Banana is the wonder fruit in the world and is the most widely consumed. It is grown in more than 107 countries. Banana is consumed more than any other fruit combined like apples and oranges and are the fourth most valuable food crop in the world.
Bananas are fresh, delicious and creamy. They belong to the family of Musaceae and its scientific name is Musa acuminata colla. It is a perennial plant that grows from an underground rhizome. It flourishes in moisture rich tropical climate. There are many varieties of banana that are cultivated. The size may vary from 4-9 inches, the color may vary too from yellow to brown, the weight varies from 70-150 gms and the taste differes too depending on the variety.Banana can be eaten as a sweet fruit and also as plantain which is the cooking banana. Plantains are used extensively in cooking cultures of Africa, South East Asia and the Caribbean.
Bananas contain high quantities of potassium and vitamin C and B6. They are rich in pectin (a form of fiber) and magnesium. Bananas reduce swelling and protect against developing type 2 diabetes. They help in weight loss as against many weight loss misnomers, it also improves the nervous system and increases production of white blood cells which protects us from bacterial, fungal, viral infections and others caused by other pathogens.
Bananas abound in antioxidants which provide protection against natural free radicals. Bananas are great for your heart as they are full of potassium which is a mineral electrolyte. The low sodium content helps keep our blood pressure under control. This keeps our cardiovascular system hale and hearty. Bananas also help to strengthen our bones as potassium protects against osteoporosis and magnesium aids in bone formation. The high fiber content aids in better digestion.
Vitamin B6 prevents cognitive degeneration and mood related symptoms of pms. Due to high content of vitamin B6, you sleep well and relax your muscles. Bananas are more effective in reloading energy as the serotonin and dopamine improved the sportsperson’s antioxidant capacity improving the performance. The vitamin A in the banana though is less but is essential for protecting our eyes, maintaining vision and improving vision at night too. Bananas are known to help against cancer.
A single banana contains 105 calories, 27g carbohydrates, 1g protein, <1g total fat,0g saturated fat, 3g fiber, 14g sugar, 422mg potassium, 32mg magnesium, 10.3mg vitamin C, 0.433mgvitaminB6.
Banana is seen as a superfood globally, thanks to its high nutritional properties. So an apple a day might keep the doctor away but a banana a day will not harm you either.