Health benefits of banana fruit
- Banana fruit is rich in calories, but very low in fats. The fruit contains good amounts of health benefiting anti-oxidants, minerals, and vitamins.
- Banana pulp is composed of soft, easily digestible flesh with simple sugars like fructose and sucrose that when eaten replenishes energy and revitalizes the body instantly; thus, for these qualities, bananas are being used by athletes to get instant energy and as supplement food in the treatment plan for underweight children.
- The fruit contains good amount of soluble dietary fiber (7% of DRA per 100 g) that helps normal bowel movements; thereby reducing constipation problems.
- It contains many health promoting flavonoid poly-phenolic antioxidants such as lutein, zeaxanthin, beta and alpha carotenes in small amounts. These compounds help act as protective scavengers against oxygen-derived free radicals and reactive oxygen species (ROS) that play a role in aging and various disease processes.
- It is also a very good source of vitamin-B6 (pyridoxine), provides about 28% of daily-recommended allowance. Pyridoxine is an important B-complex vitamin that has beneficial role in the treatment of neuritis, anemia, and decreasing homocystine (one of the causative factor for coronary artery disease (CHD) and stroke episodes) levels in the body.
- The fruit is also good source of vitamin-C (about 8.7 mg per 100g). Consumption of foods rich in vitamin-C helps body develop resistance against infectious agents and scavenge harmful oxygen free radicals.
- Fresh bananas provide adequate levels of minerals like copper, magnesium, and manganese. Magnesium is essential for bone strengthening and has cardiac-protective role as well. Manganese is used by the body as a co-factor for the antioxidant enzyme, superoxide dismutase. Copper is required in the production of red blood cells.
- Fresh banana is a very rich source of potassium. 100 g fruit provides 358 mg potassium. Potassium is an important component of cell and body fluids that helps control heart rate and blood pressure, countering bad effects of sodium.
Preparation and Serving methods
- Bananas comes with nature gifted protective outer layer of skin, therefore are less likely contaminated by germs and dust.
- Just remove the peel and enjoy!
- Banana fruit sections are a great addition to the fruit salads.
- Fresh "banana-milkshake" with sugar syrup is a delicious drink.
- Bananas have also been used in the making of fruit jams.
- Banana fritters can be served with ice cream as well.
- Banana chips are a snack produced from dehydrated or fried banana or plantain slices.
- Mash ripe banana fruits and add to cakes, casseroles, muffins, bread pudding etc.
- Plantain is raw unripe banana that is used as vegetable in recipes.