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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!

More by this author

Brian Wu

Health Writer, Author

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Last Updated on September 16, 2019

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

You have a deadline looming. However, instead of doing your work, you are fiddling with miscellaneous things like checking email, social media, watching videos, surfing blogs and forums. You know you should be working, but you just don’t feel like doing anything.

We are all familiar with the procrastination phenomenon. When we procrastinate, we squander away our free time and put off important tasks we should be doing them till it’s too late. And when it is indeed too late, we panic and wish we got started earlier.

The chronic procrastinators I know have spent years of their life looped in this cycle. Delaying, putting off things, slacking, hiding from work, facing work only when it’s unavoidable, then repeating this loop all over again. It’s a bad habit that eats us away and prevents us from achieving greater results in life.

Don’t let procrastination take over your life. Here, I will share my personal steps on how to stop procrastinating. These 11 steps will definitely apply to you too:

1. Break Your Work into Little Steps

Part of the reason why we procrastinate is because subconsciously, we find the work too overwhelming for us. Break it down into little parts, then focus on one part at the time. If you still procrastinate on the task after breaking it down, then break it down even further. Soon, your task will be so simple that you will be thinking “gee, this is so simple that I might as well just do it now!”.

For example, I’m currently writing a new book (on How to achieve anything in life). Book writing at its full scale is an enormous project and can be overwhelming. However, when I break it down into phases such as –

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  • (1) Research
  • (2) Deciding the topic
  • (3) Creating the outline
  • (4) Drafting the content
  • (5) Writing Chapters #1 to #10,
  • (6) Revision
  • (7) etc.

Suddenly it seems very manageable. What I do then is to focus on the immediate phase and get it done to my best ability, without thinking about the other phases. When it’s done, I move on to the next.

2. Change Your Environment

Different environments have different impact on our productivity. Look at your work desk and your room. Do they make you want to work or do they make you want to snuggle and sleep? If it’s the latter, you should look into changing your workspace.

One thing to note is that an environment that makes us feel inspired before may lose its effect after a period of time. If that’s the case, then it’s time to change things around. Refer to Steps #2 and #3 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity, which talks about revamping your environment and workspace.

3. Create a Detailed Timeline with Specific Deadlines

Having just 1 deadline for your work is like an invitation to procrastinate. That’s because we get the impression that we have time and keep pushing everything back, until it’s too late.

Break down your project (see tip #1), then create an overall timeline with specific deadlines for each small task. This way, you know you have to finish each task by a certain date. Your timelines must be robust, too – i.e. if you don’t finish this by today, it’s going to jeopardize everything else you have planned after that. This way it creates the urgency to act.

My goals are broken down into monthly, weekly, right down to the daily task lists, and the list is a call to action that I must accomplish this by the specified date, else my goals will be put off.

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Here’re more tips on setting deadlines: 22 Tips for Effective Deadlines

4. Eliminate Your Procrastination Pit-Stops

If you are procrastinating a little too much, maybe that’s because you make it easy to procrastinate.

Identify your browser bookmarks that take up a lot of your time and shift them into a separate folder that is less accessible. Disable the automatic notification option in your email client. Get rid of the distractions around you.

I know some people will out of the way and delete or deactivate their facebook accounts. I think it’s a little drastic and extreme as addressing procrastination is more about being conscious of our actions than counteracting via self-binding methods, but if you feel that’s what’s needed, go for it.

5. Hang out with People Who Inspire You to Take Action

I’m pretty sure if you spend just 10 minutes talking to Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, you’ll be more inspired to act than if you spent the 10 minutes doing nothing. The people we are with influence our behaviors. Of course spending time with Steve Jobs or Bill Gates every day is probably not a feasible method, but the principle applies — The Hidden Power of Every Single Person Around You

Identify the people, friends or colleagues who trigger you – most likely the go-getters and hard workers – and hang out with them more often. Soon you will inculcate their drive and spirit too.

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As a personal development blogger, I “hang out” with inspiring personal development experts by reading their blogs and corresponding with them regularly via email and social media. It’s communication via new media and it works all the same.

6. Get a Buddy

Having a companion makes the whole process much more fun. Ideally, your buddy should be someone who has his/her own set of goals. Both of you will hold each other accountable to your goals and plans. While it’s not necessary for both of you to have the same goals, it’ll be even better if that’s the case, so you can learn from each other.

I have a good friend whom I talk to regularly, and we always ask each other about our goals and progress in achieving those goals. Needless to say, it spurs us to keep taking action.

7. Tell Others About Your Goals

This serves the same function as #6, on a larger scale. Tell all your friends, colleagues, acquaintances and family about your projects. Now whenever you see them, they are bound to ask you about your status on those projects.

For example, sometimes I announce my projects on The Personal Excellence Blog, Twitter and Facebook, and my readers will ask me about them on an ongoing basis. It’s a great way to keep myself accountable to my plans.

8. Seek out Someone Who Has Already Achieved the Outcome

What is it you want to accomplish here, and who are the people who have accomplished this already? Go seek them out and connect with them. Seeing living proof that your goals are very well achievable if you take action is one of the best triggers for action.

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9. Re-Clarify Your Goals

If you have been procrastinating for an extended period of time, it might reflect a misalignment between what you want and what you are currently doing. Often times, we outgrow our goals as we discover more about ourselves, but we don’t change our goals to reflect that.

Get away from your work (a short vacation will be good, else just a weekend break or staycation will do too) and take some time to regroup yourself. What exactly do you want to achieve? What should you do to get there? What are the steps to take? Does your current work align with that? If not, what can you do about it?

10. Stop Over-Complicating Things

Are you waiting for a perfect time to do this? That maybe now is not the best time because of X, Y, Z reasons? Ditch that thought because there’s never a perfect time. If you keep waiting for one, you are never going to accomplish anything.

Perfectionism is one of the biggest reasons for procrastination. Read more about why perfectionist tendencies can be a bane than a boon: Why Being A Perfectionist May Not Be So Perfect.

11. Get a Grip and Just Do It

At the end, it boils down to taking action. You can do all the strategizing, planning and hypothesizing, but if you don’t take action, nothing’s going to happen. Occasionally, I get readers and clients who keep complaining about their situations but they still refuse to take action at the end of the day.

Reality check:

I have never heard anyone procrastinate their way to success before and I doubt it’s going to change in the near future.  Whatever it is you are procrastinating on, if you want to get it done, you need to get a grip on yourself and do it.

More About Procrastination

Featured photo credit: Malvestida Magazine via unsplash.com

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