1. Health Benefits of Bananas
1. Bananas have been used to cure ulcers.
Bananas have protease inhibitors that kill stomach bacteria.
A protease is an enzyme that breaks amino acids apart. Bacteria use these enzymes to break apart amino acids as well. If they cannot break apart amino acids, these bacteria die from lack of nourishment.
Bacteria causes ulcers.
The bacteria h. pylori has been found to be culprit behind ulcers. Eating bananas prevent the h. pylori from breaking down the amino acids that it needs for survival.
An ulcer is a painful hole through your stomach wall.
These bacteria eat holes through your stomach lining, which allows your stomach acid to flow through, burning cells and tissues and causing a lot of pain.
Bananas help to thicken the mucus barrier in your stomach.
Your stomach wall is protected by a layer of mucus that helps keep acids from burning into that wall, as well as keeping bacteria away from the wall.
Stomach acid aggravates ulcers.
When you have a hole in your stomach wall, your stomach acid can make it worse by weakening cells and tissues that are not designed to withstand the acid.
EAT SMARTER TAKE AWAY: Eating bananas may help you prevent or heal ulcers.
2. Disadvantages of Bananas
1. Bananas have a short shelf life.
Bananas will only stay good for a few days.
Of all the fruits and vegetables, bananas have the shortest shelf life, staying good for just three or four days before they are too ripe to eat.
Green bananas are good for only a few days more.
Purchasing green bananas extend shelf life by only two or three days more at the most. With most fruit that ripens off the vine buying green adds up to a week.
Refrigerating bananas only adds three to five days to their shelf life.
Most fruit can stay good in a fridge for up to three weeks, but with bananas, you might get up to a week and a half before you need to throw your fruit out.
EAT SMARTER TAKE AWAY: Bananas go bad very quickly.
3. Top 100 Banana Recipes
4. Banana Recipes in Video
Bananas are a staple in kitchens across the world, whether being snacked on during a commute or blended into a hearty meal, this bright fruit is extremely versatile and provides an impressive array of health benefits.
5. About Bananas
How many species of banana are there?
There are 8 species of bananas.
How many varieties are there?
Nearly 1,000 different varieties of bananas exist.
How many groups of bananas exist?
These varieties are divided into 50 groups.
How many countries grow bananas?
More than 150 different countries grow bananas (a little over half of the world's countries).
How many bananas are grown each year?
There are roughly 105 million tons of bananas grown each year.
6. Banana vs. Apples
Most of us know that bananas are among the best sources of potassium, an essential mineral that helps regulate the electrolytes in the blood, thereby promoting a regular heartbeat, smooth muscle contraction and healthy nerve transmission. An average-sized banana provides about 10 percent of the RDA as compared to 3 percent for an apple. Bananas also beat apples in providing more folate, vitamin B-6 and magnesium, whereas apples trump bananas as a source (though slight) of vitamins E and K. Surprisingly, bananas are pretty comparable to apples in terms of total flavonoids and other antioxidants, including vitamin C. But bananas have a third more total carbs than apples, and seven times the amount of sugars; what’s more, a medium apple weighs 182 grams and has about 95 calories, while a medium banana weighs 118 grams and has about 115 calories, giving apples the lead in calorie density. That said, bananas and apples are both healthy on-the-go snacks that have much to offer.
7. History of Bananas
The Origins Are a Tangled Mystery.
Bananas appear to have been introduced into areas, only to be reintroduced hundreds of years later.
The first evidence of banana domestication: New Guinea, circa 8000 BCE.
Scientists have believe that the banana was domesticated in the Kuk valley nearly 10,000 years ago. They don't believe that this is the only place that bananas were domesticated, just the first.
Bananas spread throughout the South Pacific.
From New Guinea, the banana appears to have been taken to the Philippines, where it grew readily.
The dispersion of bananas across the tropics.
From the Philippine Islands, the banana was introduced far and wide, going to India, Indonesia, Australia, and Malaysia.
Bananas land in Africa.
The earliest known domesticated bananas in Africa were Plantains, where the began growing them by around 3000 BCE. From there they spread to Madagascar by 1000 BCE.
Alexander the Great meets the banana.
When Alexander the Great went on an expedition to Indian in the late 4th century BCE, he came across the fruit.
The banana in the New World.
Evidence shows that the banana made to the Americas by as early as 200 BCE, brought there by Southeast Asians.
The second wave of banana dispersion.
When Islam swept across the ancient world, they rediscovered bananas around the Indian ocean and carried bananas with them.
The third wave of spreading the banana about the globe.
The Moors most likely introduced the banana to Europe. Portuguese sailors later brought the banana with them, establishing a plantation in Brazil between the 15th and 16th centuries. From Brazil, bananas like spread to sugar plantations located throughout the Caribbean and the New World.
The major producer of bananas in the West started as the Unified Fruit company. One of its presidents once married the daughter of the President of Costa Rica in order to assure that his company could get bananas at a good price.
Unified Fruit moved into Latin America using strong-arm tactics, such as dictatorial style managers and utilizing machete wielding thugs to threaten the workers.
The company has been found guilty of bribing government officials on more than one occasion. During the 1970s the company changed its name. During the 1990s it donated a lot of money to the prevailing political party of the United States of the time in order to put political pressure on Europe to allow them to sell bananas in Europe.
8. Q&A About Bananas
Are bananas radioactive?
Bananas are slightly radioactive, due to the high content of potassium-40 (a radioactive isotope) that they contain.
Are bananas the most popular fruit in the world?
World-wide, bananas are the most popular fruit. More bananas are eaten than the next five competitors combined.
How many varieties of banana can be eaten?
There are only a few that are sweet enough, with a pleasant enough taste to eat. Only one is produced on a large scale, and it is being threatened by the same fungus that wiped out the Gros Michel banana.
Which country eats the most bananas?
Uganda holds the title, with each person eating about 500 pounds of bananas each year. By way of comparison, people in the united states eat just over 26 pounds each year.
Does a banana grow on a tree?
No. It's actually a type of herb plant and the banana is technically a berry.
What is a banana republic?
It's a term that refers to a country where the banana companies would support dictators whose main purpose was to protect the banana companies.
How much water do bananas need?
These plants need to be watered around 3 times a week during warm months (water whenever the to few inches of soil is dry). During colder months, you should only water once every few weeks to keep the plant from drying out.
How many bananas grow on a banana plant?
Each plant can produce between 50 to 400 bananas each year.
Can I feed bananas to my baby?
As long as your baby is at least 4 months old, you can. (Ideal is six months.) Don't forget to mash the banana until it can be swallowed without chewing.
What is a single banana called?
A single banana is often referred to as a 'finger'. There is some debate over where the word 'banana' comes from, but some hold that it comes from the Arabic word for finger 'banan'.
Do bananas only grow in the tropics?
No. They have been grown in many areas of the world, including in Iceland. Icelanders uses geothermal energy (energy rising up from the earth) to heat greenhouses where they grow bananas.
How long can a banana plant live?
A banana plant can produce bananas for up to a hundred years. In commercial production, each plant is replaced after 20 or 30 years.
Are there any threats to bananas?
Yes. There is a strain of virus that wiped out the world's commercially produced banana from the early 20th century that is now threatening the current banana stock. There are no readily available replacement varieties if the Cavendish banana disappears.
9. Nutritional Information
This is the nutritional information for one small banana (5.5 oz).
|Calories from fat 3g|
|Total Fat 0.3g||<1%|
|Saturated Fat 0.1g||<1%|
|Polyunsaturated Fat 0.0g|
|Monounsaturated Fat 0.0g|
|Total Carbs 22.8g||5%|
|Dietary Fiber 2.6g||9%|
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