Disease Proof

Bananas Really are the Perfect Food to Me

Editor’s Note: This is a guest post from Bloggy McBloggenstein of Stop Being So Fat! and does NOT necessarily represent the opinions of DiseaseProof or Dr. Fuhrman.

If I don't have one everyday I feel incomplete. I couldn't think of a better snack to have while on the go that doesn't leave me feeling like I've overloaded on salt or sugar, which most snacks do.

Bananas are the ultimate convenience food! As far as fruit goes (or for that matter any "snack" food) bananas require no washing, cutting, peeling, storage, or packaging. They come in their own biodegradable wrapper that can be removed by hand! What more could you ask for in a convenience food?

Just don't leave the peel lying on the ground. Comedy and/or bodily injury may occur!

And they're so cheap! At least in my neck of the woods, they are usually around $.50 a pound, which can get me 3 or 4, depending on the size. That sure beats spending a dollar at the vending machine for a candy bar that will probably make me feel poorly afterward.

The influence of the Western diet in the past few decades has lead most people's diets to become lacking in enough highly nutritious foods to thrive, especially fruit. Bananas are notably helpful in combating the typical Western way of eating in that they are good sources of several vitamins and minerals that actually help reverse the negative effects of eating too many processed, and not enough whole foods.

Those nutrients include Vitamin C, the great antioxidant; vitamin B6, important for amino acid metabolism as well as even reducing depression for some that are deficient. The minerals potassium and magnesium help to reduce blood pressure, which is great since hypertension rates are skyrocketing mostly due to high sodium intake. Oh, and we can't forget fiber!

With all of these good things to say about bananas, there's really no excuse to not have some on hand.

Image credit: Fernando Stankuns

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Comments (4) Read through and enter the discussion with the form at the end
Sara - July 8, 2009 10:56 PM

Bananas are yummy and convenient for sure. However, as far as fruits go they are one of the less nutritious. Just keeping the record straight.

Paul - July 9, 2009 3:26 PM

No denying they are rich in potassium, taste great and contribute well to smoothies better than most fruits, imho.

The downside is that they are relatively high in sugar compared with melons, berries and citrus. That said, once in a while, why not.

McBloggenstein - July 10, 2009 11:52 AM

High in sugar when compared to other fruits, sure. The point was to say that bananas are superior in convenience compared to other fruit, and obviously superior to most other snack options.

Adam - July 12, 2009 5:57 AM

Sugar is not a concern when it comes from a whole food source. Sugars impact on the body is only detrimental when it comes in a refined form, ie. when the fibre or water has been removed, for example, cane sugar, fruit juices/root vegetable juices, honey and other syrups such as maple or dried fruits.

Your body runs of sugar, that is why it breaks everything down to glucose, the most simple sugar, for fuel. The problem comes when there is no fibre to buffer the release of sugar.

Your body is naturally designed to process whole foods only. There are no refined foods in nature. So when a refined food enters the body, it says "whats going on here". It cannot slow down the release of the sugar, due to the lack of fibre, and so gets a big rush of sugar into the blood stream, which demands an emergency kickstart from the pancreas to release more insulin, which in turn, requires an emergency kickstart from the adrenals, to tell the pancreas that there is a life-or-death emergency at hand.

With dried fruits, this is a different picture. Both water and fibre take up a lot of room in the stomach. Part of the satiation signal by the body is to do with calories consumed, but also, to do with how much volume has been taken up in the stomach. The lack of water in the stomach means that you can consume more dried fruits, than you would be able to eating the whole fruit, without feeling full as soon. The lack of water causes the sugars to concentrate in the dried fruits too. So you may end up eating more sugar than your body can actually use up, causing elevated blood sugar levels. This would not happen with a whole food, as the water and fibre levels will send signals to the brain that tell you to reduce appetite and stop eating.

Sugar is also an issue when excess fat is consumed than can be used up by the body. This is because fat molecules are relatively large and take up a lot of space in the blood stream. So if too much is consumed, it can stick around for upto 24 hours. This can cause all sorts of problems, such as the fat molecules blocking the insulin receptors. This means that the sugar cannot get out of the blood stream and into the cells via insulin. So blood sugar levels can remain high.

This is where problems like diabetes, weight gain, candida and adrenal fatigue can come in, particularly when refined sugars are present in the diet. With diabetes, this chronic over-demand on the pancreas every day, over a long period of time, becomes too much of a challenge. Same with the adrenals.

With weight gain, when more sugar is present in the blood stream than can be used to at any given time, one of the things the body can do is store the sugar as body fat, since it cannot store carbohydrates well. This could never happen on a whole foods, low fat diet, since the body would make it very difficult for you to desire to overeat.

As far as candida is concerned, candida is a benevolent organism, which the body needs to preserve its life. It only causes problems when high blood sugar levels come into play. The body allows candida to reside in the body since it consumes sugar. This means on the occassions that we might over-eat for our requirements, perhaps because we have been inactive that day, candida can play a helping role in reducing blood sugar levels. Candida only consumes excess blood sugar. The problem comes into play, in todays unnatural dietary environment, where we have refined sugars and high fat diets. So people have unnaturally high blood sugar levels, often 3 or 4 times a day, instead of the possible once a week or once a month we might find in our natural situation.

As long as the fruit is consumed in its whole, natural form, and you consume a relatively low fat diet, you will get no problems with weight gain, diabetes, adrenal fatigue or any other conditions typically associated with sugar.

Its important that as a society, we transcend this perpetuated myth that all sugar is bad, which is really just based on misinformation. Not all sugar sources are created equally. Our body is quite literally dependant on simple sugars. Indeed it is the only fuel the brain can use.

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