We all love bananas. They are so sweet and juicy, with that delectable “one of a kind flavor”. We are sometimes told that they are high in calories and sugar content; and hardly ever told how nutritious they really are. I find the nutritional content in bananas surprising! That’s why I am sharing some of the information I’ve collected with you.
Bananas are not actually grown on trees. The plants they grow on are classified as an herb. It is the largest herb in the world. The bunches they grow in are called hands, and each banana is called a finger. Each hand has about 10 to 20 fingers. Which gives a new meaning to “yellow fingers”.
There are many different kinds of bananas. The kind we usually find in supermarkets are called Cavendish and usually are imported from South America and Latin America.
The banana plants grow from bulbs. They are in the same family as palms, lilies and orchids. They can grow to be 25 feet high. The leaves may get to be 2 feet wide and 9 feet long.
About 75% of the weight of a banana is water. Bananas have no cholesterol, no fat and no sodium. But what they do have is fiber, potassium, vitamin C and vitamin B6.
Fiber keeps you full longer. High fiber foods are good for your heart and may help with weight loss.
Potassium keeps the brain alert and regulates blood pressure and heartbeat.
Low sodium and high potassium are good for lowering blood pressure.
Eating bananas may lower the risk of heart attacks and strokes.
High iron content helps fight anemia.
B6 and amino acid tryptophan help your body produce serotonin, which helps depression.
Amino acids aid digestion.
Banana peels are edible if cooked. I saw on Dr. Oz, that you can boil a banana with the skins on and then drink the juice for relief from bloating and gas, and for a better night’s sleep. I tried the drink. It was ok. Then I mashed the bananas and ate them. They were better.
Bananas ripen best if picked when they are green. I usually buy my bananas on the green side; because of their short shelf life. Over ripe bananas contain more sugar; so I prefer to eat them when just barely ripe.
Over ripe bananas can be used to make delicious banana bread. Yummm!
Find a banana bread recipe here:
If my bananas are getting a little too ripe, I use them in smoothies. I love chocolate, banana and peanut butter smoothies.
Bananas can be peeled and frozen. They make delicious healthy treats in their frozen state. For use in smoothies; they are like using banana ice cubes. Some people make a banana ice cream substitute.
Chocolate covered frozen banana bites
Who doesn’t love a peanut butter and banana sandwich? Don’t you love to cut up a banana on your breakfast cereal? How about a banana split dessert?
They are an easy and natural baby food. Just peel and mash. Babies will eat them and enjoy the sweet flavor.
They add sweetness to your fruit salad; and combine well with jello dishes. There are many wonderful tasting desserts that sport bananas as an important ingredient. I love banana cream pie.
If I were to give you recipes for even a few of the delicious desserts that can be made with bananas; you would be overwhelmed with how many ways to prepare and combine this delectable fruit. (Actually, I hear bananas are classified as a berry)
However, I will give you my version of a chocolate, banana and peanut butter smoothie:
1 apple with or without peel
Chocolate protein powder (to taste and desired chocolate)
1/2 cup of coconut water or milk (more if needed)
Vanilla yogurt (if desired)
1 tsp vanilla flavoring
1/2 cup of peanut butter
6 ice cubes or crushed ice
Put all ingredients except the ice cubes into blender and blend until smooth. Add more liquid if needed. Add ice cubes 2 at a time and blend between. Pour into your glass and enjoy!
Rub the inside of a banana peel on poison ivy or mosquito bites. The oil helps the itching.
Rub the inside of a banana peel on burns or scrapes. It helps with pain, swelling and infection.
Tape a piece of peel over a wart each night; the potassium contained in the peel will make the wart go away in a week or two.
Rub the inside of the banana peel on your teeth each night for a natural whitener.
Rub the inside of a banana peel on the leaves of plants to shine.
Rub the inside of a banana peel on leather shoes and polish with a soft cloth.
Use in compost or cut up and put directly in your garden soil. They fertilize because of their high potassium and phosphorous content. (Another use for over ripe bananas)
The banana is definitely a super fruit (or berry). Not only does it taste delicious; but it’s also packed with nutrients. It is healthy, delicious and versatile.
Some people are allergic to bananas, however. It may be related to the latex-fruit allergy syndrome. It is a reaction to a specific protein in bananas. The symptoms include headaches and stomach cramps. These people should avoid eating bananas.
The rest of us are free to indulge and enjoy!
Thanks for stopping by. Come again soon. I love company and my door is always open.
Please feel free to contribute your own thoughts about bananas in the comment section.
At your service,
Images courtesy of Pixabay.com