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10 Surprising Health Benefits Of Eating 3 Bananas a Day

10 Surprising Health Benefits Of Eating 3 Bananas a Day

Bananas are incredibly versatile fruits that can be used to make refreshing smoothies, add delicious flavor to a baked meal, or simply eaten on-the-go. That might explain why they are one of the world’s most popular fruits: Over 96 percent of households in the U.S purchase bananas at least once a month, according to this report.

So we love eating bananas. But is this obsession good for us?

The research says yes. Bananas have a lot more going for them than simply an affordable price and sweet flavor. Studies indicate that the magic number is three–by eating three bananas per day, you provide your body with about 1500mg of potassium, and loads of health benefits.

So what exactly are the benefits?

Here are 10 amazing health benefits of eating bananas every day:

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1. Bananas lower high blood pressure.

Studies show eating as little as three bananas a day may lower your blood pressure significantly. A medium-sized banana has about 422 mg of potassium and is nearly sodium-free. The high potassium-to-sodium ratio helps to neutralize the blood pressure-rising effect of sodium in the diet.

So it would seem that your mom’s admonition to reach for a banana instead of that bag of crisps is very sound advice.

2. Bananas improve digestion.

Bananas are loaded with fiber, both soluble and insoluble. Fiber is an important nutrient in the body because it helps regulate the speed of digestion, slowing it down. Eating a banana will make you feel full longer and can also help with the problem of constipation.

No wonder bananas are often included in breakfast meals. They help you start your day energized and keep you satisfied longer.

3. Bananas improve cardiovascular health.

Eating foods high in fiber is good for the heart, and bananas are full of fiber. A high-fiber diet has been linked with a lower risk of both cardiovascular disease (CVD) and coronary heart disease (CHD). The soluble fiber present in banana is, in particular, associated with a decreased risk of heart disease.

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healthy, balanced diet will provide the essential vitamins, minerals and antioxidants your body needs–top it off with a banana or two for an extra 4 grams of fiber per fruit.

4. Bananas help create healthy cells.

Bananas are rich in vitamin B6, containing 20 percent of the daily amount required for adult intake. Vitamin B6 helps the body produce insulin, hemoglobin and nonessential amino acids necessary to create healthy cells. It also helps with the production of antibodies that fight infections.

Maybe we should have been saying it different all along: “A banana a day, keeps the doctor away.”

5. Bananas improve GI tract heath.

Since bananas are relatively easy to digest, they are considered non-irritating for the human gastrointestinal tract, or GI tract. In fact, bananas not only ease digestive strain, but also sooth the digestive tract and help restore lost minerals after diarrhea. That is why they are among the first solid foods introduced to babies.

This is also one of the reasons bananas make up part of the clinical BRAT diet – bananas, rice, applecause and dry toast – that dietitians use to treat acute diarrhea.

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6. Bananas are rich in Vitamin C.

When you think of vitamin C, oranges and strawberries might be the first fruits that come to mind. But a full serving of bananas provides a whopping 15 percent of the daily requirement for this essential nutrient. Vitamin C is an important antioxidant that neutralizes harmful free radicals in the body. Free radicals are uncharged atoms, molecules or ions (the “bad guys”) that are constantly destroying cells in your body. Vitamin C also aids in keeping blood vessels healthy and produces collagen that holds muscles, bones and other tissues together.

7. Bananas improve athletic performance.

If you have ever wondered why many athletes love bananas, here’s the reason: Bananas boost the muscles and provide antioxidants and other nutrients naturally. According to a study at the Appalachian State University’s Human Performance Lab, consuming half a banana every 15 minutes during a cycling time trial test was as effective as drinking a carbohydrate matched sports drink every 15 minutes. No wonder Yohan Blake, the Jamaican Olympics sprinter, reportedly eats 16 bananas a day!

8. Bananas fight anemia.

Because bananas are high in iron, consuming them can stimulate production of hemoglobin in the blood and help fight anemia. Anemia is a condition where there is a decrease in the number of red blood cells or hemoglobin in the blood, leading to fatigue, paleness and shortness of breath.

Moreover, Vitamin B6 present in banana regulates blood glucose levels, which can also help those suffering from anemia.

9. Bananas suppress hunger pangs.

This happens not merely because eating bananas makes you feel full for longer, but also due to their pleasant smell. That’s right, the scent of bananas can apparently suppress appetite and hunger pangs! According to this study by Dr Alan Hirsch of the Smell and Taste Treatment and Research Foundation in Chicago, smelling bananas when you are hungry can trick your brain into thinking that you’ve actually eaten them.

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So, yes, bananas can help you lose weight.

10. Bananas lift mood and help you feel happy.

A medium-size banana provides about 27 mg magnesium. This mineral can help boost your mood and aid good sleep. Men and women need 420 mg and 320 mg of magnesium per day, respectively. If you’re low on magnesium, you’re likely to suffer from anxiety, irritability, depression and other disorders.

Since many of us don’t get enough magnesium in our diets, consider eating a banana next time you’re having a case of the 3 p.m. munchies. It will fill you up and leave you feeling positive.

Bonus non-health benefits

You should also know dried ground banana peels make fantastic mulch for seedlings and new plants in the garden. Bananas are also a perfectly safe and healthy treat for your beloved dog!

A final tick for the pro column: If you are dying for some pearly white teeth, rubbing banana peel on your teeth for about two minutes after you brush can contribute to a perfect smile.

But don’t take it from me. Try a few bananas today!

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Science Says Screaming Is Good For You

Science Says Screaming Is Good For You

There are many reasons why people might scream – they’re angry, scared, or in pain (or maybe they’re in a metal band!). Some might say that screaming is bad, but here’s why science says it’s good for you.

“For the first time in the history of psychology there is a way to access feelings, hidden away, in a safe way and thus to reduce human suffering. It is, in essence, the first science of psychotherapy.” — Dr. Arthur Janov

Primal Therapy

Dr. Arthur Janov invented Primal Therapy in the late 1960’s. It is a practice that allows the patient to face their repressed emotions from past trauma head on and let those emotions go. This treatment is intended to cure any mental illness the patient may have that surfaced from this past trauma. In most cases, Primal Therapy has lead Dr. Janov’s patients to scream towards the end of their session, though it was not part of the original procedure. During a group therapy session that was at a standstill, Dr. Janov says that one of his patients, a student he called Danny, told a story that inspired him to implement a technique that he never would have thought of on his own.

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How it Started

“During a lull in our group therapy session, he told us a story about a man named Ortiz who was currently doing an act on the London stage in which he paraded around in diapers drinking bottles of milk. Throughout his number, Ortiz is shouting, ‘Mommy! Daddy! Mommy! Daddy!’ at the top of his lungs. At the end of his act he vomits. Plastic bags are passed out, and the audience is requested to follow suit.”

It doesn’t end there, though. Dr. Janov said that his patient was quite fascinated with that story, and that alone moved him to suggest something even he believed to be a little elementary.

“I asked him to call out, ‘Mommy! Daddy!’ Danny refused, saying that he couldn’t see the sense in such a childish act, and frankly, neither could I. But I persisted, and finally, he gave in. As he began, he became noticeably upset. Suddenly he was writhing on the floor in agony. His breathing was rapid, spasmodic. ‘Mommy! Daddy!’ came out of his mouth almost involuntarily in loud screeches. He appeared to be in a coma or hypnotic state. The writhing gave way to small convulsions, and finally, he released a piercing, deathlike scream that rattled the walls of my office. The entire episode lasted only a few minutes, and neither Danny nor I had any idea what had happened. All he could say afterward was: ‘I made it! I don’t know what, but I can feel.’”

Delving deeper

Dr. Janov says he was baffled for months, but then he decided to experiment with another patient with the same method, which lead to a similar result as before. The patient started out calling “Mommy! Daddy!” then experienced convulsions, heavy breathing, and then eventually screamed. After the session, Dr. Janov says his patient was transformed and became “virtually another human being. He became alert… he seemed to understand himself.”

Although the initial intention of this particular practice wasn’t to get the patient to scream, more than once did his Primal Therapy sessions end with the patient screaming and feeling lighter, revived, and relieved of stresses that were holding them down in life.

Some Methods To Practice Screaming

If you want to try it out for yourself, keep reading!

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  • Step 1: Be Alone — Be alone. If you live in a place that you can’t be alone, it might be a good idea to talk to your family or roommates and explain to them what you’re about to do and make sure they’re okay with it. If you’re good to go, move on to step 2.
  • Step 2: Lie Down — Lie down on a yoga mat on your back and place a pillow underneath your head. If you don’t own a yoga mat, you can use a rug or even a soft blanket.
  • Step 3: Think — Think of things that have hurt you or made you angry. It can be anything from your childhood or even something that happened recently to make yourself cry, if you’re not already crying or upset. You could even scream “Mommy! Daddy!” just like Dr. Janov’s patients did to get yourself started.
  • Step 4: Scream — Don’t hold anything back; cry and scream as loud as you can. You can also pound your fists on the ground, or just lie there and scream at the top of your lungs.

After this, you should return your breathing to a normal and steady pace. You should feel lighter, like a weight has been lifted off of you. If not, you can also try these other methods.

Scream Sing

Scream singing” is referring to what a lot of lead singers in metal or screamo bands will do. I’ve tried it and although I wasn’t very good at it, it was fun and definitely relieved me of any stress I was feeling from before. It usually ends up sounding like a really loud grunt, but nonetheless, it’s considered screaming.

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  • Step 1 — Bear down and make a grunting sound.
  • Step 2 — Hiss like a snake and make sure to do this from your diaphragm (your stomach) for as long as you can.
  • Step 3 — Breathe and push your stomach out for more air when you are belting notes, kind of like you would if you were singing.
  • Step 4 — Try different ways to let out air to control how long the note will last, just make sure not to let out too much air.
  • Step 5 — Distort your voice by pushing air out from your throat, just be careful not to strain yourself.
  • Step 6 — Play around with the pitch of your screams and how wide your mouth is open – the wider your mouth is open, the higher the screams will sound. The narrower or rounder your mouth is (and most likely shaped like an “o”), the lower the screams will sound.
  • Step 7 — Start screaming to metal music. If you’re not a huge metal fan, it’s okay. You don’t have to use this method if you don’t want to.

If you want a more thorough walkthrough of how to scream sing, here’s a good video tutorial. If this method is too strenuous on your vocal chords, stop. Also, make sure to stay hydrated when scream singing and drink lots of water.

Scream into a pillow

Grab a pillow and scream into it. This method is probably the fastest and easiest way to practice screaming. Just make sure to come up for air.

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Always remember to make sure that you’re not going to disturb anyone while practicing any of these methods of screaming. And with that, happy screaming!

Featured photo credit: Sharon Mollerus via flickr.com

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