Monday, November 6, 2017

Banana saved my life and restored my health.

Dr Abe V Rotor
Living with Nature - School on Blog []
In observance of World Food Day October 16, 2017
It all started in 2010. I was a visiting speaker during the diocesan meet in Roxas City.  After my talk I felt suddenly tired and uneasy, then my left leg cramped. I tried to walk to relax it, but then my right leg also cramped. The excruciating pain was moving upward. My host, the late Monsignor Benjamin Advincula quickly drove me to the emergency hospital.   

When I woke up a kindly lady doctor said my case was triggered by severe potassium deficiency. Her prescription was a regular intake of banana, any variety. 

When I returned to Manila and underwent further examination, the doctor found out that I was suffering of early diabetes, high blood pressure, high uric acid, prostate enlargement, thickening of the aorta, angina pectoris, and others which accompany aging.  Name it and there were seven medicines I had to take daily - plus banana. I was restricted to poor man's diet, so to speak.  No fatty, spicy, highly processed food, and avoidance of eat-all-you can restaurants, 

Left, Latundan (left) is popular as table banana, Red banana is rare and considered fancy; Green saba is source of banana flour; when ripe, it is boiled and cooked into various recipes.  Right: Saba and Latundan are popular in the local market.

Eating banana is not a problem to me. Hang a bunch to ripen slowly.  Boil saba to take the place of rice.  Pick a stick of banana cue or a roll of turon at a street corner, or make one yourself. There are delightful recipes, but the best is fresh, ripe banana. 

I became physically active in order to burn excess sugar, eliminate uric acid, tone the muscles, eliminate waste regularly.  Grooming is very important, it develops self confidence and socialization.  

It's more than five years now after the incident. I'll soon be celebrating my diamond anniversary, with the feeling and joy of ten years ago - perhaps earlier. I have practically stopped taking medicine.  Banana is indeed an elixir and panacea.  

This article is dedicated to all those who may have experienced a life-threatening condition just like what I had undergone without any apparent preliminary signs and symptoms. It is also dedicated to the memory of the Very Rev Msgr Benjamin F Advincula, PC, Episcopal Vicar for the Clergy, Archdiocese of Capiz, and parish priest of Santa Monica Parish. 
Top, clockwise: Purple banana, seƱorita (popular in the highland of Cavite and Batangas), Cavendish (tumok Ilk); saba variety is a substitute staple food of certain cultures.
Today, bananas are grown in at least 107 countries and are ranked fourth among the world's food crops in monetary value. Americans consume more bananas than apples and oranges combined. 

 Banana varieties sold on the roadside

Benefits of taking banana regularly

1) Blood pressure - Increasing potassium intake and maintaining low sodium have favorable vasodilation effects.

2) Asthma - One banana a day decreases chance of developing asthma.

3) Cancer - Banana reduces risk of developing childhood leukemia. It is also a good source of vitamin C, to combat cancer. .

4) Heart health - The fiber, potassium, vitamin C and B6 content in banana promote heart health

5) Treating Diabetes - Type 1 diabetics who consume high-fiber diets have lower blood glucose levels and type 2 diabetics may have improved blood sugar, lipids and insulin levels. One medium banana provides about 3 grams of fiber.

6) Treating diarrhea - Old folk at home recommend the lakatan or amorosa variety to stop LBM. Too much may cause constipation though. Banana helps promote regularity and replenishes potassium which is lost in diarrhea.

7) Preserving memory and boosting mood - tryptophan, an amino acid helps preserve memory and boost your mood.

 Cavendish banana (Musa acuminataplantation Philippines.  Cavendish banana is the main 
banana export in the world.  
There are about 300,000 plant species in the world and yet we use only about 100 to feed ourselves. There are around 2,000 varieties of cultivated banana but in the developed world we eat only one.
Nuritional Value of Banana

One medium banana (about 126 grams) is considered to be one serving. One serving
of banana contains 110 calories, 30 grams of carbohydrate and 1 gram of protein. Bananas are naturally free of fat, cholesterol and sodium.2

Bananas provide a variety of vitamins and minerals:
§ Vitamin B6 - .5 mg
§ Manganese - .3 mg
§ Vitamin C - 9 mg
§ Potassium - 450 mg
§ Dietary Fiber - 3g
§ Protein - 1 g
§ Magnesium - 34 mg
§ Folate - 25.0 mcg
§ Riboflavin - .1 mg
§ Niacin - .8 mg
§ Vitamin A - 81 IU
§ Iron - .3 mg

The recommended intake of potassium for adults is 4700 milligrams per day.

Dan Koeppel, author of Banana: The Fate of the Fruit That Changed the World, traces the banana back to the Garden of Eden, where he believes it was the banana, not the apple, that was the "forbidden fruit" that Eve offered Adam.

 Bonsai banana 
 Giant banana 

Thousand fingers banana 
Seeded banana, a wild variety (balayang Ilk) 
Bananas and plantains are the world’s fourth most important staple crop after rice, wheat and maize and some 410m people rely on them for between 15-32 per cent of their daily calories.

It's amazing.  There are more recipes made from banana than any kind of fruit.   


Here are banana recipes you can choose from, can you identify them? Make your own recipes, too. 
Other uses of banana.  (Example banana ketchup, banana table wine, vinegar)  Continue this list. 
  Banana blossom (puso ng saging) from saba variety is commercially sold as vegetable and  extender of hamburger.  Note leaves in bundle also sold in the market as natural multipurpose wrapper. 

It is believed that there are almost 1000 varieties of bananas in the world, subdivided in 50 groups. The most commonly known banana is the Cavendish variety, which is the one produced for export markets. Bananas are grown in more than 150 countries, producing 105 million tonnes of fruit per year.

Almost all modern cultivated varieties (cultivars) of edible bananas and plantains are
hybrids and polyploids of two wild, seeded banana species, Musa acuminata and Musa balbisiana. Cultivated bananas are almost always seedless (parthenocarpic) and hence sterile, so they are propagated vegetatively. They are classified into groups according to a genome-based system. (Internet)

Reference: Bananas: Health Benefits, Facts, Research Written by Megan Ware RDN LD

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