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Information about Banana

Updated on August 5, 2016

Musa Acuminata

Bananas do not grow on trees, banana plant don't have a woody stem, they are actually a giant herb. Bananas are thought to be one of the world's oldest cultivated fruits and evidence of their existence dates back to the sixth century BC in India.

Bananas grow in bunches called a hand and each hand has about 15-20 fingers or fruit. They are harvested when green and ripen best after picking.

There are more than 500 varieties of bananas around the world, Popular varieties of banana include Cavendish, sugar bananas Gros Michel or "Big Michel" and lady fingers, while the plantain is a large type of banana that is hard and starchy and is mostly used as a vegetable in cooking.

Are bananas good for you?

  • Bananas are rich in potassium and low in sodium: an average-size banana contains 440 mg potassium and only 1 mg sodium. As such bananas are used to treat hypertension and detoxify the body.
  • The principal aroma of banana is amyl acetate and they contain larger amounts of tryptophan, an amino acid that is converted to serotonin, an inhibiting brain neurotransmitter which makes banana a calming food , especially when taken with milk before bedtime.
  • Bananas serve as a good internal lubricator for the intestines as they moisten dryness and although they are commonly given to children, they are suitable for everyone, especially for people who tend to suffer from hypertension, weak digestion and general weakness.
  • Bananas are astringent before fully ripened which makes them useful in the treatment of diarrhea and hemorrhoids.
  • When fully ripe, bananas can be beneficial in the treatment of constipation and ulcers.
  • Banana is a wonderful source of Vitamin C along with good amount of the B group vitamins, folate, niacin, riboflavin and pantothenic acid.

Easy availability makes bananas the perfect snack for anyone who is engage in sport or other physically demanding activities. Nowadays you will see footballers, professional athletes pack bananas in their sports bags.

How many times, we see athletes suffered from cramps during the game, it is a common perception that cramp is caused by salt lost through sweating, instead of taking salt table it is advisable to eat bananas. It supply digestable carbohydrates to give energy as well as loads of potassium to prevent cramps and to keep their muscles working properly.

Tips on handling and storing bananas

Do not keep bananas in the fridge as the skin will turn black- though this doesn't actually affect the taste.

If possible store the bananas on a banana hook if you have one or any hook will do.

Banana produce ethylene which will cause other fruit or vegetables sitting near them to ripen prematurely.

To prevent discolouration of the flesh, cut with a stainless steel knife and toss the slices in lemon juice.

Cooking brings out their full flavour of the bananas. If you are going to use bananas for cooking it should be firmer than the ones eaten raw. Unripe bananas can be cooked in curries and made into aromatic pickles and chutneys.

You will find that boiled or baked green bananas can also be found in many Asian, African and Caribbean Island recipes

Caramelized Banana with ice cream

I like eating banana as it is, but sometimes I like to experiment and try something new, I remember watching it on TV, it is called Banana Flambe, you need to add a bit of Jack Daniel, since I don't have one so I just use orange juice, it taste delish, why don't you try it.

You will need:

  • 2 Bananas ripe
  • Castor sugar
  • 1/2 tablespoon butter
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  1. Peel the banana
  2. In a frying pan,melt the sugar and the butter until lightly caramel
  3. Add the banana until golden brown
  4. Add orange juice, reduce to a sauce consistency
  5. Place the banana on plate with a scoop of ice cream and the sauce on top.

I hope you will like this dessert as I do......

  • Guavas

    Guavas are a native Central American tropical tree, related to the myrtle family, they are sensitive to frost and grow well in subtropical areas. There are many varieties and these vary in size and shape.

  • Avocado

    Avocados have soft, buttery flesh and a mild, slightly nutty flavor and are the only fruit that contains fat (monounsaturated fat). Because of their pear shape, they are sometimes called avocado pear.

  • Kiwi Fruits

    Kiwi fruits are fuzzy -skinned egg shaped fruit known as the Chinese gooseberry was introduced to New Zealand from China.


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    • MM Del Rosario profile image

      MM Del Rosario 7 years ago from NSW, Australia

      Hi Jill,

      Thank you for that !!!

    • jill of alltrades profile image

      jill of alltrades 7 years ago from Philippines

      MM, I completed my banana hub - check this out.

      I also mentioned your hub there.

    • stars439 profile image

      stars439 7 years ago from Louisiana, The Magnolia and Pelican State.

      Wonderful hub, and nice recipe. Really enjoyed it. God Bless You.

    • borge_009 profile image

      borge_009 7 years ago from Philippines

      My favorite one is that red banana. I will definitely try that Caramelized banana with ice cream. Its sounds yummy

    • ocbill profile image

      ocbill 7 years ago from hopefully somewhere peaceful and nice

      more than 500 varieties.. wow. and I thought I saw them all in Rio ; 6 types. It is no uncommon to see them in people's backyards either.

    • MM Del Rosario profile image

      MM Del Rosario 7 years ago from NSW, Australia

      @ Jill -that will be a good idea to link up .....

      @Artrush - I think I am going to research the 500 variety .....I know in the Philippines thee are about more than 5 variety of bananas

    • jill of alltrades profile image

      jill of alltrades 7 years ago from Philippines

      Hi MM,

      I was planning to write a hub about bananas but you beat me to it. Anyway, I can still probably write on other aspects that you did not cover, then we can link up. What do you think?

      I love caramelized bananas, but I love banana cue best! I even wrote about this in my happiness blog a long time ago.

      Great article!

    • salvacion profile image

      salvacion 7 years ago from naga city

      great dessert! i think i'd love it, i will surely give it a try..thanks!

    • artrush73 profile image

      artrush73 7 years ago

      I didn't know there are 500 banana varieties :) Now I need to figure out how to try all of them. Hmmm... May be you could write another hub on where to get them different kinds :) that be great.