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Though mangoes top the fruit hierarchy it is bananas which can easily be categorised as the staple fruit of India. One of the great things about bananas is that not only are they delicious but are also cheap and available throughout the year unlike the other fruits. A nutritious and wholesome fruit, Banana is much favoured for its taste, creamy texture and a feeling of fullness and is known to have many health benefits.
 

“Banana is rich in calcium, phosphorus, iron, vitamin C and small amounts of vitamin B complex,” says Nidhi Dhawan, head of the department, Dietetics, Saroj Super Speciality Hospital, Delhi.

Banana is excellent to eat during summers as this season makes everybody prone to intestinal disorders for which banana is an appropriate food. “Bananas possess the ability to change the bacteria in the intestines. It normalises colonic functions in the large intestines by absorbing large amounts of water for bowel movements and  helpful in many problems like constipation and diarrhoea,” Dhawan adds.

The fruit also promotes retention of calcium, phosphorus and nitrogen, all of which then work to build sound and regenerated tissues. Banana also contains invert sugar (a mixture of glucose and fructose), which is an aid to youthful growth and metabolism.

The banana not only has internal benefits but is also beneficial for hair and skin. It contains significant amounts of vitamin C and B6 which helps in maintaining skin elasticity and suppleness. Also the antioxidants and manganese present in bananas help in preventing the premature ageing of the skin.  

Banana has about 75 per cent water by weight. Thus banana helps hydrate the skin and prevents it from drying and peeling. It is also a great natural moisturiser for the skin. The vitamin A present in banana restores the lost moisture and repairs the damaged, dull and dry skin.

“Banana helps reducing the puffiness under the eyes, the potassium rich banana draws out excess fluid from under the skin and reduces the swelling immediately. It also creates manageability, shine, growth and controls dandruff in hair,” say Rajesh Bansal, managing director Nelf USA, Delhi.

Banana is rich in potassium, natural oils, carbohydrates and vitamins which helps in softening the hair and protects the hair’s natural elasticity, lustre and preventing split ends and breakage.

People who want to gain weight can have banana milkshakes which is a good option in summer. With numerous benefits to its credit bananas must be included in one’s
regular diet.

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