What are the benefits of Eating Bananas?
The perfect banana
The Versatile Banana
January 16, 2008 © Liam Bean
The riper a banana the better it is for you. In fact sugar content in a banana is at its peak when the skin has turned completely black. This is the point at which all the starches in a banana have been converted to sugars. Also, contrary to popular opinion, bananas can and should be refrigerated to extend their edible life.
Dietary Supplement: Because bananas are so high in vitamins B6 and B12 and so low in sodium they are a perfect dietary supplement. They also contain magnesium and potassium along with the sugars sucrose, fructose and glucose.
Nicotine Withdrawal: It is said that the two B vitamins and minerals help with nicotine addiction withdrawal.
Sugar Fix: The sugars fructose and glucose are known to enter the bloodstream rapidly which is a good thing if you are experiencing low blood sugar. This makes them a good food choice for hypoglycemics and diabetics.
Diet Aid: A typical medium banana has less than 100 calories and, with a glass of water, can be very filling. The effect of one banana on blood sugar and protein levels is good for up to two hours. This makes it a near perfect dietary snack.
Digestion Aid: They are also the "B" in the Banana, rice, applesauce, and toast (BRAT) diet, a food regimen recommended for children recovering from gastric upset. Note that the BRAT diet is not recommended for extended periods as it lacks protein.
Ingredient List: A medium banana contains a gram of protein, three (3g) grams of fiber, twenty-seven (27g) grams of of carbohydrates, twenty-four (24g) grams of sugars, forty-three (43mg) milligrams of magnesium, and perhaps most importantly of all, four hundred sixty (460mg) milligrams of potassium.
Sports Tonic: The potassium and magnesium makes in a near perfect sports food for those lactic acid related cramps. I have personally found that a banana, after a particularly grueling run or bike outing, will relieve muscle cramps within fifteen minutes.
Other Uses: Once you've finished eating the banana don't throw the peel away; put it to good use. Because the banana peel is also loaded with potassium it can be used to reduce wrinkles around the eyes. Rubbing a fresh banana peel, yellow side out, under and around the eyes can reduce worry lines and bags. A banana peel can also reduce the itching and swelling from an insect bite. Again just rub the peel on the bite or for extended relief tape some peel to the bite.There's a strange rumor going around that the Gabor sisters (Zaza and Eva) would line their bras with bananas for perkier body effects.
Gardening: Rose bushes thrive on potassium so try scattering a few peels around the base of these bushes. In a pinch I even used a banana peel to shine my shoes.
So, a banana is not just good to eat, its peel is also good for your skin and good for certain plants.
Less than Usual Banana Recipes
Banana Ice Cream
Warning: This recipe requires an ice-cream maker.
- 6 ripe bananas (about 2 1/4 pounds)
- 1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 3/4 Cup light corn syrup
- 1 vanilla bean, scraped down
- 1 1/2 Cup heavy cream
- Place bananas in freezer and freeze overnight. This will enhance the banana flavors
- Remove the bananas from
freezer and allow to thaw for 45 minutes to 1 hour.
- Peel the bananas and
place in bowl of food processor along with the lemon juice.
- Process for
10 to 15 seconds. You want a puree.
- Add corn syrup and vanilla bean seeds and turn
processor on; blend until incorporated then;
- Slowly pour in the heavy cream.
- Process until smooth.
- Chill mixture in refrigerator until it reaches about 40 degrees.
mixture to an ice cream maker and process according to manufacturer's
- Place mixture in an airtight container and freeze for 3 to 6 hours before serving.
Banana Sour Cream Coffee Cake
- 1/2 Cup Butter or margarine (unsalted)
- 1 Cup Sugar (can be half brown half white granulated)
- 2 Eggs (or three egg whites to avoid cholesterol)
- 1 Cup Mashed bananas (frozen overnight is best)
- 1 teaspoon Vanilla (or one fresh vanilla pod)
- 1/2 c Sour cream
- 1 teaspoon Baking Powder
- 1 teaspoon Baking Soda
- 1/4 teaspoon Salt
- 1/4 Cup Chopped nuts (pecans or walnuts are great)
- 1/4 Cup Sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon Cinnamon
- 2 Cups Flour
- In bowl, cream butter with sugar.
- Beat in eggs.
- In one medium bowl combine mashed bananas, vanilla and sour cream.
- If using a vanilla pod cut the pod lengthwise, scrape out the pulp and seeds, and add what sticks to the knife to the bowl in step three above.
- In another medium bowl sift together flour, baking powder, soda and
- Fold the dry mixture into the creamed mixture, stirring just to blend.
- In the now empty "dry" bowl, combine finely chopped nuts, 1/4 cup sugar and cinnamon.
- Sprinkle half over bottom of well greased bundt or tube pan.
- Spoon in half the batter. Sprinkle with remaining nuts and cover with balance of batter.
- Bake at 350 degrees approx. 45 minutes or until cake is nicely browned. Do a toothpick test to check for done-ness.
- Rack cool in pan on rack for 10 minutes.
- Turn out onto a serving place by placing the plate on the top of the bundt pan and turning both so the plate becomes the bottom. This will prevent accidents.
- I will sometimes add a 1/4 Cup from a package of trail-mix instead of the 1/4 Cup of nuts for a different flavor/texture.
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