Banana Fruit And Nutrient Values
The scientific name for banana is 'Musa Acuminata Colla', and is widely
grown in the tropical and sub-tropical regions.
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
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.