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8 Impressive Health Benefits of Eating Banana Flower

8 Impressive Health Benefits of Eating Banana Flower

Bananas have been wildly popular in the West since they were first introduced there and were once such an important commodity that the term “banana republic” was invented to describe the economies that grew up around this fruit. What many people do not realize, however, is that bananas are not the only edible part of the banana tree — banana flowers also have a wide variety of benefits to offer. Check them out below!

1. Treats Infections

Banana flowers contain a compound called ethanol, which has known anti-microbial properties and has been used by native peoples to help treat problems like wound or skin infections for hundreds of years. Ethanol can help to kill off bacteria, but it is also effective at reducing the risk of contracting parasite-borne illnesses like malaria (which is still a major health threat in many tropical countries).

2. Slows the Aging Process

These flowers are rich in vitamin C and compounds like tannins and flavonoids, which are all known to have antioxidant properties. Antioxidants are important for the body’s health because they reduce stress on cells throughout the body and can help to slow down the aging process.

3. Promotes Heart Health

In many countries of the world, heart disease continues to be the number one cause of death. However, a diet rich in potassium has been shown to help protect heart — and banana flowers, like bananas themselves, are an excellent source of this. Potassium acts on the body like a virtual antidote to sodium (which most people get way too much of in their diet) and is a great, natural way to reduce blood pressure, a major risk factor for cardiac disease.

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4. Improves Digestion

For people suffering from poor digestion, problems with heartburn, upset stomach, or constipation, banana flowers are a good dietary choice to help correct this. This is because they have both soluble fiber (which speeds up digestion and makes the process more efficient) and insoluble fiber (which bulks up your stools and reduces the risk of constipation). Together, these two types of fiber can help treat many digestive problems.

5. Promotes Relaxation

Unfortunately, stress is an inescapable part of modern life. However, a diet which includes banana flowers can help. These flowers are rich in magnesium, which works on the body to relax it naturally and which also promotes restful sleep. Sleep is an important way to help reduce the toll that stress takes on the body.

6. Supports Menstrual Health

Many women suffer from irregular periods or ones that are too light too heavy for long-term health. A common cause of this problem is low progesterone levels. Banana flowers can help as they can boost the body’s progesterone levels and regulate a woman’s hormones so that the menstrual cycle is more regular.

7. Regulates Blood Sugar

People who have diabetes can really struggle from day to day to keep their blood sugar from getting too high or too low. But due to the fact that banana flowers are so high in fiber, they help the body to break down food more slowly and prevent any spikes in the blood sugar that can lead to long-term diabetic complications like kidney disease or nerve damage.

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8. Treats Anemia

Anemia is a serious condition where the body is not able to make enough red blood cells to transport oxygen to all the cells of the body. The body needs iron in order to do this and that is where banana flowers come in: they are rich in iron and that is what the body needs to build up red blood cells in the first place. This can help to, along with a generally iron-rich diet, help treat anemia naturally and build up the body’s energy levels.

Try This Banana Flower Recipe!

You are probably wondering just how to fit banana flowers into your diet, since this a bit of an exotic ingredient in the Western diet. Well, here is a simple recipe below to help you get started!

Banana Blossom Salad

2 banana blossoms

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1 tablespoon butter

1 spring onion, cut finely

1/2 pound of prawns

5 tablespoons almonds

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1 teaspoon lime juice

salt and pepper

Instructions

Core and cube the banana flowers and soak them overnight in a bowl of water with a teaspoon of vinegar. Clean and trench them well. Cook the prawns in the butter with pepper and salt. Grind almonds into a dry paste. Toss all ingredients in a mixing bowl and chill for at least 30 minutes. Garnish with a mint leaf and serve.

So try this salad today and start including banana flowers in your diet — the health benefits they offer will make this change more than worth the effort!

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Brian Wu

Health Writer, Author

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Last Updated on November 11, 2019

How to Improve Memory and Boost Your Brainpower

How to Improve Memory and Boost Your Brainpower

Have you ever noticed that some people are able to effortlessly remember even the most mundane details and quickly comprehend new things? Well, you can too!

To unlock the full potential of your brain, you need to keep it active and acute. Wasting time on your couch watching mindless television shows or scrolling through facebook is not going to help.

Besides getting out flashcards, what can you do to help remember things better and learn new things more quickly? Check out these 10 effective ways on how to improve memory:

1. Exercise and Get Your Body Moving

Exercising doesn’t just exercise the body, it also helps to exercise your brain. Obesity and the myriad of diseases that eventually set in as a result of being overweight can cause serious harm to the brain.

Furthermore, without regular exercise, plaque starts to build up in your arteries, and your blood vessels begin to lose the ability to effectively pump blood. Plaque buildup leads to heart attacks and it also reduces the amount of oxygen and nutrients that your blood carries to your brain. When the nutrients don’t make it there, the brain’s ability to function is compromised.

To prevent this from happening, make sure you get moving every day. Even if it’s just a brisk walk, it’ll help you maintain and increase your mental acuity. Brisk walking, swimming and dancing are all excellent activities. Take a look at these 5 Ways to Find Time for Exercise.

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2. Eliminate Stressors and Seek Help If You’re Depressed

Anything that causes you major stress, like anger or anxiety, will in time begin to eat away the parts of your brain that are responsible for memory. Amongst the most brain-damaging stressors is depression, which is actually often misdiagnosed a a memory problem since one of its primary symptoms is the inability to concentrate.

If you can’t concentrate, then you might feel like you are constantly forgetting things. Depression increases the levels of cortisol in your bloodstream which elevates the cortisol levels in the brain. Doctors have found that increased cortisol diminishes certain areas of the brain, especially the hippocampus which is where short-term memories are stored.

Prolonged depression can thus destroy your brain’s ability to remember anything new. Seek professional help to combat your depression – your brain will thank you.

3. Get a Good Night’s Sleep and Take Naps

Getting a consistent 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night will increase your memory. During sleep, the brain firms up memories of recently acquired information.

Getting enough sleep will help you get through the full spectrum of nocturnal cycles that are essential to optimal brain and body functioning during the waking hours. Taking a nap throughout the day, especially after learning something new, can also help you to retain those memories as well as recharge your brain and keep it sharper longer.

4. Feed Your Brain

Fifty to sixty percent of the brain’s overall weight is pure fat, which is used to insulate its billions of nerve cells. The better insulated a cell is, the faster it can send messages and the quicker you will be thinking.

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This is precisely why parents are advised to feed their young children whole milk and to restrict dieting – their brains’ need fat to grow and work properly. Skimping on fats can be devastating even to the adult brain.

Thus, eating foods that contain a healthy mix of fats is vital for long-term memory. Some excellent food choices include fish (especially anchovies, mackerel and wild salmon) and dark leafy green vegetables. Here’re more brain food choices: 12 Foods that Can Improve Your Brain Power

Deep-fried foods obviously contain fat but their lack of nutritional value is not going to help your brain or your body, so think healthy foods and fats.

5. Eat Breakfast and Make Sure It Includes an Egg

According to Larry McCleary, M.D., author of  The Brain Trust Program, an egg is the ideal breakfast. Eggs contain B vitamins which help nerve cells to burn glucose, antioxidants that protect neurons against damage; and omega-3 fatty acids that keep nerve cells firing at optimal speed.

Other foods to add to your breakfast include fruits, veggies and lean proteins. Avoid trans fats and high fructose corn syrup. Trans fats diminish the brain cells’ ability to communicate with each other and HFCS can actually shrink the brain by damaging cells.

Having a healthy breakfast in the morning has been shown to improve performance throughout the day. If you’re too busy to have a healthy breakfast, this maybe just right for you: 33 Quick And Healthy Breakfasts For Busy Mornings

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6. Write it Down

If there’s something you want to remember, writing it down can help.

It may sound like a no-brainer, but do you really know why? Writing it down creates oxygenated blood flow to areas of your brain that a responsible for your memories and literally exercises those parts of it. Here’s How Writing Things Down Can Change Your Life.

You can start a journal, write yourself emails or even start keeping a blog – all of these activities will help to improve your capacity to remember and memorize information.

7. Listen to Music

Research shows that certain types of music are very helpful in recalling memories. Information that is learned while listening to a particular song or collection can often be recalled by thinking of the song or “playing” it mentally. Songs and music can serve as cues for pulling up particular memories.

8. Visual Concepts

In order to remember things, many people need to visualize the information they are studying.

Pay attention to photographers, charts and other graphics that might appear in your textbook; or if you’re not studying a book, try to pull up a mental image of what it is you are trying to remember. It might also help to draw your own charts or figures, or utilize colors and highlighters to group related ideas in your notes.

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Here, you can learn How to Become a Person Who Can Visualize Results.

9. Teach Someone Else

Reading material out loud has been shown to significantly improve memory of the material. Expanding further upon this idea is the fact that psychologists and educators have found that by having students teach new concepts to others, it helps to enhance understanding and recall.

Teach new concepts and information to a friend or study partner, and you’ll find you remember the information a lot better.

10. Do Crossword Puzzles, Read or Play Cards

Studies have shown that doing crossword puzzles, read or play cards on a daily basis not only keep your brain active but also help to delay memory loss, especially in those who develop dementia.

So pick up the daily newspaper and work on that crossword puzzle, read a book or enjoy a game of solitaire.

Pick one to two of these tips first and start applying them to your everyday life. Very soon you’ll find yourself having better memories and a clearer head!

More About Boosting Memory

Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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