I grew up in the Northwest, where the saying was, “An apple a day, keeps the doctor away.” Later, living in Central America I was told to eat a banana every day for good health.
BANANAS ARE INCREDIBLY HEALTHY!
I was introduced to bananas by my Father when he returned from the South Seas in WWII. He loved to slice a banana and put it on a peanut butter sandwich. Today they are still a fruit that I love to eat in a salad. Still fairly low in cost, they provide a broad variety of nutrients. A medium sized banana is only about 112 calories. It provides fiber, calcium, vitamin C, riboflavin, folate, niacin, copper, potassium and others. Wow! What a fruit!
PACKED WITH ANTIOXIDANTS
Bananas are full of antioxidants that are so necessary for protection against free radicals. These antioxidants are linked to many health benefits including lowering the risk of heart disease and aging or degenerative diseases. Antioxidants are essential because free radicals build up in the body over time and can cause serious harm.
SOME THINGS YOU MAY NOT KNOW ABOUT BANANAS
For example, did you know that bananas are really a berry? They are actually produced by several types of flowering plants of the genus Musa. The non-dessert bananas are called plantains and are used often, almost like a potato. Bananas can help slow your digestion and help you feel fuller. Bananas are often used in smoothies to make them smoother and more filling. There was a banana finca close to my home in Guatemala and the bananas were always picked green in a large clump. One day I said to a friend that fruit is better ripened on the vine. He laughed and said, “Not bananas. We always cut them down green and let them ripen to a good yellow, not brown, and everybody loves them.” There is research that is beginning to show that unripened bananas may help improve insulin sensitivity.
BANANAS BENEFIT IN MANY WAYS AND ARE EASY TO USE
Bananas are so easy to use. They seem to aid the digestion and are simple to add to a weight loss diet. This is because they are so nutrient dense, low in calories for their size and quite filling. Try mashing a banana, add two beaten eggs and a little quick oats for delicious pancakes! I love milk shakes. My Grandfather taught me to add a frozen banana slice or two to the blender for a great chocolate, vanilla or straight banana shake! Personally, I have come to really enjoy a good banana muffin in the morning. Yes, I do drink coffee and this muffin is great with my coffee! Get creative and have fun making up recipes using bananas!