Wednesday, 22 April 2009
By a high potassium to sodium content, bananas may prevent high blood pressure and its complications. High fiber content may also contribute to this effect. High potassium may also prevent renal calcium loss, in effect preventing bone breakdown. In diarrhea, it contributes with electrolyte replacement, as well as increased absorption of nutrients. Bananas also have some antacid effect, protecting from peptic ulcers.  Pectin content, a hydrocolloid, can ease constipation by normalizing movement through the intestine. The low glycemic index in unripe bananas is of particular benefit to people with diabetes. High fructooligosaccharide content may work as a prebiotic, nourishing the intestinal flora to produce beneficial vitamins and enzymes. Carotenoid content has antioxidant effects, and protects against vitamin A deficiency, resulting in e.g. night blindness. Moderate consumption decreases risk of kidney cancer, possibly due to antioxidant phenolic compounds. In contrast, large consumption of highly processed fruit juice increases the risk of kidney cancer.
Fruit consumption in general decreases the risk of age-related muscular degeneration.