Banana originate in Malaysia and from there it has spread throughout the Philippines and India. Arabian traders have introduced them to Africa and were discovered there in 1482 A.D by Portuguese explorers who took them to America, the place where the majority of bananas are now produced. Bananas were not brought to the United States for sale in markets until the last part of 19th century. With the development of refrigeration and rapid transport in the 20th century, bananas became and are today widely available.
A few info about banana
Bananas are elliptically shaped fruits “prepackaged” by Nature, with a firm, creamy flesh wrapped inside a thick inedible peel. The banana plant grows 10 to 26 feet height and belongs to the family Musaceae. Banana fruits grow in clusters of 50 to 150, with individual fruits grouped in bunches, known as “hands,” of 10 to 25 bananas. You can find bananas in hundreds of edible varieties that are set under two distinct species: the sweet banana and the plantain banana, and they vary in size and color like red, pink, purple, and black tones when ripe, although we are accustomed to the yellow skinned ones.
In the United States, the most familiar varieties are Big Michael, Martinique and Cavendish. Plantain bananas are usually cooked and considered more like a vegetable due to their starchier qualities. Bananas are the fourth largest fruit crop in the world and provide us many nutrients that are essential for good health being low in calories ( 121 per large banana, high in fiber, offering several vitamins and minerals). One large banana contains 487 mg of potassium. This amount equates to 10.4 percent of the recommended daily value for potassium, playing a big role in nerve function, blood presure and muscle control. It helps regulate water and mineral balance throughout your body. A high potassium intake has also been associated with decreased risk of death due to cardiovascular disease. Consuming potassium-rich foods may help prevent osteoporosis, notes the University of Maryland Medical Center.
Nutrients in a banana :
Vitamin B6 – 0.5 mg
Manganese – 0.3 mg
Vitamin C – 9 mg
Potassium – 450 mg
Dietary Fiber – 3 g
Protein – 1 g
Magnesium – 34 mg
Folate – 25.0 mg
Riboflavin – 0.1 mg
Niacin – 0.8 mg
Vitamin A – 81 UI
Iron – 0.3 mg
Bananas bring us a lot of benefits. They are pure and safe for being served to babyes as their first solid food. They are a heart-healthy food when are included in a low saturated fat and cholesterol food diet, reducing the risc of a heart disease.
Here are some ideas of serving bananas:
- plain or sliced and served in sandwiches, fruit cups, custards and salads;
- a peanut butter and banana sandwich drizzled with honey (the perfect breakfast or comfort food for all children and adults at the same time);
- add chopped bananas, walnuts and maple syrup to oatmeal or porridge;
- add banana slices to your breakfast cereal;
Bananas are rich in potasium,manganese, vitamin B-6 and C, and including fiber (a small banana provides 10 percent of the daily value for fiber), however, in some cases bananas can cause constipation. Eaten in large amounts or before they are ripe bananas can cause gas, the reason being that they contain soluble fiber and fructose.