Go Bananas For Bananas

June 6, 2018

Nutrient dense foods are the way to go. We're talking strawberries, mangos, broccoli, quinoa, onions, bluebe..

 

 

No, Alan. We're talking about my favorite food. In a past presentation I gave regarding how micronutrients can positively impact our DNA and overall health, I specifically talked about the reasons why eating a whole food diet is so beneficial.

 

To recap, foods rich in micronutrients and antioxidants do wonders for our telomeres, quality of sleep, and free radical protection. When fighting against cellular aging in the body itself, a high nutrient dense diet is a very good line of defense. In fact, mega doses of vitamin C given intravenously have been shown to slow the growth of cancer in the prostate, liver, and colon to name a few.

 

Food is magic,

 

and with magic in our possession, we can take our health to David Blane card trick levels of WOW. Of all the nutritious foods available however, I've been called out to talk about my favorite one of them all. So today, I'm doing just that.  

 

Get your napkins ready, folks.

 

#1 Favorite Food Is.. Bananas.

 

Cue the Gwen Stephanie song because bananas are awesome. They're easy to eat, delicious, versatile, and easily digestible. Bananas are perfect for breakfast, made into ice-cream, great before and after a workout, and the perfect portable snack.

 

One Banana comes in at only 100-120 calories and comes packed with high amounts of vitamin B6, manganese, and vitamin C. These vitamins and minerals alone give you an arsenal of benefits that can impact your energy levels and the release of neurotransmitters. In totality, the nutrient profile is as follows (courtesy of whfoods.com):

 

Lets talk about the top 3 nutrients on this list.

Vitamin-B6 (Pyridoxal 5'-phosphate or PLP as the active form)

Like the other B Vitamins, B6 is an important co-factor that is present in enzyme reactions. As we eat, a banana in this case, vitamin B6 becomes active and works to regulate the enzymes that lower the activation energy needed to complete the metabolism of macronutrients in the body (Proteins, Carbohydrates, Lipids). As a result, the body has an easier time rebuilding and providing us with the energy we need.

 

Neurotransmitters (chemicals released by neurons)  like serotonin, GABA (Gamma-Aminobutyric Acid), and catecholamines like dopamine are also helped synthesized by B6 allowing those feels to hit you when you need them most. Lacking any one of these chemicals can cause a chain reaction affecting other neurotransmitters as well.

 

For example, lacking serotonin will not only disrupt your mood but will impact your production of melatonin and lets face it, we need our beauty sleep. 

 

No eye bags today, please.

 

Manganese, a trace mineral.

 

This mineral is great and not much is discussed on the topic of trace minerals themselves.  How great is it? Well, manganese is an important co-factor in skin collagen formation, functions as an antioxidant, protects against free-radicals, aids in bone health, and supports gluconeogenisis.

 

Gluconeo-who?

 

Gluco-neo-genisis which is the synthesis of glucose from non-carbohydrate precursors such as amino acids. This process is particularly important during times of prolonged fasting or starvation. As a defense mechanism to keep the body alive, amino acid precursors are converted to glucose in the liver to maintain healthy blood sugar levels. Pyruvate is converted to fructose-6-phosphate which enters the cycle of glycolysis to produce ATP (energy for the cell).

 

Vitamin-C

 

We all know this one hopefully. Very abundant amongst fruits, but sometimes overlooked in terms of its benefits, vitamin-c brings forth a whole list of goodies including:

  • It's required to produce collagen.

  • Being an extremely good antioxidant.

  • Being a necessity to make specific neurotransmitters.

  • It's ability to make iron more absorbable in the intestine.

In fact, vitamin-C was used to prevent scurvy amongst sailors way back in the day. 

 

 

 

Sure did :)!

 

Wrapping up

 

So there you have it- my number one go to food and some benefits to go along with. If you're curious about other foods and how they may impact your health, you should check out whfoods.com. This is an amazing source for the many foods found in your local produce section. Oh! And lastly...

 

 

Go eat a banana!

 

 

 

Sources:

 

 

  • http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=nutrient&dbid=109

  • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jmfENAinpFE

  • http://www.llamp.net/?q=Vitamin%20B6%20metabolism

  • https://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/treatment/cam/patient/vitamin-c-pdq

  • https://www.khanacademy.org/test-prep/mcat/biomolecules/carbohydrate-metabolism/a/glycolysis-and-gluconeogenesis

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