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SINGAPORE - Bananas are a convenient, affordable and delicious snack enjoyed by many around the world. Considered a staple in many diets, bananas possess many beneficial health properties that most of us are unaware of.
For example, did you know that being rich in vitamin-B and many other minerals, it can help you quit smoking?
What it does is it helps reduce the stress of nicotine withdrawal, while at the same time helping you deal with it - both physically and psychologically.
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It will be a great idea to include bananas in your diet if you are planning to quit smoking, but this vitamin-B rich food can also act as a remedy to pre-menstrual syndrome, as they also regulate blood glucose levels and suppress cranky moods.
Thus, when faced with a stressful situation, it is a good idea to take a break and have a banana.
That is not all. Being high in soluble fibre, bananas also prevent constipation and act as a natural laxative to ease congested bowel functions.
Bananas are also a way to happiness. How so? They can increase the mental wellbeing by releasing a mood regulating substance called tryptophan. This helps to elevate mood when it is converted into serotonin in the brain.
These yellow-skinned fruits are also rich in iron and potassium - which help with the production of hemoglobin in the blood and facilitate the flow of oxygen to the brain.
This can help us to be more alert, and also help us to have a regular heartbeat and proper water balance within in the body.
A quick tip who want porcelain white teeth: After eating the fruit, you can use the inside of the banana peel as a gentle teeth whitener (View gallery below on how).
You could also use the peel as a natural fertiliser for your gardens.
What should I look for in a banana?
There are many types of bananas available, such as the popular bright yellow Cavendish variety and local favourite Plantains.
However, regardless of the type of bananas you buy, it is better to select one which is riper with brown spots if you intend to consume them immediately.
The dark patches come from a substance called Tumor Necrosis Factor (TNF) which combats abnormal cells in the body.
Research indicates that the dark patches are indicative of the fruit's anti-cancer properties - the more dark patches, the more potent it is.
But avoid bananas that have split open, or that have turned fully brown.