Health Benefits of Bananas

My daughter loves Bananas, as do I. We both eat one for breakfast everyday. Not only do bananas taste great, but they provide a number of health benefits for children. A study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology a few years ago showed an association between regular consumption of bananas/oranges and orange juice in children from ages 0-2 and a reduction in the risk of childhood leukemia diagnosed between the ages of 2 and 14 years [1]. The results suggested that fruits or fruit juices containing vitamin C and/or potassium may reduce the risk of childhood leukemia, especially if they are consumed on a regular basis during the first 2 years of life. A separate study published this year found evidence that a higher consumption of bananas and apple juice from concentrate may protect against wheezing in children [2].

The Glycemic Index

The Glycemic Index (GI) is a system for rating carbohydrates, or saccharides, based on their immediate effect on the blood glucose level. An organic compound, glucose is a simple sugar or monosaccharide. Glucose is the principle sugar circulating in the blood; all cells use glucose as a source of energy and as a metabolic intermediate. Found in plants, glucose is the product of photosynthesis (the process of converting light energy to chemical energy and storing it in the bonds of a glucose molecule). Biologically active glucose is often referred to as dextrose. Glucose is often incorrectly referred to as table sugar – table sugar is a disaccharide composed of glucose and fructose.