Bananas are thought to have originated in Malaysia 4 000 years ago and from there spread throughout the Philippines and India. They were first recored as being grown by Alexander the Great in 327 B.C.

Bananas are one of the most popular fruits available on the market and are enjoy by all. They offer an extensive amount of health benefits some you may not even know about -

  • Bananas contain no fat, or cholesterol and are easy to digest.
  • They are a great source of instant energy, as they contain plenty of carbohydrates and contain natural sugars (sucrose, fructose and glucose) which are released quickly into the bloodstream.
  • Bananas are rich in vitamin B6 and are a good source of fibre, vitamin C, magnesium and potassium. Vitamin B6 helps prevent irritability and insomnia. Potassium helps regulate blood pressure and can also reduce the risk of high blood pressure and stroke. Potassium also prevents the bloods pH from becoming too acidic.
  • Bananas are believed to prevent low density lipoprotein from oxidizing, which causes it to stick to the walls of the arteries. This accumulation can contribute to atherosclerosis, or harding of the arteries, a major contributor to heart attack, stroke and high blood pressure. Eating bananas as a part of your diet can reduce the risk of stroke by up to 40%.
  • Eating one medium banana provides you with 11% of your daily potassium requirement and 17% of your daily vitamin C requirement.
  • Research has shown that bananas contain tryptophan, a type of protein that the body converts into serotonin which is known to make you relax, improve your mood and generally make you feel better and may help sufferers of depression naturally.
  • Contains fibre. Fibre is important for good health and helps reduce cholesterol, improving blood sugar control, lowering the risk of heart disease and aiding both constipation and diarrhea.
  • Bananas have a positive effect on the digestive system by helping to maintain regularity and reduce the risk of diverticulitises and hernias.
  • Bananas can stimulate the production of hemoglobin in the blood as they are high in iron and are therefore beneficial for people with anemia.
  • Bananas are high in vitamin B which may help calm your nervous system.
  • Bananas can be used in the treatment of burns and wounds. You can get immediate relief by crushing a ripe banana into a paste and spreading it over a wound or burn.
  • Because of their soft texture and blandness, bananas can be used in the fight against intestinal disorders such as ulcers. Bananas neutralize the acidity of gastric juices, thus reducing ulcer irritation by coating the lining of the stomach. It is only the raw fruit that can be eaten without distress by chronic ulcer cases. Bananas can also help to kill the harmful bacteria that causes ulcers
  • Women who eat 2.5 bananas daily can lower the risk of kidney cancer.
  • Mashing a banana with a little salt is suggested as a valuable remedy for dysentery.
  • Bananas are useful in the treatment of arthritis and gout
  • Bananas are useful for people who have allergic reactions to certain foods and who suffer from skin rashes or digestive disorders or asthma. Most protein foods contain amino acids which are generally not tolerated by people who suffer from these disorders. Bananas contain benign amino acids which rarely cause allergic reactions (of course, it is always recommended that people with any sensitivities check first before proceeding).
  • Bananas can improve your bodies ability to absorb calcium

There are many health benefits associated with eating bananas - nourish the brain; assist with hangovers, heartburn, morning sickness, mosquito bites, PMS, stress and temperature control; protects your eyesight; and warts - the list goes on and on ..... .

Non organic bananas are treated with chemicals when they're growing, harvested and shipped, which include a toxic soup of herbicides, pesticides and fungicides. To control worms and prevent uprooting losses, farmers apply nematocides. One of the most common type of nematocide is Aldicarb, which can be lethal. Workers on banana plantations ofter complain of a terrible smell that causes dizziness and vomiting on hot days. Other chemicals used include benomyl (linked to birth defects) and chloropyrifos (neurotoxin).

How to select and store bananas

  • Select bananas that are slightly green, firm, and without bruises. The stems and tips should be intact.
  • The size of the banana can vary from each tree, so choose the size that best meets your needs.
  • Usually partially green bananas will take 1-3 days to turn sunny yellow in colour.
  • Store bananas at room temperature until they reach the ripeness you want, then they can be stored in the refrigerator. The peel of the banana will darken in the refrigerator but the banana will remain firm inside. They can be stored for up to two weeks.
  • For maximum flavor, allow refrigerated bananas to come back to room temperature before eating them.
  • Never store unripe bananas in the refrigerator as they will not ripen properly because the cold interferes with the ripening process. If unripe bananas are stored in the fridge and later returned to room temperature, the banana will not resume the ripening process.
  • To ripen a banana faster, place it in a brown paper bag with an apple or tomato overnight.

Remember green bananas should be selected cooking, yellow ones should be selected for eating and brown speckeled ones should be selected for baking or making smoothies or shakes. Bananas are one of nature's wonderful gifts, full of health benefits and an important part of everyone's balanced diet. Enjoy an organic banana today!  

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What is Biodynamic Farming?

Posted on January 17, 2007 by Sarmaad

Biodynamic farming has been practised in over 50 countries on all 5 continents for at least 80 years. "Bio" comes from the Greek word which translates as "life" and "dynamic" means a moving force. It is a science of life-forces, a recognition of the basic principles at work in nature and an approach to agriculture which takes these principles into account in trying to bring about balance and healing. It is part of the work of Rudolf Steiner, known as anthroposophy. Through anthroposophy individuals are able to find their own relationship with the world and nature.

Steiner propagated the idea of the "self-contained" farm where there would be just the right number of animals to provide manure for soil fertility and that these animals would then, in turn, be fed from the farm. One of biodynamics fundamental efforts is to build up stable humus in the soil through composting. Vegetable waste, manure, leaves, food scraps, all contain precious vitality which can be put to good use in building up the soil.

Steiner introduced what are known as biodynamic preparations, i.e. naturally occurring plant and animal materials that are combined in a specific way in certain seasons of the year and placed in compost piles. These preparations contain concentrated forces which are used to organize the elements within the compost piles. On completion of the process the resulting preparations are "medicines" for the Earth.

One of the preparations is used on the earth before planting to stimulate the soil life and the other is used on the leaves of the plants to encourage their capacity to receive light. The positive results of these preparations has been scientifically proven. By understanding the natural rythmns of the sun, moon, planets and the stars we can time our ground preparation, sowing, cultivating and harvesting to the optimize the quality of the crops we grow.

Weeds and pests are very useful indicators of imbalances in soil, plants and animals; and the aim of the biodynamic method is to use such indicators in a positive way. Pest and disease control is generally managed by developing the farm as a total organism. When specific pest and weed control is required, products are made from the weeds and pests themselves.

Biodynamic farming means farming in a way which cares for the environment, without relying upon synthetic chemicals and other unnatural interventionist approaches to farming and food production.

Everything in nature reveals something about it's essential character; it is therefore necessary that we learn to understand the language of nature!

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