Bananas

By EAT-SMARTER
Updated on 24. Apr. 2020

Bananas are beloved by babies to senior citizens, and it’s no wonder: The cheerful yellow fruit tastes sweet and offers valuable properties. You can read all about them here.

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Bananas

Bananas...

  • ...have a calming effect. The mix of minerals, especially magnesium, potassium and phosphorus, promote nerves, which alleviates stress and symptoms like nervousness and sleep disorders.
  • ...don’t necessarily have high fructose. Bananas that are not yet fully ripe contain more starch than sugar and therefore let the blood sugar level rise more slowly and evenly.
  • ...put you in a good mood. Bananas elevate happiness through high serotonin content. In addition, high fruit sugar also stimulates the body's own production of the "happiness hormone."
  • ...are great for sports. If you work out for long periods of time, you should utilize bananas: With their nutrient mix of carbohydrates, minerals and B vitamins, they are a fortifying snack.
  • ...help with stomach aches. If you have survived a gastrointestinal infection and still have little appetite, bananas are a good choice. Crushed up, the fruit is easy to eat and does not burden the stomach or intestines but provides valuable nutrients.
  • ...can cause headaches. Some people respond to bananas with high blood pressure, headaches or even migraines. That’s because of a substance called tyramine that’s found in bananas. Those who are already susceptible to such complaints are therefore better off without bananas.
  • ...have sometimes negative interactions. With certain antidepressants (so-called MAO inhibitors), there is a risk when too much tyramine accumulates in the body after eating bananas. Anyone taking such prescriptions should avoid bananas.

What You Should Know About Bananas

As a quick snack, bananas are one of the most popular types of fruit in our country: statistically speaking, each of us eats about 13 kilograms of bananas per year.

Bananas have several advantages: They taste good, are filling and are an option for sensitive stomachs.

Origin

The original home of bananas is in Asia (Thailand, India and the Philippines). However, most bananas today come to us from South and Central America and Africa.

Season

You can buy bananas all year round.

Taste

Ripe bananas taste sweet while not quite ripe bananas can taste almost like a vegetable. 

How Healthy Are Bananas?

Bananas are almost unbeatable as a satisfying snack that is also good for the body. They provide B vitamins, some vitamin C, a lot of potassium and magnesium. Ripe bananas also contain up to 23 percent fructose, i.e. carbohydrates that are quickly absorbed into the bloodstream. Less ripe bananas provide more starch. Thanks to the ideal combination of quickly digestible sugar, "slow" starch and approximately three percent of daily dietary fiber, bananas not only fill up quickly but also sustainably, and with a relatively low calorie content.

Diabetics are best served with light yellow, not yet fully ripe bananas, as they contain more starch than sugar and therefore allow the blood sugar level to rise slowly and evenly.

Nutritional values of bananas per 100 grams  
Calories 95
Protein 1 gram
Fat 0.2 grams
Carbohydrates 21 grams
Dietary Fiber 3 grams

Shopping and Kitchen Tips 

Shopping 

Bananas are highly accessible, however, those who attach importance to fair harvesting conditions and the absence of pollutants prefer organic produce, which hardly costs more than conventional bananas.

The skins of bananas from conventional cultivation are treated with thiabendazole. Of this fungal poison, which is used against mold, about 15 to 20 percent gets into the pulp of the bananas, according to investigations by a monitoring authority. However, there is no reason to panic because the preservative is not considered highly toxic, through not everyone necessarily wants to eat it.

Small brown spots on the yellow skin are not a sign of poor quality, rather this indicates the banana is ripe. Bananas are almost always sold when they have a light yellow skin or are still slightly unripe.

Storage

Bananas ripen quickly at home in room temperature. If you prefer them to be less sweet, it is best to eat bananas that are not yet fully ripe. Conversely, you can speed up the ripening process by storing the unripe bananas with apples. But please do not store them in the refrigerator — bananas quickly turn brown and lose their flavor!

Preparation

With bananas, all you have to do to enjoy the fruit is peel off the skin! If you don't want to eat the whole banana, you can drizzle it banana with lemon or lime juice to avoid discoloration in the air and save it for later.

What To Make With Bananas

If you like bananas, you’re in luck because you can make plenty of delicious recipes from them, including smoothies, fruit salads, cakes and pies or ice creams. 

Bananas that are not yet fully ripe can also be used in hearty cuisines to spice up curries, for example.

Bananas are popular with babies and toddlers as well, and are perfectly suited to create a tasty porridge or healthy, child-friendly delicacy.

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