Silver, apple, dwarf and terra are Brazil’s main types of bananas consumed. Even though they are different, they have nutrients capable of preventing cramps, taking care of the nervous system and improving digestion.
According to nutritionist Renata Guirau, this fruit is a fibre, potassium, magnesium and carbohydrate source. In addition, it has vitamins A, B and C.
When it comes to enjoying it in the kitchen, you can abuse your creativity as it is a fruit consumed daily. In addition to the new form, make banana cake, candy, cake and pie. It is also possible to prepare drinks, such as the famous vitamin.
However, anyone who thinks only the pulp can be used is wrong! According to the nutritionist, the bark is also rich in fibre and can be used in savoury and sweet dishes. Not to mention the healthy attributions of biomass, matter made with the fruit still unripe.
Table of Contents
1. Helps to prevent cramps
“Its potassium and magnesium content helps balance electrolytes in the blood, preventing discomfort caused by cramps,” explains Renata Guirau.
Therefore, it is a beneficial food for athletes, especially those who exercise longer and more exhausting.
2. Increases the feeling of well-being
“As it is a good source of magnesium and tryptophan, banana helps to improve our natural production of serotonin, contributing to an increase in our sense of well-being,” he says.
Serotonin is an essential neurotransmitter for the nervous system, acting on the brain and regulating mood.
3. Improves sleep quality
Speaking of hormones, another one that is also essential for the body is melatonin. And the best part, according to the nutritionist, is that the hopscotch fruit stimulates the production of this neurotransmitter.
For this reason, food can help improve the quality and quantity of sleep. Sleeping well can positively impact health, such as more energy and relaxation the next day.
4. Favors vision
In addition to vitamin A, which helps the eyes’ health, this fruit also has natural antioxidants, such as carotenoids.
This substance is divided into several others, including lutein. This type of carotenoid has properties capable of inhibiting age-related macular degeneration, a disease that can lead to vision loss.
5. Helps in bowel function
“As a good source of fibre, bananas help improve intestinal transit,” says Guirau. The Ministry of Health even recommends the fruit for children and those suffering from digestive disorders such as diarrhea.
Furthermore, the fruit contains a fibre called resistant starch in its natural form and the flour version. As the name implies, this substance resists digestion and acts as a probiotic in the intestine.
This process results in a reduction in the pH of the colon, turning this environment into an undesirable place for the formation of cancer cells and the growth of disease-causing microorganisms.
6. Improves cholesterol levels
In addition, the phytosterols present in green banana flour reduce both total cholesterol and bad cholesterol, popularly known as LDL.
Also, one cannot forget to mention the resistance that the fruit promotes to blood vessels.
According to the nutritionist, these effects are conducive to preventing cardiovascular disease.
7. Provides power
Athletes can doubly benefit from their physical exercise by consuming yellow fruit. In addition to avoiding the dreaded cramps, food also increases your energy level.
“Bananas are sources of good quality carbohydrates, providing energy for daily activities,” highlights the nutrition specialist.
8. Protect the cells
Both bananas and their by-products are rich in antioxidant substances, protecting cells against oxidation.
It is known that this cell degradation process is related to the emergence of health problems such as arteriosclerosis, types of cancer, arthritis, Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes and inflammation.
Therefore, in a way, regular consumption of this food can help prevent these disorders.
No, on the contrary, it helps with weight loss. According to Renata Guirau, the fruit will not offer excess calories in the proper amount, so it can be used in strategies to reduce weight without fear.
“Since it is a practical fruit, it can be consumed in intermediate snacks, avoiding the consumption of unwanted snacks,” he advises.
Another good tip is to use banana by-products, such as flour or biomass, in cooking. Both can make up several less caloric and healthier recipes.
Versatility is the keyword to define how bananas behave in cooking. This fruit makes it possible to make food, drinks and even appetizers. Check out some suggestions for recipes recommended by the nutritionist and other selected preparations.
Renata Guirau teaches a mug cake recipe that is very easy and quick to make. It only takes 10 minutes from the preparation mode until the dessert is ready.
- One ripe silver banana
- One this
- One tablespoon of baking powder
- One teaspoon of powdered chocolate
- One pinch of powdered cinnamon.
Mix all ingredients in a large mug until the content is homogeneous. Then take it to the microwave for 3 minutes. Consume after cooling down.
The Healthy Living Mother channel indicates preparing a banana candy that only soils a pan.
- Four dwarf bananas
- One tablespoon brown sugar (sweetener, xylitol or honey)
- Two tablespoons water
- One tablespoon of lemon juice
- Cinnamon to taste.
The nutritionist takes the opportunity to explain how to make farofa with plantain. The preparation is straightforward!
- Two bananas
- One medium-grated carrot
- 1 cup (of tea) of cooked green corn
- ½ cup (of tea) of chopped olives
- One medium onion cut into cubes
- 1 cup (of tea) of manioc flour
- ½ cup (of tea) of chopped green scent
- Two tablespoons of oil
- Salt to taste.
Start by heating the oil in a pan and saute the onion. Then add the other ingredients, except the flour and the green smell. Stir gently and add the salt.
With the pan still on the fire, gradually add the manioc flour and let it cook for a few more minutes. Then turn off the heat and finish with the chopped green smell. Serve!
The preparation of this pie may be awkward initially, but once it’s ready, you’ll be sure you’ve followed the right path. So, check out how Mi Alves did hers in a vegan version :
- Ten tablespoons of whole wheat flour
- Five tablespoons of organic brown sugar
- One tablespoon of cinnamon powder
- One teaspoon of powdered yeast
- 1 cup of vegetable milk of your choice
- Three tablespoons of melted vegan margarine
- One teaspoon of vanilla essence
- Ten ripe dwarf bananas.
Banana and berry smoothie
This smoothie, indicated by Renata Guirau, takes, in addition to the banana, some red fruits that are up to you to define!
- 1 cup of frozen berries
- 1 cup of frozen ripe dwarf banana
- One cup of coconut water.
To prepare this drink, use a mixer or a blender to blend all the ingredients. Then serve and enjoy the delight right away.
Cuca is neither a cake nor a pie, but its texture reminds those other desserts. Larissa Zorzella teaches a healthy option for this recipe on the Amante do Fogão channel.
- Three eggs
- One and ½ cups (of tea) of brown sugar
- One tablespoon of vanilla essence
- ½ cup (of tea) of skimmed milk
- ½ cup (of tea) of coconut oil
- 2 cups (of tea) of rice flour
- One tablespoon of baking powder
- Three bananas cut into slices.
Ingredients of the flour
- Three tablespoons of skimmed milk powder
- Four tablespoons of oat
- Three tablespoons of demerara sugar
- One tablespoon of cinnamon powder
- Two tablespoons of coconut oil.
Last but not least: banana smoothie! Learn how to make a recipe recommended by the Ministry of Health, including other fruits in the preparation.
- ½ banana sliced
- One frozen sleeve
- One apple is peeled and cut into cubes
- ½ litre of milk.
First, blend the mango with half the milk in a blender. Then add the apple, banana and remaining milk. Beat again and serve right away. This recipe makes up to three servings.
In addition to this version, there are other ways to make this type of vitamin. One of these ways is taught by Bela Gil on the Nhac GNT channel. This option is vegan and very simple.
- 200 g of peeled and hydrated peanuts
- 3 cups of water
- Two frozen bananas.
Other forms of consumption
The versatility of bananas is not restricted to the number of recipes that can be made with them but rather the possibility of using them at all stages of maturation.
For example, when green, the fruit yields both biomass and flour. When it matures, it can be used in salty preparations, such as farofa.
Renata Guirau advises consuming fresh fruit or preparing vitamin and fruit salad compositions when the banana is ripe.
And when it is very mature, what is it for? Also, according to the nutritionist, the fruit is not lost like this; it should be used in “recipes for cakes and sweet pies, helping to sweeten the preparations naturally.”
Biomass with green banana
The Vegetarian Ham channel teaches how to make biomass using green bananas. In addition, it gives some tips on how this natural product can be used in the kitchen. Look:
- Four very green bananas
If you discard the banana peel, you don’t know the amount of nutrients and benefits you are throwing away. According to the nutritionist, this part of the fruit can be used well in the kitchen, but it should be organic.
“It has a high fibre content and can be consumed in preparations, such as pies and farofa. The only care should be cleaning the bark before it is used”, explains Renata Guirau.
Thinking about the culinary possibilities with the banana peel, Bela Gil made a meatball with this ingredient.
Banana Peel Meatballs
- Ten ripe banana peels
- Two garlic cloves
- 1/4 chopped onion
- One tablespoon of oregano
- One tablespoon of olive oil
- Pinch of cumin, nutmeg and black pepper
- ½ cup chopped cilantro
- 1/4 cup of chopped basil
- Pinches of annatto and turmeric
- salt to taste
- One this
- 100 g of oatmeal.
- Mature tomatoes
- Four tablespoons of oil
- 1/4 chopped onion
- One chopped garlic clove
- One teaspoon of cumin
- ½ spoon of nutmeg
- ½ cup of basil leaves
- ½ cup of cilantro
- One teaspoon of oregano
- Black pepper to taste.
Types of banana
This is a tropical fruit of the Musa genus and belongs to the Musaceae family. However, it is divided into a few varieties, four of which are very popular in Brazil. Check out the main features of each one!
Banana or long banana
“It is the largest and densest among bananas. It should be consumed in preparations, as it is challenging to digest raw, “says the nutritionist.
Furthermore, it comprises 63.9% water and 33.7 g of high-quality carbohydrates.
Also, according to the nutrition professional, this type has the most potassium and magnesium among the varieties. And its calories are meagre; at 100 g, there is only 92 kcal.
Banana silver is one of the most consumed; it has the sweetest pulp and is rich in vitamin C. The amount of fibre in 100 g of the fruit is 2 g.
“It has more fibre than bananas and fewer calories per 100g of fruit. Its pulp is much lighter than other bananas”, adds Renata Guirau.
Frequently Asked Questions About Fruit
1- How many calories are in a banana?
Banana apple is the one that has fewer calories in 100 g of the fruit, containing 87 kcal. The most caloric is that of the earth, with 128 kcal in the same proportion.
2- What kind of banana is good for cramps?
“The dwarf banana has a higher potassium and magnesium content, but all varieties are sources of these minerals,” he emphasizes.
3- How many bananas can you eat a day?
Although the fruit is released daily for consumption, the amount per day varies for each person. For this reason, it is essential to consult a nutritionist and have an assessment.
4- Is there harm or contraindication?
Even though it is rare, some people are allergic to bananas. Thus, they should not consume any variation of this fruit or recipes that use this ingredient.
“Some people can have poor digestion with bananas, especially with dwarfs. In these cases, if the banana is more ripe, it will be better”, concludes the nutritionist.
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.