When I heard that Carlo Tavecchio had been elected President of the Italian Football Federation back in August, I was disappointed that the man, who had referred to African football players as “Banana eaters” barely a month ago, had been rewarded instead of being reprimanded so as to deter others from making racist remarks.
I’m glad he has been handed a six-month ban by UEFA, rendering him ineligible for any official UEFA position during this period, although I believe a six-year ban would have been more appropriate.
Mr Tavecchio is 71-years-old and you’d think he’d know certain things at his age, but like the saying goes, learning never stops. So I’m taking this opportunity to school him and others, who throw bananas at black players, on the many benefits of bananas.
Bananas provide a variety of vitamins and minerals including Vitamins A, C and B6, Manganese, Potassium, Magnesium, Iron, Dietary Fiber, Protein, Folate, Riboflavin and Niacin.
A study conducted by the Imperial College of London found that children who ate just one banana a day had a 34 percent less chance of developing asthma.
Consuming bananas, oranges and orange juice in the first two years of life may reduce the risk of developing childhood leukemia. As a good source of vitamin C, bananas can help combat the formation of free radicals known to cause cancer. A high fiber intake from fruits and vegetables like bananas is associated with a lowered risk of colorectal (colon) cancer.
The fiber, potassium, vitamin C and B6 content in bananas all improve heart health. An increase in potassium intake along with a decrease in sodium intake is the most important dietary change a person can make to reduce their risk of cardiovascular disease, according to Mark Houston, an associate clinical professor of medicine at Vanderbilt Medical School and director of the Hypertension Institute at St Thomas Hospital in Tennessee.
High potassium intake is also associated with a reduced risk of stroke, protection against loss of muscle mass, preservation of bone mineral density and reduction in the formation of kidney stones.
Studies have shown that type 1 diabetics who consume high fiber diets have lower blood glucose levels and type 2 diabetics may have improved blood sugar, lipids and insulin levels.
One medium banana provides about 3 grams of fiber and so the more one eats, the better.
Eating bananas aids digestion and helps rid the body of toxins and heavy metals.
Bananas stimulate the growth of friendly bacteria in the bowel and also produce digestive enzymes to assist in nutrient absorption and if you’re constipated, bananas which are high in fiber help normalize bowel motility and help you pass stool easier.
The fruit is also recommended in the treatment of diarrhoea. Electrolytes like potassium are lost in large quantities during bouts of diarrhoea and may leave sufferers feeling weak. Bananas help promote regularity and replenish potassium stores. They’re also a natural antacid, providing relief from acid reflux and heartburn.
Bananas are the only raw fruit that can be consumed without distress to relieve stomach ulcers by coating the lining of the stomach against corrosive acids.
Bananas also contain tryptophan, an amino acid that studies suggest plays a role in preserving memory and boosting one’s mood.
Where I come from, bananas are also used to treat food allergies. All you have to do is mash one or two and spread over the swelling. Wash off an hour later and the itching and inflammation will be gone.
There’re probably many other benefits and we should all take advantage.