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Monday, July 6, 2009



By a high potassium to sodium content, bananas may prevent high blood pressure and its complications. High fiber content may also contribute to this effect. High potassium may also prevent renal calcium loss, in effect preventing bone breakdown. In diarrhea, it contributes with electrolyte replacement, as well as increased absorption of nutrients.Bananas also have some antacid effect, protecting from peptic ulcers. Pectin content, a hydrocolloid, can ease constipation by normalizing movement through the intestine. The low glycemic index in unripe bananas is of particular benefit to people with diabetes. High fructooligosaccharide content may work as a prebiotic, nourishing the intestinal flora to produce beneficial vitamins and enzymes. Carotenoid content has antioxidant effects, and protects against vitamin A deficiency, resulting in e.g. night blindness. Moderate consumption decreases risk of kidney cancer, possibly due to antioxidant phenolic compounds. In contrast, large consumption of highly processed fruit juice increases the risk of kidney cancer.
Fruit consumption in general decreases the risk of
age-related macular degeneration.
Allergic reactions of a banana
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There are two forms of banana allergy. One is
oral allergy syndrome which causes itching and swelling in the mouth or throat within one hour after ingestion and is related to birch tree and other pollen allergies. The other is related to latex allergies and causes urticaria and potentially serious upper gastrointestinal symptoms.

Textiles
The banana plant has long been a source of fibre for high quality textiles. In Japan, the cultivation of banana for clothing and household use dates back to at least the 13th century. In the Japanese system, leaves and shoots are cut from the plant periodically to ensure softness. The harvested shoots must first be boiled in
lye to prepare the fibres for the making of the yarn. These banana shoots produce fibres of varying degrees of softness, yielding yarns and textiles with differing qualities for specific uses. For example, the outermost fibres of the shoots are the coarsest, and are suitable for tablecloths, whereas the softest innermost fibres are desirable for kimono and kamishimo. This traditional Japanese banana cloth making process requires many steps, all performed by hand.In another system employed in Nepal, the trunk of the banana plant is harvested instead, small pieces of which are subjected to a softening process, mechanical extraction of the fibres, bleaching, and drying. After that, the fibres are sent to the Kathmandu Valley for the making of high end rugs with a textural quality similar to silk. These banana fibre rugs are woven by the traditional Nepalese hand-knotted methods, and are sold RugMark certified.

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