BANANA (Musa acuminata)
Banana is a part of the Musaceae family of flowering tropical plants with distinctive fruit clusters at the top of the plant. While it is a native to Southeast Asia and Australia, Bananas also thrive in many warm climates and are therefore available worldwide. The most common type (Cavendish variety) is green and firm when unripe, but turns yellow, becomes soft and sweet as it ripens.
Bananas are termed the “super food” because they are incredibly nutritious, healthy, readily available and very affordable for anyone trying to eat healthy.
Banana fruits are a rich source of soluble fiber and carbohydrates occurring as starch in its unripe state and natural sugars (fructose, sucrose and glucose) when ripe, with minimal protein and zero fat content. They are high in antioxidants that protect the body from free radicals, and also a very good source of several vitamins; Vitamin B1 (Thiamine), Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin), Vitamin B3 (Niacin), Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid), Vitamin B6, Vitamin B9 (Folate), and Vitamin C, alongside Potassium, Magnesium, Iron, Zinc, Sodium and Copper in moderate quantities.
- Promotes healthy heart.
- Energy booster.
- Relieves constipation.
- Relieves morning sickness in pregnant women and PMS pains in women generally.
- Relieves heartburn.
- Soothes ulcer.
- Keeps the bone healthy.
- Stabilizes blood sugar level.
Banana and its peel are not known to be toxic; however, it becomes dangerous only if too much of it is consumed. The USDA recommend about two bananas daily to avoid the risk of consuming excessive amount of minerals and vitamins.
Fun Fact/ Tip: Banana peels give an amazing shine to shoes when the inside is rubbed directly on a shoe and polished off with a dry clothe.
Though known as the “superfood” due to its high nutrient contents; it is low in protein and fat , therefore not a completely balanced food or snack on its own. It should be combined with healthy snacks rich in fat and protein like groundnuts, cashew nuts or eggs to make it balanced.
• Everyday Health Newsletter By Chad Hagy. Reviewed: 15th November, 2017.
- Journal of Physiology and Biochemistry, 2009
• Health Line Nutrition written by Adds Bjarnadottir. MS. RDN (ice) and SaVanna Shoemaker. MS. RDN. LD. Medically reviewed by Kim Rose RDN, CDCES, CNSC, LD, Nutrition. Updated on October 29, 2021.
• Livescience Newsletter written by Jessie Szalay, Jeanna Bryner and Daisy Dobrijevic. Published December 14, 2021.
• Medical line Plus, National Library of Medicine NLM. Page updated: February 4, 2022.
• WebMD by Joan Raymond. Medically reviewed by Hands. D. Bhargava, MD on July 17, 2020.
• Harvard.T. H. Chan School of Public Health. The Nutrition Source.(Bananas). www.hsph.harvard.edu