• Dr Meltzer

Banana: Mellow, Yellow, Settling & Soothing

Updated: Mar 25

Notable Personality Factors:

They call it mellow yellow–and for good reason! Bananas have a soothing influence. They settle you down, steady your energy, and mellow your mood. Thought to have originated in the South Pacific and then migrated to India, the banana today has a number of different guises. There is, of course, the traditional yellow banana (eaten raw and ripe), plus Jamaican and Mexican red-skinned varieties, and the popular plantain, which is eaten unripe and cooked and is a staple to certain South American and Southeast Asian cuisines. Across the board they’re a tasty, tropical, popular fruit endowed with various nutritional and therapeutic values. Let’s take a closer look.

Across the board they’re a tasty, tropical, popular fruit endowed with various nutritional and therapeutic values.

Therapeutic & Healing Powers:***

Bananas are the beneficiary of an intriguing nutritional combination: They are exceedingly high in potassium but blessedly low in sodium. This dietary duality contributes to many of the banana’s therapeutic benefits and makes it a valuable constituent of a balanced nutritional program.

Although it’s often overlooked, maintaining a proper potassium-to-sodium ratio is an important component to your overall health and wellbeing. Over the years, as food sources have become more processed, refined, and commercialized, the amount of salt in most people’s diet has skyrocketed. This high intake of salt drives out potassium, leads to mineral imbalances in the body, and upsets plasma, joint, and spinal fluids. Therefore, making a point to consume plenty of fruits and vegetables — such as the potassium-rich banana — has become more important than ever in putting the potassium-to-sodium ratio back in your favor and maintaining biochemical balance in the body. The mineral composition of the banana also contributes to its alkalinity, which helps combat arthritic, digestive, and epidermal conditions.

Another major therapeutic benefit of the banana is it has a soothing effect on digestive organs. Bananas ease an assortment of digestive disorders, such as diarrhea, gastritis, and stomach ulcers. In fact, researchers have discovered that the banana, particularly the plantain, strengthens the stomach lining and provides a protective coating that shields against acid damage. It’s also important to note that bananas can be used to quiet down diverticulitis and mashed bananas are nourishing for those who need a bland or soft diet–for example, patients who have difficulty swallowing due to esophagitis or after oral surgery.

In addition, the banana is a cardio-vascular friendly fruit. Not only does the pectin content of the banana help lower cholesterol, but the mineral and potassium content supports healthy blood pressure. Finally, athletes will be interested to learn that these wonder fruits, eaten alone or added to a smoothie, help prevent muscle cramps and are a great source of energy for the body.

Nutrient Value:

As discussed, bananas are a rich source of potassium. They are also a good source of vitamin B6, vitamin C, antioxidants, and soluble fiber.

Selection and Care:

Select golden yellow bananas. Green tips indicate the fruit is not yet ripe. Store at room temperature until they ripen.

Optimal Use and Combining:

Bananas are an alkaline fruit, but because they have a mild taste, creamy texture, and are easily digestible, they have a unique versatility when it comes to combining with other fruits. Bananas combine well with apples, pears, citrus, pineapples, berries, and papayas. Banana with pineapple and either strawberry or papaya makes for a grounding morning fruit salad. Meanwhile, a smoothie with fresh-squeezed oranges, bananas, strawberries, and almonds works as a superb mid-day pick-me-up. Bananas are also right at home in a bowl of granola, and combine well with nuts or nut butters as a snack.

***This article is not intended to treat or diagnose any type of health condition or disease. Any nutritional considerations for any health complication should be discussed with your physician or healthcare provider.