Back in October, in response to the "Amazing Banana Facts" e-mail that endlessly circulates the Internet, we invited readers to tell us how bananas affect their own health. The result was overwhelming. About 2,400 banana fans submitted their testimonials to the health benefits of their favorite fruit -- avowing that bananas have helped them with conditions ranging from restless leg syndrome, to migraines, to cramps, to under-eye circles. A mother of two grown sons, who struggles with severe rheumatoid arthritis credits her daily banana for keeping her hands and fingers from swelling. It could be the vitamin C and dietary fiber contained in bananas -- both nutrients contribute to the anti-inflammatory and immune-regulating functions that may help reduce the symptoms of RA. Another top banana nutrient has been making health headlines recently -- vitamin B6. A Journal of the American Medical Association study compared blood levels of various B vitamins among 385,747 adults with incidence of lung cancer after five years. The astounding result: Those with the highest levels of vitamin B6 were 56% less likely to develop lung cancer, compared to those with the lowest levels. Researchers point to vitamin B6's role in DNA repair as possibly contributing to this effect.
One medium banana supplies roughly a third of your vitamin B6 needs for the day -- making it a top plant source of this vital nutrient (salmon and tuna are other top sources).
The B6 in bananas may help explain why those who ate bananas three or more times per week had a 72% lower risk of colorectal cancer (compared to those who ate them less than once a week), in one study.Similarly, another study found that regular consumption of bananas during the first two years of life was associated with a reduced risk of childhood leukemia.
Bonus: Taking hormonal birth control? Be sure to get enough vitamin B6 from sources like bananas.While B6 deficiency is relatively rare in the general population, up to 78% of women on the pill had low levels of B6 in one study.
Dole Nutrition Institute Jennifer Grossman gears to spread the word with her thousands of publications in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal and the Los Angeles Times regarding the push to partake more fruits and vegetables. Alligned with the company’s goal of feeding the world with knowledge they came up with an easy to access scientifically-validated information on nutrition and health. Salute to Jennifer Grossman Dole Nutrition Institute for sharing in her own way the importance of fruits and vegetables. She is a known commentator, but known or not, the passion Jennifer Grossman have to share this to others is something we should have as well. Lets us start with our friends and love ones. Start now, not tomorrow.