Banana Fana Fo Fana, Bananas!
Bananas, “fruit of the wise men” are the most traded fruit in the world! One hundred billion bananas are eaten annually, mostly at breakfast. References to bananas date back to 500 BC. It is believed that bananas were first cultivated on New Guinea thousands of years ago. Today, countries within Africa, South America, and the Caribbean are the primary sources for this most popular fruit. Here are more interesting facts of what makes bananas so amazing!
Bananas are technically a berry since they grow from a single flower and contain small seeds. The banana plant’s base, the life-cycle of the plant is about two years and it only bears one bunch before dying. Its underground root system is always preparing the next generation of the fruit-bearing stems to grow. As the parent stem begins to die, the “sucker” takes over.
A medium-size banana is 105 calories, and:
An excellent source of heart-healthy potassium which helps build muscles, and manages blood pressure.
Leg cramps often experienced by athletes can be managed by eating a banana every day; the potassium provides oxygen to muscles, making them less tense and more flexible.
Vitamin C; abundant in bananas is an essential source for healing wounds and maintaining healthy bones, skin, and teeth.
Banana fiber helps curb appetite and is low in fat, sodium, and cholesterol.
Bananas convert starch to sugar, meaning the riper the banana, the more sugar. On average bananas contain 14 grams of sugar; however, it’s a low-glycemic food.
Bananas are a natural antacid; a heartburn reducer.
The starch in bananas contributes to healthy digestion and colon.
Banana peels are high in vitamin A, B6, B12, magnesium and potassium. It is also useful in rubbing the peel on a mosquito bite to reduce the irritation.
Refrigerating bananas helps to slow spoilage
Banana-fiber was first used in 13th century Japan as cloth. In the 20th century, inventors began experimenting with the highly strong fiber, mixing it with other fibers to produce a lightweight, biodegradable, water and flame resistant paper.