It will help to take out a coin or some other small item from small child’s mouth. The object will be excreted out through stool.
22. Reduces Swelling:
Bananas also help in reducing swelling or inflammation. If you have swelling on any part of body, apply banana pulp with wheat flour. Mash 1 or 2 bananas (as per requirement) and add some wheat flour in it to make dough. Then keep it on heat to warm up and tie up with the help of a cloth.
23. Releases Tension:
Banana has amino acids that reduces tension hormones from the body. Therefore eat bananas to eliminate tension.
24. Cures Stomach Ulcer:
Banana is good to cure stomach ulcer. If you have ulcer in your stomach, eat bananas, especially unripe banana daily.
25. Frequent Urination:
If you have problem of frequent urination (bahumutra), eat mashed banana (kela) with some ghee daily. Peel a banana, mash its pulp and add 1 tsp of ghee (clarified butter) and consume.
26. Cures Mouth Ulcers:
To cure mouth ulcers (chhale), eat 1 banana with cow’s milk- curd. Chop banana in small pieces and mix with cow’s milk- curd and consume. Mouth ulcers will be disappeared within 2-3 days completely.
27. Good for Hair fall:
If you are tired of hair fall problem, mash the pulp of 1 or 2 bananas and add 1 lemon juice in it. And apply the paste on your hair. Leave it for some time (10-15 minutes) and wash with clean water. Follow this remedy for few weeks, hair fall problem will be cured gradually.
28. Good for Dry Hair:
To moisturize the dry or rough hairs, apply banana pulp with honey (2-3 tbsp) once in a week on your hair. It will be soft and shiny gradually.
29. Good for Skin:
Bananas are good for skin, apply its pulp on your face once in a week. It removes dead cells and make your skin soft and shiny. Mix 1 tbsp of Chandan powder and 1/2 tbsp of honey with the pulp of a banana and apply the paste on your face. Leave it for 20-25 minutes and wash with water.
Bananas (kela) should not be eaten on an empty stomach because its component magnesium may disturb the calcium level of body and that is harmful for health. Over eating of it is also harmful for health, so it is better to avoid it. According to Ayurveda, eating banana during night is not good for health and it is also not good for the people who have cough tendency. Therefore, it is better to take care about it.
All the above benefits or natural remedies are safe and has no side effect, but if it doesn’t suit you, please stop immediately and consult your doctor.