Did you know that the banana can help cure high blood pressure?
Scientists at the Kasturba Medical College in Manipal, Karnataka conducted a study of six popular South Indian varieties of ripe bananas. Their findings showed that the banana inhibits the action of ACE, the enzyme that is responsible for producing Angiotensin-2, which in turn constricts blood vessels and causes high blood pressure. They also found that people who consumed a couple of bananas a day for just a week recorded an amazing 10 per cent fall in blood pressure!
The banana is also one of the best sources of potassium.
Incidentally, one of the best ways to tackle a hangover is with a banana! Have two glasses of water and a banana just before going to bed, or a banana milkshake sweetened with honey – take your pick. Curiously enough, though, in East Africa, banana is used to make beer!
And this is my favourite banana receipe!
Mustardy Curd and Banana Raita (serves 4)
2 medium-sized overripe bananas
3 cups curd, whipped smooth
1 ½ teaspoons mustard seeds ground coarsely
I small chilli chopped
1 tablespoon fresh coriander, chopped
Salt to taste
Peel the bananas and roughly smash them with your fingers so that you get a consistency of paste with chunks of banana in it. Add them to the whipped curd along with the ground mustard, salt, chili and fresh coriander. Chill for about an hour. Serve either with a main meal or just by itself with chappatis – makes a great summer lunch!
VARIATION: Substitute banana with cucumber – same quantity if medium-sized. Grate the cucumber and add to the curd along with the rest of the ingredients.