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Five Things You Need to Know About Bananas

This month we’ve given the newsletter a banana theme to help highlight the health and weight-loss benefits of bananas. Inspired by Japan’s Morning Banana Diet, which sent banana sales soaring 70% in some markets, we investigated the science behind the diet’s popularity, and formulated our own healthier version: the Dole Banana Diet. In partnership with Dole Fresh Fruit, we’ve launched to detail the various ways bananas may help with weight loss — not least of which is as a top source of resistant starch, which helps curb appetite and helps metabolize fat.

In addition to helping you and your family avoid obesity — and all its attendant health ailments — bananas may also offer other benefits, such as:

  • Colon Health: Compounds in bananas could help minimize colorectal inflammation, believed to precede the cancer itself.
  • Balancing side effects of oral contraception: Bananas are a top source of B6, low levels of which plague 3/4 of pill takers (B6 is used up metabolizing estrogen).
  • Iron Levels: Resistant starch again, boosting iron absorption by 28% in one animal study.
  • Virus Inhibitor: Bantec, a super protein called lectin isolated from bananas, is in development as a potential inhibitor of the HIV virus.
  • Lung Health. Kids who ate bananas daily have a 34% less chance of developing symptoms, in one study.

Read on to learn about the latest research discoveries on banana benefits, including offsetting potassium depletion from soda consumption, as well as bananas’ role in protecting children in developing countries from devastating gastrointestinal infection. Meanwhile, look for the Dole Banana Diet stickers in the fresh fruit section of your local grocery store.

Published January 1, 2010

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