Health & Lifestyle

Banana a Day may keep High Blood Pressure at Bay

Till now we had heard about ‘an apple a day keeps the Doctors away’. But now eating banana a day will also lower the High Blood Pressure. Banana no doubt is a very healthy fruit.

In India banana ranks first in production and third in area among fruit crops.  It accounts for 13 percent of the total area and 33 percent of the production of fruits. Production is highest in Maharashtra (3924.1 thousand tones) followed by Tamil Nadu (3543.8 thousand tonnes). 

Within India, Maharashtra has the highest productivity of 65.70 metric tones /ha. against the national average of 30.5 tonnes/ha. The other major banana producing states are Karnataka, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, and Assam.  

Around one of every eight people in India have high blood pressure, according to a Union health ministry preventive health programme that screened 22.5 million adults across 100 districts in India in 2017, a significant increase from the one-in-every-11 number thrown up by the National Family Health Survey (2015-16), highlighting the havoc wreaked by modern lifestyles on people. The survey was largely conducted in rural areas. 

The numbers are however lower than what they are in other countries. According to the World Health Organization, one in every three people in the US and one in four in the UK suffer hypertension. 

One best way to lower blood pressure is by eating bananas, which are an excellent dietary source of potassium. Small bananas contain 362 milligrams of potassium, while medium bananas have 422 milligrams of the mineral. Large bananas provide 487 milligrams of potassium, more than 10 percent of the daily recommended amount of 4,700 milligrams for healthy adults. 

Bananas, therefore, are good against hypertension. “We know that potassium lessens the harmful effects of sodium,” said Dana Greene, an American registered dietitian. “The more potassium you take in, the more sodium you excrete through urine.” 

According to the Philippine Food and Nutrition Research Institute, two in every 10 Filipino adults of 20 years and over are hypertensive. A banana a day may keep high blood pressure (known in medical parlance as hypertension) at bay. This is good news, as Filipinos suffering from hypertension are increasing in number. 

Banana and plantains are grown in about 120 countries. Total annual world production is estimated at 86 million tonnes of fruits. India leads the world in banana production with an annual output of about 14.2 million tonnes. Other leading producers are Brazil, Eucador, China, Philippines, Indonesia, Costarica, Mexico, Thailand and Colombia. 

Banana is the second most important fruit crop in India next to mango. Its year round availability, affordability, varietal range, taste, nutritive and medicinal value makes it the favourite fruit among all classes of people. It has also good export potential. Hi-tech cultivation of the crop is an economically viable enterprise leading to increase in productivity, improvement in produce quality and early crop maturity with the produce commanding premium price. 



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