Could something as simple as a banana hold the key to better health? Fox News medicine hunter Chris Kilham says yes. Bananas are full of antioxidants that protect the body against cancer and heart disease, and they even contain substances that can improve your mood.
Bananas are rich in alpha-linolenic acid, an antioxidant compound that also has anti-inflammatory and cancer-fighting properties. It helps stave off premature aging of cells in the body, while also increasing blood flow and shoring up the immune system.
Quercetin and kaempferol are two more compounds found in bananas: like alpha-linolenic acid, these substances also boost immunity, reduce inflammation, protect cells, and promote good circulation. In addition, they protect nerves from damage, and help the body battle several different kinds of tumors.
Rutin is yet another substance that has antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, cancer-fighting power. It also helps the body use Vitamin C, and helps keep blood vessels flexible and strong. Guess where rutin’s found? Bananas, of course.
Bananas can even improve mood – they contain dopamine and serotonin, two important neurotransmitter chemicals. Dopamine is the chemical key to the feeling of satisfaction – it’s the “reward” neurotransmitter - and serotonin alleviates depression.
In addition to these powerful substances, bananas are chock full of vitamins and minerals. A medium-sized banana contains 34% of the recommended daily amount of Vitamin B6; 17% of the RDA of Vitamin C; and 14% of the RDA of potassium. It also packs 11% of the RDA of fiber – 0.9 grams of soluble fiber and 1.9 grams of insoluble fiber, both of which are good for digestion.