Botanically a berry-produced by several kinds of large herbaceous flowering plants in the genus Musa, banana is an edible fruit. It is the most popular free fruit in all over the world and its name comes from the Arabic word ‘banan’ which means finger.
Native to Southeast Asia, now grown in many warm parts of the world, bananas vary in color, size and shape. The most common type is the Cavendish, which is a type of dessert banana. Green when unripe, it yellows as it matures.
Although, some people are of the opinion that bananas are vegetables because they lack seeds, that isn’t actually true. Bananas that are commercially grown and distributed around the world are sterile, so their seeds are significantly reduced in size. The small brown or black specks which are seen in the middle of the banana are the immature seeds.
Bananas are extremely healthy and delicious. Aside from being very nutritious, they are also highly convenient and cheapest available fruits all year round-snack food. Here are 11 science-based health benefits of bananas.
Bananas contain many important nutrients: Bananas are rich in fibre, antioxidents and several nutrients i.e. potassium, vitamin B6, vitamin c, magnesium, copper, manganese, fibre, protein, and fat. A medium sized banana has about 105 calories.
Bananas moderate blood sugar levels: Bananas can help moderate blood sugar levels after meals and may reduce appetite by slowing stomach emptying.
Improve digestive health: Bananas are fairly rich in fibre and resistant, starch, which may feed your friendly gut bacteria and safeguard against colon cancer.
Bananas may aid weight loss: Bananas may aid weight loss because they’re low in calories and high in nutrients and fibre.
May support heart health: It is a good dietary source of potassium and magnesium two nutrients that are essential for heart health.
Bananas contain powerful antioxidants: Bananas are high in several antioxidants, which may help reduce damage from free radicals and lower your risk of some diseases.
Unripe bananas may improve insulin sensitivity: Unripe bananas are a good source of resistant starch. Which may improve insulin sensitivity.
May improve kidney health: Eating a banana several times a week may reduce your risk of kidney disease by up to 50 per cent.
May have benefits for exercise: Bananas may help relieve muscle cramps caused by exercise. They also provide excellent fuel for endurance exercises.
Easy to add to your diet: Bananas make an excellent snack food, desert or breakfast. Their versatility makes them easy to add to your diet. You can add bananas in shakes, cakes, salads, and bread, pasta, and pudding. Banana ketchup is a popular condiment made from mashed banana, sugar, vinegar and spices
Uses of Banana peel
Whenever you think of banana peel the first thing that your mind conjures up is the image of someone slipping while stepping on it. But has it ever occurred to you that banana peel can be put to some really wise uses?
Whiten your teeth: Gently rub your teeth with the inside of the banana peel for two minutes. It contains high levels of potassium and magnesium which are essential in removing stains from your
Make your shoes shine: Potassium in the peel acts as a cleaning agent when applied on leather. After rubbing the peel, apply a shoe shiner on your shoes. The combination of potassium and oils secreted from the peel makes the shine last longer.
Soften meat: Add banana peel to the roasting pan before you roast the meat. Banana peel keeps the moisture intact which helps to keep the meat soft and moistured. The peel is loaded with potent enzymes which help in tendering the meat.
Beauty fix: The peel contains vitamin B, antioxidants and potassium. The combination of these three is a great way to moisturise and exfoliate the skin and remove dead skin. Mash one banana along with the peel and add two spoons of sugar with a pinch of olive oil and your face scrub is ready to be used.
Plant fertiliser: Take a jar full of water and soak in the banana peel for a while. Now use this water to fertilise the plants. The peel contains phosphate which is an essential ingredient for the growth of plants and grass.
Quick compost: Make a banana peel compost and use it in your garden. The peel has a tendency to decompose at a fast rate. Phosphate, calcium and sodium present in the peel are all essential for the healthy growth of plants and fruits.
Keep flies at bay: Take an empty container and add banana peels with vinegar in it and shake it well. Then cover the top with a plastic to release the scent of bananas. Place it outside in your garden and watch the insect and fly population go down.
By Pushpa Bhatia