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Banana Benefits - Health Benefits of Eating Bananas Assalamualaikum and greetings to our respected Principal/Headmaster/Headmistress/CEO, industrious lecturers, hardworking

college staffs and fellow peers. I am Siti Hajar Samian and today, on this fine morning, I would like to talk about the benefits of eating bananas. Before going into any details, allow me to give an introduction that is related to the subject of my talk for today. I am sure that each one of use here is well informed that Malaysia is a land that is rich in tropical fruits. Bananas being one of it. Generally, bananas vary in size and firmness, but is usually elongated and curved with soft flesh covered with a rind which may be yellow, purple or red when ripe. The colours of different species of bananas differ in different parts of the world. Here, in Malaysia the bananas which are green in colour when immature and yellow when ripe is much more common among locals. Many may have not realised that there are a lot of benefits that we gain from eating this nutritious fruit. At a molecular level, bananas are found to have contained three natural sugars. The sugars are sucrose, fructose and glucose. These natural sugars combined with fiber in a banana give an instant, sustained and substantial boost of energy. Research has proven that just two bananas provide enough energy for a strenuous 90-minute workout. No wonder the banana is the number one fruit with the world's leading athletes. But energy isn't the only way a banana can help us keep fit. It can also help overcome or prevent a substantial number of illnesses and conditions, making it a must to add to our daily diet. Besides that, research conducted by experts show that bananas are a rich source of potassium. They are also a natural source of the mineral iron. This fruit helps in weight loss, constipation, blood pressure, brain power and anemia in short. In addition to the cardiovascular benefits, the potassium found in bananas may also help to promote bone health. Fellow audience, these are the main reasons the banana is said to be a nutritious fruit. I apologize for the long introduction, without further-ado; please allow me to go into details about the benefits of eating bananas. Some of which I have mentioned earlier in the introduction a few moments ago. First of all, bananas assist in overcoming depression. According to a recent survey amongst people suffering from depression, many felt much better after eating a banana. This is because bananas contain tryptophan, a type of protein that the body converts into serotonin, known to make you relax, improve your mood and generally make you feel happier. Next, this unique tropical fruit is extremely high in potassium yet low in salt, making it the perfect to beat blood pressure. So much so, the US Food and Drug Administration have just allowed the banana industry to make official claims for the fruit's ability to reduce the risk of blood pressure and stroke. Here is an interesting fact about bananas that I am sure will catch your attention. 200 students at a Twickenham (Middlesex) school were helped through their exams this year by eating bananas at breakfast, break, and lunch in a bid to boost their brain power. Research has shown that the potassium-

packed fruit can assist learning by making pupils more alert. Just as additional information, Twickenham is a large suburban town in London. I might not have mentioned this, so I will say it now. Bananas are high in fibre. Including bananas in the diet can help restore normal bowel action, helping to overcome constipation without resorting to laxatives. One of the quickest ways of curing a hangover is to make a banana milkshake, sweetened with honey. Just so you know, hangover is a condition in which a person experiences various unpleasant physiological effects following heavy consumption of alcoholic beverages. Most commonly reported characteristics of a hangover include headache, nausea, sensitivity to light and noise, lethargy, dysphoria, diarrhea and thirst. The role of bananas here is to calm the stomach and with the help of the honey, builds up depleted blood sugar levels, while the milk soothes and re-hydrates ones system. Many other cultures see bananas as a "cooling" fruit that can lower both the physical and emotional temperature of expectant mothers. In Thailand, for example, pregnant women eat bananas to ensure their baby is born with a cool temperature. In other words, bananas are eaten for temperature control. So far I have mentioned five/six benefits of eating bananas. Allow me to mention another two benefits. Bananas are found to be able to help people give up smoking. The B6, B12 they contain as well as the potassium and magnesium found in them, help the body recover from the effects of nicotine withdrawal. Lastly, bananas play a vital role when one is stressed. Potassium is an important mineral, which helps normalize the heartbeat, sends oxygen to the brain and regulates your body's water balance. When we are stressed, our metabolic rate rises, thereby reducing our potassium levels. These can be balanced with the help of a high-potassium banana snack. To summarize it all, a banana really is a natural remedy for many illnesses. When you compare it to an apple, it has four times the protein, twice the carbohydrate, three times the phosphorus, five times the vitamin A and iron and twice the other vitamins and minerals. It is also rich in potassium and is one of the best value foods around. Dear audience, I am sorry to have taken so much of your time. I thank you for listening patiently and put up with my endless talking for about six minutes. Time seems to envy us, so I believe it is time to bring this presentation to a close. I pray that all of you here learned a few things from this talk. Before I withdraw, allow me to share something with all of you. There is an idiom that goes like this: an apple a day, keeps the doctors away. I believe, after listening to my talk earlier, everyone here agrees that a banana a day, keeps the doctors away. With that I end my speech. Thank you.

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