Consuming fruits contribute a lot to our health and general wellbeing while reducing our risk of having some diseases. Apples and bananas are quite common around these parts and provide huge nutritional benefit as we discuss below
Apples are rich in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, potassium, dietary fiber and here a few specific ways they can be beneficial,
- Improves gut health:
Apples are rich in soluble fibers; in fact, a large apple provides about 20 percent of daily recommended intake of dietary fiber. The fibers aid digestion, ensure smooth bowel movements and prevent constipation.
Apples contain pectin, a type of fiber that acts like a probiotic. It specifically helps to improve the functioning of the bacteria living in our gut.
- Helpful in improving dental health:
Eating apples help dental health. The antibacterial properties of apple juice and its ability to stimulate saliva secretion help in reducing bacterial proliferation in the mouth.
- Alleviation of asthma symptoms:
Quercetin and myricetin are bioflavonoids present in good amount in the apple skin and help in reduction of inflammation which is common in asthmatic patients.
- Skin and hair care:
The powerful antioxidants in apples help mop up the free radicals generated in the body. They counteract the damaging effects of free radicals, which are directly linked to premature aging, wrinkles, age spots, and other age-related conditions.
Apple juice when used to wash the hair fights dandruff and makes the hair glow after rinsing.
- Aid in weight control:
Apple is great for people looking to lose weight due to its high fiber and low-calorie density.
- Prevents Osteoporosis:
Along with fiber and Vitamin C, apples have an exclusive flavonoid called phlorizin. French researchers found that phlorizin may protect postmenopausal women from developing osteoporosis.
Note: Apple seeds should not be consumed
Apple juice can also interact with the anti-allergy drug fexofenadine, hence the need to inform your pharmacist about the fruits you take regularly.
I haven’t found someone who doesn’t love bananas, you’ve got to love them. This fruit is soft, tasty and can be eaten with a couple of other stuff we all love to eat. They also contain many essential nutrients that help keep us healthy with specific benefits such as:
- Cognitive functions and mood enhancement:
Bananas contain good amounts of an amino acid known as tryptophan that may help preserve memory, boost a person’s ability to learn and remember things and regulate mood.
- Digestive health:
Bananas contain water and fiber, both of which promote digestive health.
Bananas are also part of an approach known as the BRAT diet which some doctors recommend for treating diarrhea. BRAT stands for bananas, rice, applesauce, and toast. Bananas can help replace water and electrolytes, such as potassium usually lost during episodes of diarrhea.
Researches have suggested that lectin, a protein found naturally in bananas, may help prevent leukemia. Lectin acts as an antioxidant and they help the body remove molecules known as free radicals which promote aging.
- Muscle strength and repair:
Bananas are a prime source of potassium. Because it’s an electrolyte, potassium helps your muscles recover from a workout, strengthens their development, and allows you to work out more.
- Blood pressure regulation:
According to the FDA the combination of a low-sodium, high potassium intake is associated with the lowest blood pressure levels and lowest frequency of stroke in individuals and populations.” Bananas are high in potassium and low in sodium, the fruit is officially recognized by the FDA as being able to lower blood pressure and protect against heart attack and stroke.
- Reduction of bad cholesterol:
Bananas are rich source of phytosterols, which are compounds that have cholesterol-lowering effects.
- Improves kidney health:
Potassium is essential for blood pressure control and healthy kidney function. As a good dietary source of potassium, bananas may be especially beneficial for maintaining healthy kidneys.
- Lean Muscle development
A good source of magnesium, bananas can help with muscle contraction and relaxation as well as protein synthesis which increases lean muscle mass.
A fact to note is that in as much as bananas and other fruits confer numerous health benefits but those on certain medications like beta blockers should consult their pharmacists for advice on potential drug- food interactions that accompany eating lots of bananas.
Okpe Benjamin (B.Pharm UPH)