By GERRY CORNEJO
HEALTH BENEFITS OF BANANAS
Bananas are one of nature’s great snack foods. Among its many health benefits is it’s a cure for hangovers!
Potassium is an essential mineral which maintains proper heart function and regulates your blood pressure. Potassium-rich foods such as bananas actually offset the effect of sodium (salt) in raising your blood pressure. This, along with a healthy diet and lifestyle, lowers your risk of heart attack and stroke.
This isn’t pseudoscience. US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) allows the banana industry to make official claims, much like they would a pharmaceutical drug, with respect to the reduction in risk of high blood pressure and stroke. Research published in the American Heart Association’s journal suggests eating bananas regularly can cut your risk of having a stroke by up to 20%.
Bananas’ potassium content also benefits your kidneys and bones. Increased potassium intake suppresses calcium excretion in the urine, preventing painful kidney stones. Decreased calcium excretion means more calcium to preserve your bones. This means a banana or two a day can reduce the risk of developing osteoporosis and brittle bones.
Increased Energy. Sports drinks, energy bars and electrolyte gels are extremely popular nowadays, however you often see professional athletes eating bananas just before and even during their sports.
Watching tennis for instance, it’s not uncommon to see the players snacking on a piece of banana in between games. If a banana can keep a professional tennis player going, it must rank highly as a healthy energy source.
Bananas make a great work snack to combat that mid-afternoon slump. They’re a good choice for weight loss too – a small banana contains about 100 calories and will satisfy your sweet cravings.
If you can replace candy bars and other junk foods with bananas, it’s a helpful step towards losing weight. Not only will your body thank you for the vitamin and mineral boost but the energy release will be much more consistent.
Improved Digestion. Most of us don’t get nearly enough fiber in our diets. Fiber is needed to help food travel smoothly through the digestive tract. It also improves your bowel movements. Bananas are a great source of dietary fiber.
A couple of bananas is a better choice than taking a laxative to treat occasional constipation.
Turning to another important element of digestion, bananas are rich in fructo-oligosaccharides (FOS). FOS is a prebiotic – i.e. it feeds the important “friendly” bacteria that live in your digestive tract. These bacteria help us absorb nutrients more efficiently.
Cure for Ulcers & Heartburn. Bananas are a known cure for heartburn. They help balance your stomach’s pH and enhance the protective mucus layer, relieving pain. The fiber content also moves food through your digestive tract faster – preventing reflux.
Eating bananas regularly may help protect against stomach ulcers. Over the long term, bananas thicken the protective mucus barrier in the stomach, preventing damage from hydrochloric acid. Bananas also contain protease inhibitors that help eliminate stomach bacteria which can cause stomach ulcers.
Vitamin B6 plus other vitamins and minerals. Bananas are particularly high in vitamin B6. This vitamin is important for creating hemoglobin for healthy blood.
B6 is also involved in maintaining proper blood sugar levels, synthesizing and breaking down amino acids and producing antibodies for a stronger immune response in your body.
Just one banana has a full fifth of your recommended daily intake of vitamin B6.
In addition to the high levels of potassium and vitamin B6, bananas also have high levels of vitamin C, magnesium and manganese.
They are also a source of most of the other B vitamins and smaller amounts of trace minerals like iodine, iron, selenium and zinc.
Skin Conditions. Even the banana’s skin has its uses. It is great for treating skin conditions like psoriasis and acne. Rub the freshly peeled inside of the banana skin gently over the affected area and leave the residue to be absorbed. The fatty acid content of the banana skin helps relieve a variety of skin conditions, as well as having a strong moisturising effect.
In the case of psoriasis you may notice some further reddening initially, but this should improve after a few days of use. Patch test on a small area if you have any concerns. It usually takes several weeks to see the full benefit from this treatment.
Banana peel treatments are a traditional remedy to heal warts. Rub a small piece of banana peel over the wart and then tightly tape it in place. Leave it overnight and repeat this process for at least a week or until the wart disappears.
A Cancer Fighter. Recent Japanese animal research linked bananas that are fully ripe (with dark spots) to production of a compound called TNF–a. This is a cytokine believed to have the potential to increase white blood cell count, thus enhancing your immunity and combating cancerous cell changes.
Improves Mood and Reduces Stress. Bananas are a good source of the amino acid tryptophan which your body converts to serotonin.
Amongst many other things, proper serotonin levels help improve your mood, reduce stress and enhance your general outlook and happiness levels. It also helps regulate your sleep patterns.
Tryptophan is an essential amino acid because the only way your body gets it is through your diet. Bananas, while certainly not the highest source out there, are one of the easiest ways to get a little more tryptophan. Another reason why bananas make such a great snack for when you’re feeling stressed out at work.
Hangover Cure. Bananas are a great choice for mornings when you’ve overdone it a bit the night before. A couple of bananas blended with ice, berries and coconut milk or cow’s milk makes a really good hangover recovery drink.
Just about all of the health benefits we’ve discussed come into play here.
When Truth is Stranger than Fiction
The Wreck of the Titan by Morgan Robertson: “She was the largest craft afloat and the greatest of the works of man… Unsinkable – indestructible, she carried as few life boats as would satisfy the laws.”
A luxury liner embarks on her first voyage with much fanfare, only to hit an iceberg and capsize. Sound familiar? But this isn’t an account of the RMS Titanic; this is the plot of The Wreck of the Titan, a novella written by Morgan Robertson. Wreck was published in 1898, more than a decade before the real-life wreck of the Titanic. The similarities between the fictional and the real-life are astounding. Both were considered glorious feats of modern engineering, were touted as being practically unsinkable, contained less than half the number of life boats required, and were struck by icebergs on their starboard side, taking half of their passenger’s lives. Finally, both the Titan and the Titanic sank in the North Atlantic Ocean on a night in April.
In 1912, a new version of The Wreck of the Titan was released that increased the Titan’s weight from 45 000 tonnes to 70 000, bringing it closer to the Titanic’s 66 000.
The World Trade Center Collapse and Party Music. The Coup is a hip hop act from California. Their music is highly political and often promotes an anti-capitalism ideology. This led to an unfortunate coincidence in 2001.
The band’s fourth album, Party Music, was due for release in September 2001, but ended up being delayed until November. The reason – the albums original cover depicted two of the band members, Boots Riley and Pam the Funktress, standing in front of the exploding Twin Towers. Boots Riley held a digital tuner that ostensibly served as detonator.
The photo was shot in May of that year and was meant to symbolise the destruction of capitalism. Less than six months later, the events of September 11 turned a powerful image into a contentious one. But The Coup aren’t the type to shy away from controversy – Boots Riley stated later that he would have preferred to retain the original cover art as an expression against what he felt were lies perpetrated by the mainstream media.
Breaking Bad is an American TV series about Walter White, a terminally ill high school teacher who starts producing and selling meth amphetamines to ensure his family’s financial security after he dies. Turns out, one of the most wanted criminals in Tuscaloosa, Alabama is a man named Walter White, who is wanted for – you guessed it – manufacturing crystal meth.
Final Destination – the film franchise’s premise – that death is inevitable and those who try to escape it can only prolong their lives a little longer – is one that almost appears to have played out in a couple of real life situations. A contemporary example is that of Jessica Ghawi.
Ms. Ghawi, an aspiring sports journalist known professionally as Jessica Redfield, was at a Toronto mall in June 2012 when a gunman killed a 25 year old male and injured seven others. In a blog entry – the last she would ever write – she describes how she went to the mall to get sushi but changed her mind at the last minute and got a burger and fries instead. She then made a purchase and, according to the entry, ‘felt funny… a feeling that was overwhelming enough to lead me to head outside in the rain to get fresh air instead of continuing back into the food court to go shopping at SportCheck.’
Either event may have saved her life. The gunman started shooting at 6.23pm, minutes after Ms Ghawi’s purchase was made at 6.20pm. One of the victims was found in the same place where she would have been if she’d ordered sushi.
A month later, Jessica Ghawi was living in Denver and working as an intern for a local radio station. On July 20, 2012, she attended the ill-fated midnight screening of The Dark Knight and was killed when a gunman entered the theatre and opened fire.
Chinatown – its is one of cinema’s most classic scenes. Private investigator Jake Gites, played by Jack Nicholson, confronts Evelyn Mulwray (Faye Dunaway) over the identity of a mystery woman who Evelyn claims is her sister. Gites loses his temper and slaps Evelyn as she cries, “My sister… my daughter… she’s my sister and my daughter!” – the result of the incestuous rape of Evelyn by her father.
Take away the rape and incest and you’ve got Jack Nicholson’s own familial situation. Nicholson was the son of June Nicholson, a seventeen year old showgirl. June’s mother Ethel offered to raise him so that June could concentrate on her dancing career, and so Nicholson grew up believing that his grandmother Ethel was his mother, and that his mother June was his sister. The story broke in the lead up to the release of Chinatown, when a Time reporter contacted Nicholson to verify the story.
Facts About World Records
The fastest bird is the peregrine falcon. It can fly at a speed of 168-217 miles per hour.
Hans Langseth had the longest beard at a record length of 17 1/2 feet long! When he died, his beard was given to the Smithsonian Institute.
Antarctica is the coldest continent on earth, where a temperature of 126.9 degrees F below zero was once recorded.
Chicago is home to three of the five tallest buildings in the world: the Sears Tower, Standard Oil Building, and John Hancock Center.
The hottest place on earth is in Dallol, Ethiopia, which is a sizzling 94 degrees in the shade on a typical day!
Angel Falls in Venezuela is 20 times taller than Niagara Falls.
The blue whale is the largest animal that ever lived (it could reach 100 feet long and weight up to 150 tons!)
The longest bout of hiccups lasted 69 years!
The longest conga to this date included 119,986 people.
The longest movie made lasts 85 hours and is fittingly titled “The Cure for Insomnia.”
The smallest dog recorded was a Yorkie and was only 4 inches tall. The biggest dog weighed 344 pounds- more than two full grown men!
The largest baby to be born so far weighed in at 15 pounds, 5 ounces!
The longest recorded flight of a chicken is thirteen seconds.
A palindrome is a word, phrase, number, or other sequence of characters which reads the same backward as forward, such as madam or “taco cat” or racecar. Sentence-length palindromes may be written when allowances are made for adjustments to capital letters, punctuation, and word dividers, such as “A man, a plan, a canal, Panama!”, “Was it a car or a cat I saw?” or “No ‘x’ in Nixon”.
The word “palindrome” was coined by the English playwright Ben Jonson in the 17th century from the Greek roots palin (πάλιν; “again”) and dromos (δρóμος; “way, direction”).
A car, a man, a maraca.
A dog! A panic in a pagoda!
A lad named E. Mandala
A man, a plan, a cat, a ham, a yak, a yam, a hat, a canal-Panama!
A new order began, a more Roman age bred Rowena.
A nut for a jar of tuna.
A slut nixes sex in Tulsa.
A tin mug for a jar of gum, Nita.
A Toyota! Race fast, safe car! A Toyota!
Acrobats stab orca.
Aibohphobia (fear of palindromes)
Al lets Della call Ed Stella.
Amen icy cinema.
Amy, must I jujitsu my ma?
Animal loots foliated detail of stool lamina.
Anne, I vote more cars race Rome to Vienna.
Are we not drawn onward to new era?
Are we not pure? “No sir!” Panama’s moody Noriega brags. “It is garbage!” Irony dooms a man; a prisoner up to new era.
Art, name no tub time. Emit but one mantra.
As I pee, sir, I see Pisa!
Reflections by Lynne Fadden (a palindromic poem)
always moving, traveling continuously.
Falling leaves placed delicately;
foliage touching the echoing waters,
clarity removed –
Reflections distorted through waves rippling;
– reflect –
rippling waves through distorted reflections –
Waters echoing the touching foliage;
delicately placed leaves falling –
continuously traveling, moving always,