This filling fruit, bananas are native to Southeast Asia, however, popular in many other parts of the world. There are varieties of bananas available, and they vary in shape, color, and size. The most common type of these varieties is the yellow banana, which, is green when unripe. Bananas contain some amount of fiber and antioxidants.
Historical Facts on Banana
- Bananas first appeared in written history in the 6th century B.C.
- Bananas have been depicted in ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs.
- Bananas were most likely the first cultivated fruit, and the first banana farms were located in southeast Asia.
- Bananas were introduced to the Americas by Portuguese sailors who brought them from West Africa in the 16th century.
- Bananas probably had their first massive display in public at the 1876 Philadelphia Centennial Celebration, where they were sold wrapped in foil for 10 cents each.
- David Evans Strickler invented the banana split in 1904 when he was a 23-year-old employee at the Tassel Pharmacy soda fountain in Latrobe, Pennsylvania.
Nutrition Facts of Bananas
- Potassium: 9% of the RDI.
- Vitamin B6: 33% of the RDI.
- Vitamin C: 11% of the RDI.
- Magnesium: 8% of the RDI.
- Copper: 10% of the RDI.
- Manganese: 14% of the RDI.
- Net carbs: 24 grams.
- Fiber: 3.1 grams.
- Protein: 1.3 grams.
- Fat: 0.4 grams.
Quite a healthy fruit, isn’t it?
Now, What do Bananas Do?
They Moderate Blood Sugar Levels
Bananas are particularly rich in a fiber called pectin, which gives the flesh its structural form. And the unripe variant contains resistant starch which acts like soluble fiber and escapes digestion. Now, here’s the good news: Both pectin and resistant starch moderate blood sugar levels after meals, and reduce appetite. What’s more? Bananas rank between low and medium on the glycemic index; now that’s a measure of 0 to 100. The glycemic value of the unripe variant is about 30, while ripe bananas rank at about 60. What do all these mean? It’s simple. Bananas are not one of the fruits that cause major spikes in blood sugar levels because they rank low in glycemic index. Fabulous!
They Improve Digestive Health
Dietary fiber is great for improved digestion. A medium-sized banana contains about 3 grams of fiber, and this makes bananas a great fiber source.
They Help You Lose Some Weight
Bananas contain relatively few calories, and an average banana contains just over 100 calories. What else? They’re rich in fiber and consuming fiber from fruit and vegetables has a great reputation for weight loss.
Bananas Support Heart Health
Bananas are a great dietary source of potassium, and a medium-sized banana contains 9% of the RDI. Potassium is an essential mineral that is splendid for heart health, especially blood pressure control. What would a potassium-rich diet do? It can lower blood pressure, and reduce your risk of heart disease.
They Contain Powerful Antioxidants
Fruits and vegetables are excellent sources of dietary antioxidants. Of course, bananas aren’t left out in this natural gift. They contain a number of potent antioxidants such as dopamine and catechins. These antioxidants play a significant role in reducing the risk of heart disease and degenerative diseases.
Bananas Are Filling
Resistant starch, a type of indigestible carbohydrate, is found in unripe bananas, and it functions like soluble fiber. And guess what, the greener the banana, the higher the amount of resistant starch it contains. Ripe bananas, the yellow ones, contain lower amounts of resistant starch.
Bananas Improve Kidney Health
Bananas are a rich dietary source of potassium. Potassium is vital for blood pressure control and healthy kidney function. It would amaze you to know that women who eat bananas 2–3 times a week are 35% less likely to develop kidney diseases.
Excellent Benefits For Workouts
Bananas, you must have heard, are the perfect food for athletes. This is because they are rich in mineral content. They have been proven to provide excellent nutrition before, during and after endurance exercises.
Interesting Banana Facts
- The internal part of a banana peel can help relieve itching and inflammation, such as from bug bite or poison ivy.
- Bananas are perfect pre-workout snacks because they are loaded with potassium that aids in maintaining nerve and muscle function during workouts.
- Bananas are one of the most popular fruits in the American diet.
- Banana is actually classified as a berry.
- Bananas are a mood enhancer because they contain the amino acid, tryptophan and Vitamin B6 that help the body produce serotonin.
- The Cavendish, which is the bananas we eat today, are different from pre-1960s’ bananas, the Gros Michael; those have been wiped out by the Panama disease.
- Wrapping banana stems tightly in cling wrap makes them last three to five days longer.
- Cooked banana peels are edible.
- Peeling a banana from the bottom up (holding on to the stem like a handle) will help you avoid the stringy bits that cling to the fruit inside.
- Bananas ripen best if they are picked when green.
- To ripen bananas faster, put them in a sealed container, specifically a brown paper bag. What’s more? Adding another fruit such as a tomato or an apple to the container will hasten the ripening.
- When a banana is kept in the refrigerator, the peel will turn dark brown or black, but it won’t affect the fruit inside.
Alternatives to Eating Bananas
Spicy Kiwi Banana Smoothie
Spicy Kiwi Banana Smoothie is a green and white spicy kiwi banana breakfast smoothie which can be prepared in just three minutes. It’s high in fiber, vitamin C, and potassium. It tastes great too.
What’s Needed to Make Kiwi Banana Smoothie
- 3 kiwi fruits
- ¾ cup milk
- 2 bananas
- ¾ cup of low-fat yogurt
- 4 tablespoons of porridge oats
- 1 thumb of ginger
- 1 teaspoon of honey
How’s Make Kiwi Banana Smoothie
- Skin the kiwis by chopping off the top and bottom, and slicing off the edges.
- Peel bananas.
- Chop the ginger. You can also grate it.
- Throw fruits, ginger, and oats into a blender with the milk and yogurt.
- You may now blend.
- At this point, you’ll see, it’s set to be enjoyed.
Amazing Banana Statistics
- Over 100 billion bananas are eaten annually worldwide, and this makes them the fourth most popular agricultural product.
- Americans eat an average of 27 pounds of bananas per person every year.
- Over 96% of American households buy bananas at least once a month.
- 51% of bananas are eaten for breakfast at home.
- A man in India once ate 81 bananas in 30 minutes.
Side Effects of Bananas
Bananas are such an amazing fruit. They’ve got amazing health benefits, can be used for various recipes, and have got some non-dietary functions too. You may just need to add bananas to your diet or eat more of it if you have already. Bananas are your health’s friend. Try them out.