Banana’s scientific name is musa sapientum, which means “fruit of the wise men.” Bananas are one of America’s favorite fruits. It is reported that 96% of consumers bought bananas last year and on average Americans eat more than 28 pounds of bananas per person per year.
The banana is one of the least expensive fruits in the grocery store. One banana will cost approximately 20-30 cents depending on your location. Due to greater efficiencies in production and distribution, banana prices have been on the decline over the past 30 years. According to Dr. Mark J. Perry, professor of Economics at the University of Michigan, “Banana prices today, after adjusting for inflation, are 37% lower than in 1980.”
One medium sized banana contains 110 calories, provides 30 grams of carbohydrates and 3 grams of fiber. Along with filling fiber, bananas contain resistant starch (which makes you feel fuller longer). The greener the banana is, the more resistant starch it contains. Bananas are a great source of vitamin C, B6 and magnesium. In fact a serving of banana provides 15% of the daily vitamin C requirements, 20% of your B6 requirements, and 27 mg of magnesium. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant, providing evidence to support that consuming bananas may prevent cancer.
The banana is best known for its high potassium levels. One banana has 422 milligrams of potassium. It is estimated that adults need 4,700 mg of potassium per day. They also contain amounts of phosphorus, calcium, iron, zinc, copper, selenium and vitamins A, B1, B2, E and K.
Bananas contain no fat, no sodium and no cholesterol. According to a 2011 research study by Quanhe Yang, PhD and colleagues, from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Division for Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention, researchers found that a low sodium, high potassium diet decreased the risk for developing Cardiovascular Disease. This indicates that eating bananas may lower the risk of heart attacks and strokes.*
Reports have stated that due to the high levels of tryptophan, which converts to serotonin, the mood-elevating brain neurotransmitter, bananas can be helpful in overcoming depression, boosting your mood and preserving memory.
A study conducted by the Imperial College of London found that children who ate just one banana per day had a 34% less chance of developing asthma.
Bananas contain three natural sugars: sucrose, fructose and glucose, combined with fiber. A banana gives an instant and substantial boost of energy. This would explain why they are a fabulous choice for an afternoon pick-me-up snack.
By providing energy, helping to overcome or prevent a number of illnesses and conditions, the banana has proven itself one of the best value foods around. This fruit packs a big nutritional punch. Make it part of your daily diet. EAT BANANAS!
Besides peeling and eating, there are numerous ways to prepare bananas for consumption:
- Banana Milkshake
- Chocolate covered Bananas
- Banana Splits
- Banana Muffins
- Banana Bread
- Banana Cake with Icing
- Banana Pudding
- Banana Cream Pie
- Banana and Peanut Butter Sandwich
Interesting Facts About Banana Peels
- If you rub the inside of the banana peel on a mosquito bite or other type of bug bite, it will help the site from itching and getting inflamed.
- If you rub the inside of the banana on a scrape or burn, it will help with the pain, keep the swelling down and keep the wound from becoming infected.
- Rubbing a banana peel on your forehead can help cure a headache.
- Banana peels make great fertilizer, use them whole or cut them into small pieces and mix them with garden soil.
- The inside of a banana peel can be used to polish leather shoes and silverware. Gently rub and then buff with a dry clean cloth.