A banana is the most unique of all fruit because
unlike any fruit it does not come from trees at all but from large plants that
are giant herbs and are related to lily and orchid family.
In order to have a healthy lifestyle, you have to
meet your daily requirement of five fruits and vegetables. Bananas are a perfect
part of your diet. Bananas are available all year and they are a great source of
instant energy whether you are watching your diet or just trying to eat healthy.
Like other fruits and vegetables, bananas contain no fat, sodium or cholesterol.
It is a known fact that a low fat, balanced diet rich in vegetables and fruit
may reduce the risk of heart disease and certain types of cancer.
Bananas are rich in vitamin B6 and they are a
good source of fiber, vitamin C, magnesium and potassium. Lack of B6 in a diet
can cause weakness, irritability and insomnia. The potassium found in bananas
helps to regulate blood pressure and may reduce the risk of high blood pressure
and stroke. Potassium is also essential for helping muscles to contract properly
during exercise and reduces cramping up. A medium-sized banana provides 400 mg
of potassium -11% of daily value- and contains 110 calories and 4 grams of
fiber. Bananas also contain plenty of carbohydrates which are the body's main
source of energy. They are also easy to digest.
Because of their great taste, they can also serve
as a substitute for sweets and satisfy sugar cravings.
Researche also shows that serotonin and
norepinephrine in bananas may naturally help sufferers overcome depression. They
are the good mood food.
Convenience and nutritional value of bananas make
them a good post-exercise snack. During long exercises your body loses vitamins
and minerals and a banana replaces these nutrients as well as giving you the
energy you need.
Bananas are good for babies, too. They are in
fact often the first solid food given to infants. Bananas are easy to digest
because they have no fat and very few babies are allergic to bananas. They are
also one of children's favorite snack because of their taste and they meet the
energy needs of the growing children.
Green tipped bananas should be selected for
cooking or ripening, yellow ones should be selected for eating and brown-specked
ones should be selected for baking breads, muffins and cookies. As the bananas
ripen, they will taste sweeter because the starch in the fruit will turn to
sugar. You can toss bananas to your cereals, salads, yogurt, salsa, smoothie or
You should store your bananas over the counter at
room temperature until they reach the ripeness you want, then you can store them
in the refrigerator. The peel of the fruit will darken in the refrigerator but
the banana inside will remain firm and delicious. To ripen a banana faster, it
should be put in a brown paper bag with an apple or tomato overnight.