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10 Incredible Benefits of Bananas for Your Health and Beauty

10 Incredible Benefits of Bananas for Your Health and Beauty

You might snack on bananas  for breakfast or on your way to a meeting because you know that they’re good for you. But bananas have loads more to offer you than just lowering your blood pressure and keeping your energy intact. Here are surprising things bananas can do for you.

1. They tenderize your meat dish.

Some tropical countries use banana leaves to wrap meat when it’s cooking so that it turns out nice and soft. But you can also use the actual banana during this process. Is your banana not ripe yet? No worries! You can still cook it with your meat. Not only is this a great way to make use of those green bananas in your fruit rack, but they’re also a great source of vitamins and fiber.

2. They give you gorgeous hair.

If you want to skip the chemicals that are found in store-bought hair products, make a banana hair mask. Bananas are great for your hair because they’re packed with nutrients that your hair needs to be healthy, such as B-vitamins and folate. When you add other hair-nourishing foods to them, you amplify the smoothing results. All you need for this recipe is a banana, whole milk and honey. After blending the ingredients, sit with it on your hair for about 20 minutes. The bonus? You can totally drink the rest of the mixture.

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3. They make you glow.

Bananas are an easy way to make your face glow. Just mash one and apply it to your face. Sit with it for 15 minutes then wash it off with cool water. Bananas are natural skin lighteners because they’ve got Vitamin A that erases discoloration and Vitamin E that provides protection against free radicals. Use bananas all over if you want to get rid of any discoloration before a special event like your wedding so that your gorgeous bridal jewelry will look even more radiant on you.

4. They provide you with probiotics.

Probiotics are essential to consume because they balance the bacteria in your gut, which prevents the overgrowth of unhealthy bacteria that leads to inflammation all over the body. Bananas are a natural source of probiotics because they contain fructooligosaccharides (FOS) that encourage healthy bacteria to flourish.

5. They zap anxiety.

Bananas are rich in potassium, which isn’t only good for lowering your blood pressure. This nutrient also helps to decrease stress levels and boost your mental performance. This is because it regulates stress hormones such as cortisol in the body. Now that’s a good reason to snack on a banana before your stressful work conference.

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6. They boost your weight loss.

Bananas can help you lose weight because they’re a great substitute for high-calorie snacks. Since they’re sweet, bananas will satisfy your sugar cravings without the calories. One medium-sized banana only contains 105 calories. Added to this, bananas also rev up your metabolic rate because they contain chromium, a mineral that helps your body burn more calories.

7. They make you work out harder.

You might not realize that your body needs Vitamin C to ensure a more powerful gym session. This is because it makes your muscles, ligaments, and tendons stronger. Bananas are high in Vitamin C. Along with how bananas boost your energy, this makes them a great pre-workout snack.

8. They nourish your feet.

If you have cracked heels, banana can help to smooth your skin because it has moisturizing properties. Mash up the pulp of one banana and apply it to your dry feet. Sit with it for a while so that you give it a chance to be absorbed into your skin. Now you can wear those summer sandals with pride.

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9. They deliver you to dreamland.

Forget counting sheep when you can’t get to sleep—eat bananas! They’re a good source of tryptophan, an amino acid that contributes to the production of serotonin in the brain. This hormone is a natural sedative, while it also busts a bad mood. Bite into a banana about an hour or so before bedtime so that your body can digest it and allow tryptophan to score you some Zzzzs.

10. They send migraines away.

The terrible pain of headaches and migraines can turn your day sour, but bananas are a food that can fight and prevent them. The reason for this is that they’re a good source of magnesium. The next time you feel a headache coming on, reach for a nutrient-packed banana.

Buy more bananas during your next trip to the grocery store and make use of all these interesting ways that they can heal you.

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Featured photo credit: Personal Creations on Flickr via personalcreations.com

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Last Updated on May 22, 2019

10 Simple Morning Exercises That Will Make You Feel Great All Day

10 Simple Morning Exercises That Will Make You Feel Great All Day

There are lots of studies that show if you do some exercise in the morning, you will be in a better mood all day long. You will have more energy and you will certainly be a better colleague, friend or partner.

One psychologist at Duke University has researched the effects of exercise on depressed patients and he has come to the conclusion that exercise has a definite role in treating this condition and has an important role in preventing people from relapsing.[1] According to the New York Times, scientists have now established that exercise also boosts your brain power.[2]

In addition, there are studies from the Appalachian State University which show that blood pressure can be reduced by doing regular morning exercise.[3]

Here are 10 simple morning exercises that will help you feel great the whole day long. You can include some of them in your morning exercise routine or do them all at home without having to enrol in a gym. Consult your doctor before starting any form of exercise routine if you are new to this.

1. Cat Camel Stretch

Stretching exercises are useful for muscle toning and also preventing arthritis. They can either be dynamic or static.

Dynamic ones such as the cat camel stretch, are particularly useful for doing other exercises in the morning. They are also beneficial at other times of the day, especially after long periods of sedentary work. This one is great for spinal flexibility and is a good warm up exercise.

Kneel down on all fours. Start by rounding your back just like a camel so that your head will try to meet your pelvis. This is the camel position. Then lower and lift your head so that your lower back is arched. This is the cat position. Do these movements slowly and smoothly. About 4 or 5 times.

Here’s a video to guide you through:

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2. Go for a Walk or a Run

This is better done outside so that you can connect with nature but running inside on a treadmill is almost as good. You can time yourself and increase length and time according to your fitness program.

Always have new goals to reach. Start with brisk walking and work up to running. At my age, I am still walking!

The health benefits are considerable. You can build stronger bones and you can help to maintain your weight.

Also, you are helping your heart to stay healthy and keeping your blood pressure low.

Learn more about the benefits of running here: 8 Benefits of Running 5 Minutes Every Day You Didn’t Know

3. Jumping Jacks

Michelle Obama is a great fan of this exercise and has become “Jumper in Chief.”[4] They are great for cardiovascular health and also for toning muscles especially the calves and the deltoids.

Stand with feet together. Jump while spreading your arms and legs. Return to first position and keep going! You can start with doing these for 1 minute and then gradually build up to the number you are comfortable with. Here’s how:

4. Abductor Side Lifts

Watch the video below to see how to do this exercise. These muscles are important because you use them everyday to run, get into the car or onto and off a bicycle. They are very important also for your core stability and prevent the pelvis from tilting.[5]

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Do about 10 to 15 raises for each side like this:

5. Balancing Table Pose

This is a classic yoga pose. It benefits the spine, balance, memory and concentration.

Start with the table pose (hands and knees). Breathe in before starting each movement. As you exhale, raise your left leg parallel to the floor as you raise the right arm, also parallel to the floor. Breathe in as you lower arm and leg. Repeat for the other side. 10 repetitions on each side is a good starting point.

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    6. Leg Squats

    Not just legs are involved but also hips and knees.

    Stand with your feet a bit further out from your hips. Arms are out in front of you. Then lower yourself as if you wanted to sit down until you reach a 90 degree angle. You can go down further if you want to. Then return to the starting position. Repeat 15 times for 2 sets for beginners.

    The benefits are that these exercises help with knee stability and can benefit the leg muscles such as quadriceps, hamstrings and calves.[6]

    7. Push Ups

    You start lying down (face down) but with your body held up at arm’s length. Your hands should be in line with your shoulders. Breathe in as you lower your body. That is fairly easy. Now, as you exhale, you have to get back up to the starting position.

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    An easier version to start with is to bend your legs at the knees so you do not have to lift your whole body.

    Beginners may take up to a month to be able to do 100 push ups so you will have to start with a very small number and gradually increase it.

    This exercise is great for strengthening the chest, shoulders and the triceps. It is a great strengthening exercise for many muscle groups. In fact, most muscles from the toes to the shoulders are being used.

    8. Bicycle Crunches

    There are numerous crunch exercises targeting the abs. The bicycle crunch is a variation where you work more muscle groups. Aim for 15 to 20 reps to start off with.

    Watch the video to see how this is done correctly:

    9. Lunges

    Stand with feet shoulder width apart. Place your hand on your hips. Take one giant step forward with the right leg. Make sure the knee does not go too far forward, that is, past your toes. The left knee will go down to almost floor level. Alternate the legs as you go on.

    Try to do a set of between 8 and 12 reps for each leg. It is important to allow for a day of rest, so this exercise should be done on alternate days, especially if you are using weights.

    This exercise is great for strengthening and toning the quadriceps, glutes and hamstrings.

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    10. Bicep Curls

    You can do this sitting down so if you spend a lot of time on the phone, this is a great exercise to do.

    Choose suitable dumbbells or another household object that you can easily hold. Sit down with the dumbbell in your hand. You need to sit forward a bit so that your triceps can lean on your thigh to give you support.

    Then bring the weighted arm up to shoulder length and then down again. Exhale as you lift the weight and inhale as you lower it.

    Here’re some important notes before you start doing this exercise:

    Try to do one or two sets of about ten repetitions for each arm and then switch arms.

    These exercises are really useful for toning the arm muscles.[7] In addition, they can strengthen and tone the brachioradialis muscle located in the forearm. These are the muscles we use to pick up things when we flex the arm at the elbow so we use these muscles countless times a day.

    You may have to build in a rest day for the heavier exercises, numbers 6–10. On the rest days, you can do gentler stretching exercises and also some walking or running.

    Morning exercise is not only a great mood booster, but will help you keep your weight down and also sleep better![8] Start including one or some of these exercises in your morning routine!

    More Articles About Exercises for Beginners

    Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

    Reference

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