Banana Fruit And Nutrient Values
The scientific name for banana is 'Musa Acuminata
Colla', and is widely grown in the tropical and
The trees bear fruits all the year round and are comparatively much cheaper
than other tropical fruits.
Clusters of the fruits are
attached together in tiers, hanging from the stem. Banana fruits have a
protective outer skin which can be easily removed before eating the creamy
white nutritious flesh portion. The weight, size and colour
of the banana fruit varies as there are too many cultivated species. The
flesh is firm and sweet, full of energy.
The banana fruit is low in fats,
but rich in calories. So those who are concern about gain in weight should
limit the number of fruits to be taken. Soluble dietary fibre
is another health benefit from banana as it helps motivate regular movements
of the bowels in the body, minimising constipation
problems for those who do not eat enough green food.
The fruit pulp is firmly soft and easy to digest. It contains sugars like
fructose and sucrose and is an instant source of energy required by the replenish the body, especially after strenuous work or
exercise. Athletes may considers eating bananas as natural food to revitalise their body instantly. It is also used as a
natural food supplement to treat underweight children.
Bananas contain a lot of natural nutrients like anti-oxidants compounds,
minerals and vitamins.
Vitamin-C helps body develop resistance against infectious agents and
scavenge harmful oxygen free radicals.
It is also a very good source of vitamin-B6 (pyridoxine). Pyridoxine in
B-complex vitamin plays a role in treating neuritis, anaemia
and controlling the level of homocystine
in the body. Homocystine is one of the causes for
coronary artery disease and stroke.
It is also rich in flavonoid poly-phenolic
antioxidants like lutein, zeaxanthin, beta and
small amount of alpha carotenes. These antioxidant compounds help to protect
against harmful radicals and reactive oxygen species (ROS) which affects the well being of our health.
Minerals like potassium, copper, magnesium and manganese are also found
present in bananas. Magnesium plays a role in strengthening bones and
regulate cardiac or functions. Copper helps in red blood cell production and
manganese as a co-factor for antioxidant enzymes. Potassium is required by
body cells to help regulate heart rate and blood pressure.
Preparation And Serving Banana
Ripe bananas are very fragile and
do not keep long. Freshly harvested bananas are still green must be handled
with care as the fruits can be easily damaged . The
protective skin is rather thin.
Green bananas can ripen very fast and turns yellow when ripe. Certain banana
species when ripe, can have many black spots on the skin layer and not
considered bad. Buy the numbers of bananas you need as they are sold by
weight, different prices for different species. Green bananas can be stored
longer but takes longer to ripen.
The skin of a banana can be peeled easily if they are ripe. Do not eat
unripe bananas as taste is nasty, and not sweet.
Just peel the skin and eat the ripe fruit or complement it with other
tropical fruits as fruit salad, or together with ice-cream. Blend it with
milk and ice to serve as a delicious drink of 'banana-milk shake' which is
full of instant energy and
Bananas are also used in recipes
for making fruit jam and baking cakes, muffins and bread. Unripe bananas are
cut to slices, dehydrated or fried to produce banana chips as snack.