Banana is one of the most popular and healthy fruits in the world. It is hearty, tasty and instantly energizes. The properties of bananas, like other foods, are completely determined by their chemical composition.
Banana is a herb (not a palm tree, as many think) up to 9 meters high. Ripe fruits are yellow, elongated and cylindrical, resembling a crescent moon. Covered with a dense skin, slightly oily texture. The pulp has a soft milky color
When we eat bananas, we get vitamins C and E, as well as vitamin B6, which is responsible for maintaining blood glucose levels and helping to calm the nervous system. And thanks to the iron contained in bananas, you can raise the level of hemoglobin in the blood.
The homeland of the banana is Southeast Asia (Malay Archipelago), where bananas have appeared since the 11th century BC. They were eaten, made into flour and made into bread. True, bananas did not look like modern crescents. There were seeds inside the fruit. Such fruits (although, according to botanical characteristics, a banana is a berry) were supplied for import and brought people the main income.
The second homeland of the banana is America, where the priest Thomas de Berlanca, many years ago, first brought an offshoot of this culture. The state of California even has a museum dedicated to bananas. It contains more than 17 thousand exhibits – fruits made of metals, ceramics, plastic and so on. The museum got into the Guinness Book of Records in the nomination – the largest collection in the world, which is dedicated to one fruit.
The composition and calorie content
The composition of one medium-sized banana (about 100 g) is as follows:
- Calories: 89
- Water: 75%
- Protein: 1.1 g
- Carbohydrates: 22.8 g
- Sugar: 12.2 g
- Fiber: 2.6 g
- Fat: 0.3 grams
Useful properties of bananas
According to nutritionists, the chemical composition of bananas is so harmonious and balanced that it is difficult to repeat both in nature and in artificial conditions. Regular, but at the same time, moderate consumption of bananas in food will benefit your health, and here’s why:
- due to the content of potassium and magnesium, bananas have a positive effect on the state of the cardiovascular system, nourish and oxygenate the brain cells, normalize the water-salt balance;
- due to the same potassium and magnesium, actively using bananas, it is possible to quit smoking sooner; with the help of these microelements, the body more easily overcomes the so-called “dependence barrier”;
- due to the high content of B vitamins and tryptophans, bananas help to overcome nervous tension, relieve stress, suppress an outbreak of anger;
- One or two bananas a day will provide a great mood, since the same tryptophans from bananas in the human body are converted into the hormone of joy, serotonin;
- due to its high iron content, banana is useful for the formation of hemoglobin in the blood;
- fiber in bananas helps to eliminate disturbances in the functioning of the gastrointestinal tract; bananas are recommended in the recovery period for lesions of the oral mucosa and digestive tract;
- the content of natural sugars in a banana makes this fruit a source of quick energy, which means that a serving of bananas is indicated for increased fatigue and high physical and intellectual stress;
- bananas help in coughing;
- bananas are useful for the health and beauty of the skin, their pulp is often used as a basis for nourishing masks; banana pulp on inflamed skin or insect bites can relieve itching and irritation.
The harm of bananas: who shouldn’t eat them
- Bananas, unfortunately, are not among the fruits that are completely devoid of contraindications. Potential harms from overusing bananas include:
- banana removes fluid from the body, promotes blood thickening;
- an increase in blood viscosity with a subsequent decrease in blood flow to individual organs or parts of the body;
- the above fact is unfavorable for people with varicose veins and for men with erection problems;
- for similar reasons, it is undesirable to eat bananas for patients with thrombophlebitis, coronary heart disease and everyone else who has increased blood clotting;
- Bananas can cause bloating for some people and are therefore not recommended for people with irritable bowel syndrome.
- bananas are not recommended for people with increased body weight, because they are high in calories; this fruit not so much needs to be excluded from the diet, but rather to use it to a minimum or in accordance with a diet developed by a physician;
- artificial ripening of bananas contributes to the fact that a certain part of complex carbohydrates (starch and fiber) are converted into carbohydrates with a high glycemic index, which means that such a banana turns from useful for diabetics into harmful.
- Bananas grown under artificial industrial conditions may contain the carcinogens thiabendazole and chloramisole. These are pesticides used for pest control. In accordance with sanitary regulations, foods are checked for pesticides before they reach the shelves.
The use of bananas in medicine
Banana is rich in potassium, which is why it is recommended for athletes for its ability to relieve muscle spasms during exercise. It relieves pain and cramps and cramps that occur in the body due to a lack of potassium.
Banana contains a naturally occurring hormone called melatonin, which affects waking and sleeping cycles. Therefore, for a sound rest, you can eat a banana a few hours before bedtime.
Banana removes fluid from the body and lowers blood pressure, is useful for anemia, as it contains the necessary amount of iron, potassium and magnesium. These trace elements normalize the level of hemoglobin in the blood.
Due to their high potassium content, bananas remove fluid from the body and help control blood pressure. May be recommended for people with atherosclerosis. Bananas help with frequent heartburn, have an enveloping effect, they reduce acidity in gastritis. Protect the mucous membrane from the aggressive action of gastric acid hydrochloric acid.
But with inflammatory processes of the stomach, bananas can intensify painful manifestations, since they can cause flatulence. Due to the content of soluble fiber, the fruit helps to remove toxins from the body, promotes gentle bowel cleansing.
May be useful for women with PMS. By stimulating the production of pleasure hormones, banana improves mood. Bananas are useful for children as a first complementary food, as they are hypoallergenic and suitable for any age, Banana is a great snack for athletes and those who lead an active lifestyle.
The use in cooking
Bananas are most commonly eaten fresh. Or as an appetizer to cottage cheese, yogurt or melted chocolate. Banana is used as an additive to desserts, it is added in the preparation of cakes, pastries, fruit salads.
Bananas are baked, dried, added to the dough. Cookies, muffins and syrups are prepared on their basis.
Grind sugar with butter, add eggs and bananas. Stir everything thoroughly and put in a prepared mold. Bake for about 15-20 minutes at 190 degrees, until the cake is golden brown.