5 reasons to go bananas for the nutrient-packed fruit

5 reasons to go bananas for the nutrient-packed fruit
This fruit is a nutritional powerhouse. (Shutterstock)
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Updated 01 September 2020

5 reasons to go bananas for the nutrient-packed fruit

5 reasons to go bananas for the nutrient-packed fruit

DUBAI: Devinder Bains, personal trainer and nutrition coach at Fit Squad DXB, shares her expert advice on the superfood that will help you lead a longer and healthier life.

Bananas are one of the tastiest and most versatile foods around, and the good news is that they are packed with healthy nutrients. Use them in smoothies, fruit bowls, on their own as a snack or dessert, or in the lockdown favorite bake — banana bread. Perfect before or after training, this fruit is a nutritional powerhouse.

Skin health

The abundance of vitamin C and manganese contained in bananas makes them a superfood for the skin. Manganese works by helping the body utilize vitamin C, and they work together to protect against cell and tissue damage from free radicals. Both also help produce collagen, the protein that builds and holds your skin and bones together.




Vitamin C and manganese contained in bananas makes them a superfood for the skin. (Supplied)

Pregnancy

Bananas are a good source of potassium, which can help relieve the leg cramps that are common in pregnant women. They also contain vitamin B6, which is essential for fetal development and which can also help with nausea and vomiting during the first trimester. In addition to super nutrient vitamin C, which keeps immunity in order, bananas are also rich in fiber, which can help with constipation, something that affects half of all pregnant women.

Weight loss

The average banana has around 100 calories, which is pretty low considering how filling, nutritious and tasty they are. Opt for unripe (greener) bananas, which are higher in resistant starch and therefore more filling, helping to reduce appetite. Bananas can also help moderate blood sugar levels and may reduce appetite by slowing stomach emptying.




The average banana has around 100 calories, which is pretty low. (Shutterstock)

Blood pressure

Bananas keep high blood pressure in check due to a combination of high potassium and low sodium. One large banana provides over 10 percent of your daily potassium requirements, which means it can also contribute toward maintaining a healthy heart and kidneys.

Fitness

Bananas are fat-free and contain three natural sugars — sucrose, fructose and glucose — making them an excellent source of energy, especially for growing kids and exercise lovers. They have been labelled the perfect food for athletes due to their mineral content and quick-digesting carbs, making them an energizing addition to breakfast, a filling reboot between training sessions, and an excellent post-workout filler food with a protein shake. As mentioned, they may also play a part in reducing cramps that exercise can bring on.


Review: ‘Outside the Wire’ stays inside the box

Anthony Mackie cements his leading man status in an uncomplicated Netflix sci-fi thriller. Supplied
Anthony Mackie cements his leading man status in an uncomplicated Netflix sci-fi thriller. Supplied
Updated 17 January 2021

Review: ‘Outside the Wire’ stays inside the box

Anthony Mackie cements his leading man status in an uncomplicated Netflix sci-fi thriller. Supplied

LONDON: Seemingly overnight, Anthony Mackie has gone from supporting player in the sprawling Marvel universe to one of Netflix’s most bankable action leads, appearing in such diverse shows as Charlie Brooker’s “Black Mirror,”  season two of “Altered Carbon” and the ambitious 2019 sci-fi epic “IO.”

Leading man status is hardly a surprise since Mackie has proven himself capable of dramatic heft in films such as “The Hurt Locker” and sardonic camaraderie when playing Sam Wilson, Captain America’s friend and sidekick.

But it makes it all the more disappointing when a film doesn’t give him enough to do. In “Outside the Wire” Mackie plays Leo, an android super soldier embedded in a European war zone who recruits a naive drone pilot to help him prevent nuclear armageddon.

In what could have been a fascinatingly paradoxical (maybe even cerebral) spin on the genre, Leo is a weapon with an anti-war stance. He is designed to win hearts and minds, but is capable of shockingly efficient bouts of violence. And, in another potentially fascinating narrative move, he is partnered with rookie soldier Thomas Harp (British actor Damson Idris), who has never seen conflict up close.

These ingredients could make for an altogether different take on the standard military action thriller, but Swedish director Mikael Hafstrom opts for the safe, spectacular path instead. All of which is done very well, though a little long.

“Outside the Wire” is nicely paced, well choreographed and avoids any narrative lulls by knowing precisely when to ramp up the action. Mackie packs a (literal) punch when called for, but is never given much more to do than scowl and kick terrorists through walls.

The movie is perfect middle-of-the-road sci-fi — it asks a few interesting questions, but never really troubles itself trying to come up with the answers.