The Banana is an edible fruit botanically labeled as a berry, and may vary in size and color. They come in green, red, purple, brown and yellow varieties. Most people are familiar with the long elongated yellow banana that we love.The meat of the banana is soft and sweet. Most bananas are parthenocarpic, which means seedless. These are usually the ones we consider as the dessert bananas which can be eaten directly after peeling.
Research by the Japanese proves that ripe bananas fight cancer, especially when your bananas have dark spots. It means your banana contains high levels of Tumor Necrosis Factor (TNF), which has the ability to destroy cancerous tumors.
Bananas should be eaten when fully ripe, as they contain higher levels of antioxidant that gives you higher immune system with higher white blood cell count. The green, red brown or purple bananas also have the same qualities as the yellow, but the yellow with the dark spots are the ones rich in TNF.
Bananas contain fiber that helps the digestive system, as well as antioxidants such as Potassium, Vitamin B6, Vitamin C, Magnesium, Copper and Manganese. It also contains carbohydrates, protein and a minimal amount of fat. Potassium is important for controlling your heart rate and blood pressure.
Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) in bananas provides 28% of the daily requirement to help prevent anemia and coronary artery disease, while Vitamin C is most known for its infection-fighting properties. Magnesium strengthens the bones and protects the heart, while Copper helps the production of red blood cells. Lastly, Manganese is essential to activate the antioxidant enzymes.
Did you know the banana is called the happy fruit? Bananas possess tryptophan, an essential amino acid needed to prevent illness or death. It begins with tryptophan, a building block to proteins, and combined with tryptophan hydroxylase, a biochemical conversion process produces and converts to serotonin.
Serotonin helps to send messages from one area of the brain to another. Serotonin is the happy-mood brain neurotransmitter that sends HAPPY feelings helping you ward off bad moods, or the Seasonal Affective Disorders (SAD). It also helps regulate blood sugar that relieves stress.
In the US, more bananas are consumed than apples and oranges combined. In an estimate, an average american eats about 25 lbs of bananas per year. Even though they are mainly grown in tropical climates, bananas have become cheaper and more easily accessible to every household, making it an American favorite fruit.
Bananas can also with great success be used for cooking, and are here called plantains. Cavendish bananas are the most commonly used type, as they have softer meat and are not too sweet in taste, which is perfect when combined with other ingredients.
The soft meat is easy to blend into the cooking, making it easy to prepare a dish made out of bananas. Cavendish bananas have less water in them, which is perfect for cooking and baking, and are also starchy which is also beneficial to cooking.
Plantains can be used to replace some vegetables in menus, and are often used in stews. Some banana dishes only take a few minutes to prepare, but the potential health benefits are still the same. It is strongly advised that Cavendish bananas should not be used in smoothies as they usually leave a starchy after taste.
Here’s a quick, easy and healthy banana pancake recipe for you to enjoy:
Prep time: 5 mins
Cooking time: 10 mins
1. In a bowl mix egg, milk, oil and mashed bananas. Stir in the almond flour, honey, baking soda and oil. The batter should be lumpy.
2. Grease your pan and place over medium heat. Scoop the batter and pour into the pan. Cook until golden brown, then flip and cook the other side.