My best friend was distraught when her toddler refused to drink regular milk. “How am I supposed to keep my baby healthy?” She wailed. Then, her baby girl surprised her. She loved to eat bananas and she ate enough to stay healthy. Fortunately, bananas are nutrition rich, especially in potassium. It made me wonder, what else does a banana have that made it so healthy?
I discovered that doctors have recommended eating bananas to people with low potassium or with hypertension. Scientists (1991) have shown that potassium is the primary mineral of ripe banana, and that crude protein is 3.8% of dry banana flour. They have also evaluated two cooking varieties of banana and shown that the carbohydrate content is 2.8% soluble sugars, 70% starch and 12% non-starch polysaccharides. Scientists have also shown that fresh green banana is a good source of Vitamin C.
I know that Bananas (musa sp.) are very popular in tropical countries. Banana has recently been called the weight loss food. When opera singer, Kumiko Mori, lost 15 lbs on the ‘Morning banana diet‘ developed by Hitoshi and Sumiko Watanabe, the banana became very popular in Japan. The Japanese went bananas over bananas with supermarkets selling out of bananas. Guess, our tropical ancestors were right!
Compared to other fruits the banana provides more energy. During marathons in Europe, runners are handed pieces of banana by volunteers running alongside them. Moroccons have a deliciously cold, avocado – banana smoothie recipe that was made an international hit in 2011 by a blogger. Some always keep a supply of bananas in their fridge. A delicious banana streusel recipe is another way of eating your bananas.
Is banana the food of choice of thin people or are people thin because they eat banana? Banana recipe suggestions have included eating it with your waffle, and loving sisters have suggested serving it along with a meal on the side to satisfy hungry brothers. The importance of eating breakfast, to maintain a healthy lifestyle has been emphasized by trainers and nutritionists. Some say that’s easy because the banana is their favorite breakfast food. Some have said eating bananas prevents them from snacking by making them feel full. The importance of regular sleep in a banana weight loss diet has been suggested. Your view is welcome. Click here for hundreds of photographs and cartoons of banana.
Banana is not always good for you. Apparently, when the kidneys are not functioning correctly, it is best to restrict bananas in the diet. Again, it is the high potassium in the bananas which is to be avoided to keep a failing kidney healthy. Ironically, it is equally important for the remaining family members to eat bananas to stay healthy!
In West Bengal, India all parts of the banana plant are used. The fruit is very popular. The stem is cooked and eaten and it’s extract is being researched by Indian scientists to show beneficial effects. The fruit is sliced and dried to be eaten as a healthy snack, which may refer to their potassium, protein, vitamin C, and soluble sugar contents. The dried banana slices are packaged and sold in several health food stores such as Whole Foods and Food Emporium, and very popular as a healthy snack. The leaves are used to serve food in India. The leaves have natural antiseptic properties and hence serve as a healthy, antiseptic, disposable serving platter which are very popular during weddings in India.
Although there are several edible banana varieties, only a few varieties have worldwide appeal, particularly due to ripening issues during storage and transportation. Marriott has published, highly cited papers on the storage and ripening properties of banana that are important during transportation (1980). There are several new varieties of cooking banana and plantain varieties with improved pest and disease resistance and where the cooking banana had lower starch, and ascorbic acid than the plantains. There has been much work done on how to prevent or delay banana peel spotting.