There are foods that must be in my kitchen at all times or I become a little anxious: bananas, almond butter, kale, sweet potatoes, chia seeds, coconut oil, brown rice, chickpeas, hummus and Vega One vanilla. Bananas are #1. If I was stranded on a desert island and I only could bring one thing, it would be bananas. (And I just wrote "desert" as "dessert," twice. I think we all know where my brain is!)
Health Benefits of Bananas
- High in potassium, a mineral and electrolyte needed for proper heart rhythm, nervous system function, muscle operation, kidney support and fluid balance. Their rich potassium content is useful for those with high blood pressure.
- Mood-boosting, containing tryptophan, an amino acid that's converted to serotonin in the body, the feel good, "happy" neurotransmitter.
- Prebiotic powerhouse. Bananas contain a type of fibre referred to as prebiotic. Prebiotics are necessary to feed probiotics. These two compounds work in tandem -you need both for a truly healthy gut. Probiotics have a variety of health benefits including nutrient absorption, cholesterol reduction, weight maintenance, reducing the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), vitamin synthesis (your body actually makes several vitamins!), serotonin production (see above) and much more. Probiotics are a friendly bacteria that are currently being lauded by the health community as a miracle worker -but you can't forget to feed them!
- Rich in vitamin B6, a member of the B-vitamin family that plays a role in hormone balance for women, correct fluid levels, protein metabolism and detoxification. Additionally, vitamin B6 is required to convert tryptophan to serotonin, further increasing the mood-boosting, natural antidepressant benefits.
- Pregnancy power food. Bananas are a supportive, healthy food for pregnant women, as their vitamin B6 content works to maintain the mother-to-be's hormonal balance, proper fluid levels, and aids in developing the baby's nervous system. Vitamin B6 may also be useful in the development of the myelin sheath covering of nerves in both babies and adults, which is needed to conduct impulses correctly.
- Bananas are beautifying, containing a good amount of biotin, needed for hair growth and nail strength.
- Bananas contain a great deal of fibre, supporting digestive health, sweeping out LDL "bad" cholesterol, promoting detoxification, increasing satiation and stabilizing blood sugar levels.
- An easily digestible food. When ripe, bananas are nourishing to the digestive system, soothing the lining of the stomach and providing anti-ulcer support.
- A source of carbohydrates, giving you the energy you need to power through your day and feed your brain for a sharp, focused mind.
If you have trouble digesting bananas, make sure you're eating them when fully ripe. A fully ripe banana that is ready for consumption has a brown spots. Green or greenish bananas are likely to cause indigestion in most people, as they aren't fully ripe. When I buy bananas at the store, I purchase a yellow bunch and a greenish bunch, the greenish bunch will be ripe and ready to eat when the spotty yellow ones are eaten up.
Now, onto what you came here for -vegan ice cream cups. Whatever the weather, life is better with ice cream. I know these certainly made me feel better. This week, I'm going to be good to myself, take it easy, work from the couch, eat ice cream cups and watch Magic Mike *wiggles eyebrows.*
Happy almost ice cream season, everyone!