Herbs Info - Page 3 of 340 -

When Your Banana Turns Brown

When Your Banana Turns Brown
Graphic: © herbs-info.com. Image source – Pixabay (PD).

When it comes to keeping the doctor away, bananas and apples go hand in hand. The tropical fruit is loaded with nutrients such as vitamin C, potassium, and fiber that support optimal health. The only downside to this super fruit is its relatively short shelf life.

You probably discard your bananas the moment they turn brown. But as it turns out, you’re throwing away the “good stuff.” Wondering what we’re talking about? Read on for evidence-backed health benefits of fully ripe bananas.

Health Benefits of Overripe Bananas

Concerned that the brown spots on your bananas are a sign of going bad? The Greater Chicago Food Depository shows that when your banana turns brown, they’re still safe for consumption – and laden with more health benefits. [1] You should only be concerned when there are traces of mold or strange odors.

According to a 2014 study in the International Food Research Journal, the ripening process in a bananas leads to changes in its chemical composition and antioxidant content. [2] The researcher discovered that the level of sugar content and antioxidants, such as vitamin C was significantly higher in the fully ripened stage. Antioxidants eradicate harmful free radicals and strengthen the immune system – hence helping fight infections and even hinder cancer development. [3]

How to Use Fully Ripe Bananas

Ready to go bananas for ripe bananas? Fully ripe bananas not only taste great, but they’re also great for your body. So next time your bananas turn brown, consider adding them in your cakes, smoothies, baked goods, or even ice cream.

Please note that this content should never be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinicians.

References:

[1] The Greater Chicago Food Depository (2019). SALVAGEABLE FRUIT AND VEGETABLE GUIDELINES https://www.chicagosfoodbank.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/SALVAGEABLE_FRUIT_AND_VEGETABLE_GUIDELINES.pdf.

[2] Fernando, H. R. P. et al. 2014. Changes in antioxidant properties and chemical composition during ripening in banana variety ‘Hom Thong’ (AAA group) and ‘Khai’ (AA group) https://search.proquest.com/openview/1b760d990874817658b2984b0e393a19/1?pq-origsite=gscholar&cbl=816390.

[3] National Cancer Institute (2019). Antioxidants and Cancer Prevention https://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/causes-prevention/risk/diet/antioxidants-fact-sheet.

Why I Love Magnesium

Why I Love Magnesium
Graphic: © herbs-info.com.

Did you know that magnesium deficiency leads to abnormal heart rhythms, personality changes, seizures, muscle cramps, numbness, and an increased risk or diabetes? [1] As scary as this sounds, a large number of Americans do not meet their required daily intake of this macronutrient. [2]

With this in mind, eating magnesium-rich foods such as dairy products, whole grains, leafy green vegetables, seeds, nuts, and legumes should be a dietary priority. Here’s what you stand to gain:

1. Relieves Pain: Magnesium deficiency is linked to a higher risk of migraines. [3] One study showed that consuming 1 gram of the macronutrient was effective against an acute migraine attack. [4]

2. Helps You Sleep: Magnesium helps relax your nerves and muscles, preparing your body for sleep. [5]

3. Lowers the Risk of Diabetes: Magnesium inhibits C-reactive protein, which is associated with an increased risk of diabetes. [6]

4. Reduces Tinnitus: A study in the International Tinnitus Journal concluded that “magnesium may have a beneficial effect on the perception of tinnitus-related handicap.” [7]

5. Improves moods: The mineral helps with nerve function, influences your mood, and reduces the risk of depression. [8][9]

6. Relieves Stress: Reduce your stress hormone levels by supplementing your diet with magnesium. [10]

7. Healthy Bones and Teeth: With 60% of your magnesium content residing in your bones, it’s logical to increase your intake to improve teeth and bone health. [11]

8. Proper Heart Function: Dietary magnesium reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease. [12]

9. Alleviates PMS (Premenstrual Syndrome): Studies show that a healthy intake of magnesium improves PMS symptoms such as fluid retention and mood changes. [13][14]

10. Reduces Muscle Tension: Supplementing your diet with magnesium helps dispose of lactate and move blood sugar into the muscle, releasing tension. [15]

Please note that this content should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinicians.

References:

[1] Magnesium https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Magnesium-Consumer/.

[2] Dietary Reference Intakes for Calcium, Phosphorus, Magnesium, Vitamin D, and Fluoride https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK109825/.

[3] Why all migraine patients should be treated with magnesium. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22426836.

[4] Comparison of therapeutic effects of magnesium sulfate vs. dexamethasone/metoclopramide on alleviating acute migraine headache. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25278139.

[5] The effect of magnesium supplementation on primary insomnia in elderly: A double-blind placebo-controlled clinical trial. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23853635.

[6] Oral magnesium supplementation decreases C-reactive protein levels in subjects with prediabetes and hypomagnesemia: a clinical randomized double-blind placebo-controlled trial. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24814039.

[7] Phase 2 study examining magnesium-dependent tinnitus. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22249877.

[8] Nutrition and Traumatic Brain Injury: Improving Acute and Subacute Health Outcomes in Military Personnel. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK209305/.

[9] Magnesium intake and depression in adults. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25748766.

[10] On the significance of magnesium in extreme physical stress. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9794094.

[11] Magnesium and Osteoporosis: Current State of Knowledge and Future Research Directions https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3775240/.

[12] Circulating and dietary magnesium and risk of cardiovascular disease: a systematic review and meta-analysis of prospective studies https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3683817/.

[13] Magnesium supplementation alleviates premenstrual symptoms of fluid retention. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9861593.

[14] Oral magnesium successfully relieves premenstrual mood changes. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2067759.

[15] Magnesium enhances exercise performance via increasing glucose availability in the blood, muscle, and brain during exercise. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24465574.

13 Great Probiotic Foods You Should Be Eating

13 Great Probiotic Foods You Should Be Eating
Graphic: © herbs-info.com. Image sources – see foot of article.

Do you want to promote your heart health, reduce depression, improve digestive health, and even get better-looking skin? Research shows that probiotics – which are live organisms (mainly beneficial bacteria) – could provide all sorts of health benefits for your brain and body. While you can easily get probiotics from supplements, several fermented foods are rich in the healthy microorganisms, as shown below:

1. Kefir: This fermented dairy product is made from fermented kefir grains and milk. It contains up to 34 strains of probiotics.

2. Sauerkraut: Sauerkraut is made from fermented vegetables such as cabbage, and is quite popular in Germany.

3. Kombucha: The centuries-old probiotic drink is basically a fermentation of black tea originating from Japan.

4. Coconut Kefir: Not a fan of dairy? Fermenting kefir grains and the juice of young coconuts offers most of the probiotics contained in traditional dairy kefir – plus it tastes great.

5. Natto: Natto is a Japanese dish made from fermented soybeans. It contains several probiotics, including the potent Bacillus subtilis strain.

6. Yogurt: Arguably the most popular and easily accessible probiotic food, yogurt is processed from milk – especially from grass-fed sheep, goats, and cows.

7. Kvass: This ancient beverage has roots in Eastern Europe, and it’s made by fermenting barley or rye. Alternatively, you can use root vegetables, beets, and probiotic fruits.

8. Raw Cheese: Unpasteurized and raw cheese is high in probiotics such as acidophilus, bulgaricus, bifudus, and thermophilus.

9. Apple Cider Vinegar: This popular drink can significantly ramp up your probiotic intake while providing other health benefits.

10. Salted Gherkin Pickles: Salted gherkin pickles are a little-known source of probiotics, but quite potent.

11. Brine-Cured Olives

12. Tempeh: Tempeh is an Indonesian product created by fermenting soybeans.

13. Miso: Miso is a Japanese spice made by fermenting brown rice, barley, or soybean with Koji, a fungus.

Please note that this content should never be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinicians.

Infographic Image Sources:
Kefir – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Kefir-grains-90grams.jpg
Sauerkraut – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Wesselburenkraut_19.06.2012_18-35-26.jpg
Kombucha – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Kombucha_Mature.jpg
Coconut Kefir – https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Beneficio-do-kefir.jpg
Natto – https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Natto_dsc04765.jpg
Yogurt – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Cacik-1.jpg
Kvass – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Mint_bread_kvas.jpg
Raw Cheese – https://pixabay.com/photos/raw-cheese-cheese-dairy-food-3606079/
Apple Cider Vinegar – https://pixabay.com/photos/apple-apple-juice-beverage-bottle-3782737/
Salted Gherkin Pickles – https://pixabay.com/photos/pickled-cucumbers-homemade-preserves-1520638/
Brine-cured olives – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Olives_vertes.JPG
Tempeh – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Sliced_tempeh.jpg
Miso – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Miso_Soup.jpg