April 19/London/Daily Mail -- Eating bananas might reduce the risk of your arteries becoming furred up. Two hours after researchers gave 20 healthy men and women a single banana, they found that blood levels of bad cholesterol -- a major cause of atherosclerosis and heart disease -- had dropped. The researchers, from Yanbian University in China, say that bananas also seem to lower the risk of plaque building up on artery walls. After testing various components of bananas, including starch, tannins and vitamins, researchers found it was the fiber in pulped bananas that had a cholesterol-lowering effect.
Meanwhile, a study at Murcia University in Spain points to compounds called fructooligosaccharides (FOS), which occur naturally in bananas and some other plants. FOS are calorie-free and act like fiber to lower cholesterol. The researchers also conclude that they lower the risk of constipation.
From the April 26, 2010, Prepared Foods E-dition