Bananas are some of the most popular fruits, regardless of where you find yourself in the world. It would be odd to enter a supermarket and not see them in their very own section in the fruit aisle, regardless if you’re in the US or Sweden.
As history indicates, this fruit is popular due to its resilience as a species. The bananas originated in Southeast Asia around 7,000-10,000 years ago. Bananas then managed to travel west towards the New World, being taken further by missionaries and explorers. After wheat, rice, and milk, bananas are the world’s most valuable crops at the time being.
Considering their long-standing history, it’s understandable how bananas evolved into more than 1,000 types. It’s important to know that half of these are inedible, but the other half have representatives that can vary tremendously in color, size, and taste. Let’s look at some of the most popular banana types out there to recognize them better:
Plantains – these bananas are popular and easily recognizable due to their slightly smaller size. They are rich in starch; people don’t usually consume them raw but prefer to include them in certain dishes.
Cavendish Bananas are genuinely global bananas since you can find them anywhere in the world. Duke George William Spencer Cavendish gave these bananas his name in 1834, and it lasted throughout the years.
Lady Finger Bananas – known as ‘baby bananas,’ measuring at about three inches – are smaller and sweeter than Cavendish bananas.
Manzano Bananas – these bananas are also sweeter than the Cavendish variety, with a taste that resembles apples and strawberries simultaneously.
Red Bananas – Their reddish-purple skin gives them this name, and the taste is similar to that of raspberries.
Burro Bananas – this type of banana differs from the rest since the taste is somewhat lemony. They are flatter and smaller than your run-of-the-mill Cavendish bananas.
Banana Nutrition Facts
Bananas are some of nature’s superfruits, and this is because they’re highly nutritious and packed with a rich combination of minerals and vitamins that will further support your body in reaching an increased state of well-being. So let’s take a closer look at what nutritional value a typical banana brings. Having said this, it’s essential to know that one medium-sized banana (100 g) contains:
- 75% water – this is what makes bananas highly beneficial to athletes and those looking to undergo sustained physical exercise.
- 12.2 grams of sugar – this kind of sugar also adds to the energy levels needed in athletic performance.
- 22.8 grams of carbs – during physical exercise, your muscles use glycogen as fuel. This is another type of carbohydrate, so having a diet rich in healthy carbohydrates and, implicitly, eating bananas will give you more endurance to support your body during workouts. However, eating a banana about an hour before you start exercising is recommended for the body to digest properly.
- 2.6 grams of fiber – fiber is essential for the body to regulate gastrointestinal processes. This means you’ll have smoother bowel movements while also feeling satiety. This, in turn, will prevent you from needing anything else to snack on, which may also help you regulate your weight.
- 0.3 grams of fat – considering how little fat a banana has, it’s safe to say it’s a light and nutritious snack that can easily replace other more health-damaging ones.
- 33% of the DRV (Daily Recommended Value) of Vitamin B6 – this vitamin plays a huge part in regulating mood and reducing symptoms of depression. Vitamin B6 may also prevent anemia and promote brain health.
- Vitamin C – this vitamin is the building block behind all tissues in the body. It helps with all tissues’ growth, development, and repair. Vitamin C is also responsible for building collagen, properly healing wounds, supporting the immune system, and maintaining the health of cartilage, bones, and teeth.
- Vitamin A – when it comes to eye health, vitamin A steals all the limelight. This vitamin plays a crucial role in protecting the eyes from age-related macular decline while supporting the immune system’s overall health.
- Potassium – the potassium in bananas makes them an athlete’s best friend, quickly being able to substitute power drinks. In addition, potassium helps regulate nerve signals, muscle contractions, and fluid levels in the body.
- Magnesium is another mineral that helps regulate mood and stave off depression; magnesium also lowers blood pressure and reduces insulin resistance. It can also help prevent migraines, so eating a banana regularly will keep you from many unpleasant mental and physical situations.
- Copper – in conjecture with iron, this mineral supports the body in forming its essential red blood cells. Therefore, a sufficient intake of copper may also help you prevent cardiovascular diseases and osteoporosis.
- Iron – this mineral is excellent for helping your body preserve its energy levels and focus. It also plays an integral part in regulating the body’s temperature and gastrointestinal processes. Unfortunately, iron usually takes an undercover role in our bodies, and we only start noticing its importance when it’s lacking – causing anemia.
- Manganese – this mineral will help decrease inflammation in the body while supporting bone health and regulating blood sugar levels.
- Antioxidants – apart from all the minerals and vitamins, bananas also contain good antioxidants. These are meant to fight off the toxic influence of free radicals in the body – compounds brought on by pollution, smoking, and drinking alcohol. A scientific article, antioxidant compounds from bananas (Musa Cavendish), describes how gallotechin is the most prominent Antioxidant found in bananas.
As you can see, bananas are true powerhouses that bring tremendous nutritional value while being light snacks you can indulge in pretty freely. Besides the minerals and vitamins they contain, bananas are rich antioxidant fruits that will help you fight off the body’s natural aging process, often accelerated by the harmful action of free radicals.
There is much to be said about banana nutrition facts. Below you will find a list of banana facts or facts about bananas. First, a disease or symptom is listed, and then a description of a banana nutrition fact follows. Antioxidant-fruits.com is looking for information on the history of bananas. If you have any information, don’t hesitate to contact us.
Depression: Bananas contain tryptophan, a protein the body converts into serotonin. Serotonin helps you relax and improves your mood. By including bananas in your regular diet, you may notice a slight decrease in your depression or anxiety symptoms or a steady flow of emotions daily. This, of course, should not substitute more powerful aids in fighting depression. For more information on this condition, consider consulting a physician before solely relying on bananas’ positive mental health benefits.
PMS: Bananas have a lot of B6, which helps regulate blood glucose levels, affecting mood.
Anemia: Bananas are high in iron and stimulate hemoglobin production. Therefore they help with anemia. The iron content in bananas stimulates the production of hemoglobin in the blood, which is highly effective when you’re struggling with the pestering effects of anemia. Of course, letting the body naturally absorb the iron in bananas is much more effective than taking iron supplements from the pharmacy.
Blood Pressure: US Food and Drug Administration just allowed the banana industry to make official claims for the fruit’s ability to reduce the risk of blood pressure and stroke.
Brain Power: Research has shown that potassium-packed fruit can assist in learning by making students more alert.
Constipation: Since bananas are high in fiber, they help to overcome constipation. Therefore, helping the person without resorting to laxatives.
Hangovers: One quickest way to cure a hangover is to make a banana milkshake sweetened with honey. The banana calms the stomach and builds up depleted blood sugar levels with the help of honey, while the milk soothes and rehydrates your system.
Heartburn: Bananas are a natural antacid as they coat the stomach lining.
Morning Sickness: Bananas between meals help to keep blood sugar levels up and avoid morning sickness.
Mosquito bites: If you rub the affected area with the inside of a banana skin, the banana peel with help reduce swelling and irritation.
Nerves: Bananas are high in B vitamins that help calm the nervous system.
Ulcers: Bananas are a dietary aid against intestinal disorders because of their soft texture and smoothness.
Temperature control: Bananas lower the physical and emotional temperature of expectant mothers.
Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD): Bananas can help SAD sufferers because they contain the natural mood enhancer tryptophan.
Smoking & Tobacco Use: The B6, B12, potassium, and magnesium in bananas help the body recover from the effects of nicotine withdrawal.
Stress: The potassium in bananas helps normalize the heartbeat, sends oxygen to the brain, and regulates your body’s water balance.
Warts: If you take the skin of a banana and place it on a wart, with the yellow side out, it will help get rid of the wart. Carefully hold the skin in place with a plaster or surgical tape!
How Do You Get the Most Out of Your Bananas?
Thankfully there are more ways than one to benefit from all the health benefits bananas have to offer. In addition, they are such versatile fruits that you can become creative when finding ways how to consume them:
- Raw as snacks – pack them in your bag or backpack and take them everywhere with you throughout your day. They will help you feel less hungry and will provide you with extra energy to carry through with all the tasks you have on your hands.
- Include them in your breakfast – mix them with granola and other fruits in your yogurt.
- Smoothies – turn your bananas into delicious, refreshing, and nutritious drinks.
- Bake them into delicious goodies – banana bread, muffins, ice cream, fairy cakes, and microwave banana pudding. If you feel creative, try one of the many banana recipes.
Storing Your Bananas
Bananas are not among the most perishable fruits out there, but storing them properly is still recommended to enjoy them for as long as possible. If your bananas are not ripe yet and still show greener hues, you can quickly leave them on the counter for a few more days. The room temperature must be relatively warm since bananas don’t do well in cold temperatures and thrive in warmer ones.
If you leave them in a bunch, they will ripen slower. You can wrap the banana stems in plastic foil to keep them from ripening too fast. This is because bananas get riper when more ethylene gas is released through the stems. Storing bananas in the refrigerator is only recommended when these fruits are ripe. The cold temperature will prevent them from further ripening if they’re green.
It’s safe to say bananas have rightly earned their right worldwide. They are highly nutritious, straightforward to integrate into your daily diet, and accessible since you can find them anywhere in the world. Please include them in your lifestyle; you’ll notice how easily and quickly they contribute to your physical and mental well-being. Portable, easy to pack away, and simply delicious.
Do you have more banana facts? If so, please share any banana nutrition facts with us!.
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