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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 July 10, 2020

How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

We all have them—those hurtful, frustrating, offensive, manipulative people in our lives. No matter how hard we try to surround ourselves with positive and kind people, there will always be those who will disrespect, insult, berate, and misuse you if we allow them to.

We may, for a variety of reasons, not be able to avoid them, but we can determine how we interact with them and how we allow them to interact with us.

So, how to take control of your life and stop being pushed around?

Learning to set clear firm boundaries with the people in our lives at work and in our personal lives is the best way to protect ourselves from the negative effects of this kind of behavior.

What Boundaries Are (And What They’re Not)

Boundaries are limits

—they are not threats or ultimatums. Boundaries inform or teach. They are not a form of punishment.

Boundaries are firm lines—determined by you—which cannot be crossed by those around you. They are guidelines for how you will allow others to treat you and what kind of behaviors you will expect.

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Healthy personal boundaries help protect you from physical or emotional pain. You may also need to set firm boundaries at work to ensure you and your time are not disrespected. Don’t allow others to take advantage of your kindness and generosity.

Clear boundaries communicate to others that you demand respect and consideration—that you are willing to stand up for yourself and that you will not be a doormat for anyone. They are a “no trespassing” sign that makes it very clear when a line has been crossed and that there will be consequences for doing so.

Boundaries are not set with the intention of changing other people. They may change how people interact with you, but they are more about enforcing your needs than attempting to change the general behavior and attitude of others.

How to Establish Boundaries and Take Control of Your Life

Here are some ways that you can establish boundaries and take control of your life.

1. Self-Awareness Comes First

Before you can establish boundaries with others, you first need to understand what your needs are.

You are entitled to respect. You have the right to protect yourself from inappropriate or offensive behavior. Setting boundaries is a way of honoring your needs.

To set appropriate boundaries, you need to be clear about what healthy behaviors look like—what healthy relationships look like.

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You first have to become more aware of your feelings and honest with yourself about your expectations and what you feel is appropriate behavior:

  • Where do you need to establish better boundaries?
  • When do you feel disrespected?
  • When do you feel violated, frustrated, or angered by the behavior of others?
  • In what situations do you feel you are being mistreated or taken advantage of?
  • When do you want to be alone?
  • How much space do you need?

You need to honor your own needs and boundaries before you can expect others to honor them. This allows you to take control of your life.

2. Clear Communication Is Essential

Inform others clearly and directly what your expectations are. It is essential to have clear communication if you want others to respect your boundaries. Explain in an honest and respectful tone what you find offensive or unacceptable.

Many people simply aren’t aware that they are behaving inappropriately. They may never have been taught proper manners or consideration for others.

3. Be Specific but Don’t Blame

Taking a blaming or punishing attitude automatically puts people on the defensive. People will not listen when they feel attacked. It’s part of human nature.

That said, you do not need to overexplain or defend yourself. Boundaries are not open to compromise.

Sample language:

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  • “You may not…yell or raise your voice to me…”
  • “I need…to be treated with respect…”
  • “It’s not okay when…you take things from my desk without asking…”
  • “I won’t…do your work…cover for you anymore…”
  • “It’s not acceptable when…you ridicule or insult me…”
  • “I am uncomfortable when…you use offensive language”
  • “I will no longer be able to…lend you money…”

Being able to communicate these without sounding accusatory is essential if you want others to respect your boundaries so you can take control of your life.

4. Consequences Are Often Necessary

Determine what the appropriate consequences will be when boundaries are crossed. If it’s appropriate, be clear about those consequences upfront when communicating those boundaries to others.

Follow through. People won’t respect your boundaries if you don’t enforce them.

Standing our ground and forcing consequences doesn’t come easily to us. We want to be nice. We want people to like us, but we shouldn’t have to trade our self-respect to gain friends or to achieve success.

We may be tempted to let minor disrespect slide to avoid conflict, but as the familiar saying goes, “if you give people an inch, they’ll take a mile.”

It’s much easier to address offensive or inappropriate behavior now than to wait until that behavior has gotten completely out of hand.

It’s also important to remember that positive reinforcement is even more powerful than negative consequences. When people do alter the way they treat you, acknowledge it. Let people know that you notice and appreciate their efforts.

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Final Thoughts

Respect is always a valid reason for setting a boundary. Don’t defend yourself or your needs. Boundaries are often necessary to protect your time, your space, and your feelings. And these are essential if you want to take control of your life.

Start with the easiest boundaries first. Setting boundaries is a skill that needs to be practiced. Enlist support from others if necessary. Inform people immediately when they have crossed the line.

Don’t wait. Communicate politely and directly. Be clear about the consequences and follow them through.

The better you become at setting your own boundaries, the better you become at recognizing and respecting the boundaries of others.

Remember that establishing boundaries is your right. You are entitled to respect. You can’t control how other people behave, but you do have control over the way you allow people to treat you.

Learning to set boundaries is not always easy, but with time, it will become more comfortable. You may eventually find that boundaries become automatic and you no longer need to consciously set them.

They will simply become a natural extension of your self-respect.

Featured photo credit: Thomas Kelley via unsplash.com

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