The banana is one of the best-known and most-consumed fruits. In addition, it is a food with very beneficial properties for our health.
Table of Contents
What is a banana?
This fruit is of tropical origin and comes from a herbaceous plant of the Musaceae family and the Musa genus.
It is elongated or slightly curved, weighing between 100 and 200 grams. The skin is thick, yellow and easy to peel. Also, the pulp is white or yellowish and fleshy.
Also, they are known as ripe bananas, bananas, and bananas. Guileless or chambers, according to the place of origin.
Origin of the banana
Sometimes the origin of this fruit has been cited in Central America. However, many Buddhist authors and texts place the basis of these fruits in South Asia and, more specifically, in India.
The name comes from the Greek bananas and, later, from the Latin platanus. The name comes from the shape of the plant’s leaves, which is flat and wide.
It is also known as banana, whose term comes from Arabic and means fingers.
It is not known in the Mediterranean area until after the conquest by the Arabs in 650 AD.
The cultivation began in the Canary Islands in the fifteenth century, where it has been cultivated commercially since the end of the nineteenth century. From here, it spread to America.
Both the plantain and the banana are also native to Southwest Asia. After commercial expansion, its cultivation has spread to many regions of Central and South America. Also su, tropical Africa constitutes the basis of the diet of many areas.
Banana is one of the most common crops in all countries with a tropical climate. In addition, we can affirm that it is one of the main crops globally after foods such as rice, wheat or corn.
More than 113 million tons are produced worldwide per year. India has the highest production, with almost 30 million tons annually. China ranks second with more than 13 million tons.
Spain ranks 31st with almost 400 thousand tons per year of a Canarian bananas of excellent quality.
If the cultivation is carried out in tropical areas, the season for these tropical fruits is throughout the year.
The vast majority of bananas grown in Spain come from the Canary Islands. They are collected throughout the year.
You can check the calendar of the fruit season to be able to consume these foods at their most optimal moment. In addition, when they are in season, they provide us with more benefits for our health; they have a better aroma and are tastier, among other advantages.
There are different varieties of bananas, among which we can highlight the following since they are the most common.
- Gros Michel
- Dwarf or dominican
- Red banana
Gros Michel is the lost banana of the past. It was the world’s leading banana, but at the beginning of the 20th century, diseases destroyed most of the plantations. It was a shame; this variety tastes better than many modern types.
It is still cultivated in some regions of Colombia and Ecuador.
It is a much more resistant variety than the previous one but has a less intense flavour and a larger size.
Cavendish bananas can be eaten raw as a dessert or snack. They do not need to be cooked for consumption. It is the most cultivated variety worldwide. They are yellow when mature, and characteristic brown or black spots may appear.
In the Canary Islands, most of the bananas that are grown are from this group, precisely four of its five types:
- Big dwarf
- Little dwarf
The fifth variety is the Gros Michel, which has managed to maintain its cultivation, although in small numbers.
Originally from Asia, currently, Brazil and Kenya export it throughout the year. The fruit is medium in size, with fragile skin and a specific apple flavour.
Dominican or dwarf
Its cultivation is common in Mexico. It is small in size and very sweet. It is widely used for confectionery and in the preparation of sweet drink recipes.
It is rich in vitamins of groups B, vitamin C and E. Its high magnesium content stands out.
The male banana stands out for being the largest and heaviest. Its skin is thick, and its pulp is more rigid. In addition, its flavour varies significantly from the rest because it is less sweet. It is green, yellow or violet tones.
It is used in different recipes, cooked, fried, grilled or porridge, but it is not eaten raw. Nutritionally, it offers a high potassium and vitamin A content, fibre, manganese and vitamin B6.
In Spain, its use is beginning to be known and normalized. However, in tropical countries, its use is widespread in different recipes.
A widespread variety in the American continent. It is gradually gaining market in Europe, and we can see it increasingly in our needs. In the Canary Islands, they already have stable crops of this variety.
It is characterized by its thick skin and its reddish colour. The taste is somewhat different, with hints of red fruits.
Its consumption can be both raw and in different recipes. Nutritionally it is highly recommended as it is rich in minerals and low in fat.
Other types of bananas
We can also highlight other varieties that, although less frequent, we cannot forget about them.
The Tabasco banana, or Roatán banana, gets its name from the state of Mexico that produces it, Tabasco. We cannot stop talking about the following varieties:
- Rhino Horn
How to buy bananas?
These sweet fruits continue to ripen after they are picked. For this reason, brown spots are not an indicator of the taste or quality of the product.
It is also true that the longer the fruit spends on the plant, the more sugars it accumulates and the more intense colour it gets. For this reason, it is recommended to eat nearby bananas.
Before buying, it is essential to know when we will consume them. If it is the same or the next day, we can select yellow without green tones since it is a sign that they are very ripe and tasty.
If we consume them for extended periods, buying them with some green tones is essential. However, it is not recommended to buy them completely green.
It is best to keep it at room temperature in a cool, dry place without direct sunlight.
Keeping it in the bunch will help us extend the life of these fruits since it always begins to ripen from the peduncle.
If we need it to ripen more quickly, as with other fruits, we can combine them with apples, which helps their ripening process.
How do you eat the banana?
If it is eaten raw, we recommend that it is not too green, as it can affect digestion. On the contrary, it may lose part of its nutrients if it is very ripe.
How are bananas peeled?
You can probably sometimes use a knife to pearl it. It is because you may not know it is the most ideal way for us.
Banana is the quintessential easy-to-consume fruit. We can take it anywhere, and we can always eat it straightforwardly. You have a forward trick to remove the skin. Enjoy this delicacy easily.
A banana or banana opens in two seconds if it opens at the bottom tip instead of starting at the stem. Simply pressing a little with your fingers on that part of the bottom of the fruit, you can tear the skin, merely extracting the pulp.
Are the strands eaten?
It is advisable not to discard the threads or threads of the banana since they provide healthy nutrients.
These filaments that some discard are rich in vitamins B6, calcium, antioxidants and fibre.
Each banana provides us with approximately 100 calories. Very rich in water and with practically no fat.
However, this fruit stands out for its high caloric value due to the carbohydrates it provides.
It is a food source of numerous vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and fibre, which benefit our health.
The minerals that we can highlight in its composition are potassium, magnesium and, to a lesser extent, phosphorus. On the other hand, it is also rich in folic acid, vitamin C and, in less quantity, vitamin B6.
It includes protein in a small amount, although it is 3% of the recommended daily amount.
The pulp of the plantain contains simple sugars that give it its sweet taste. These are glucose, dextrose, and sucrose. These sugars are transformed into energy simply and immediately.
For this reason, its consumption is recommended to athletes and people who need to recover after physical exercise or who are doing it.
Average nutritional value per 100 grams of banana
|Total fat||0 g|
|Vit. THE||1127 IU|
|Lives. VS||18,4 mg|
|White. B9||22 mg|
Banana is a highly recommended fruit for the whole family thanks to their nutritional properties and different health benefits.
Among its benefits, we can highlight the following:
1. Favorable to moderate blood sugar
People with diabetes can eat bananas but in moderation. The sugar in this food is no longer considered a problem since a well-balanced diet is adapted to each person. You can distribute the daily carbohydrates to accommodate their consumption.
In its nutritional composition, we highlight the fibre content. This is the case with pectin, which, together with starch, can moderate blood sugar levels after meals.
Depending on the ripening of the banana, we can classify it with a low or medium glycemic index (GI). Therefore, they should not cause significant spikes in blood sugar levels in healthy people.
However, people with type 2 diabetes should moderate the consumption of these fruits and consult with a nutritionist or their doctor.
2. For digestive health
The dietary fibre in these foods is ideal for general health and digestion in particular.
3. For weight loss diets
Their nutritional composition makes them favourable to include in weight loss diets. However, no studies support that bananas help you lose weight.
They do not contribute too many calories, approximately 100 calories per piece. However, it is very satisfying and nutritious.
4. For a strong heart
When we talk about potassium, we treat it as an essential mineral for heart health.
Banana is a natural source of potassium that can help lower blood pressure.
On the other hand, this fruit’s magnesium is favourable for maintaining a healthy heart and avoiding certain diseases related to heart health.
5. Rich in antioxidants
One of the properties of fruits is that they are rich in antioxidants. The banana is no exception.
They provide us with antioxidants that help us reduce free radicals and therefore reduce the risk of certain diseases.
We can highlight two powerful antioxidants, such as catechins and dopamine.
6. Supports kidney function
Another quality of potassium is that, in addition to controlling blood pressure, it can improve kidney function, as this study shows.
7. Food for athletes
Thanks to its vitamins, minerals and easily digestible carbohydrates, it is a perfect food for athletes.
It is known among those who do sports frequently that bananas help reduce muscle cramps.
In short, they are nutritionally complete foods. Therefore, they are ideal for athletes. It can be consumed before, after or during exercise.
These fruits are prevalent all over the world and provide us with numerous health benefits.
Its benefits benefit digestive and heart health due to its fibre and antioxidant content.
Although it may seem surprising, they can help you lose weight since they are relatively low in calories and rich in nutrients.
Ripe bananas are an excellent way to satisfy your sweet tooth for their sweet taste. In addition, all the varieties stand out for being very healthy, so we always recommend their consumption.
My name is Ellie Lauderdale, MD and I am USA based professional Nutritionist .
I am a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and board certified specialist in sports dietetics who is trained in integrative medicine. I have worked with hundreds of clients, from those suffering with chronic disease to professional and olympian athletes. My goal is to help optimize you from the inside so that you can feel, perform, and look your best on the outside.