Bananas: Make this nutritious fruit part of your nutrition package
Published: June 11, 2021
Bananas are one of the most popular fruits in the world.
Besides being tasty and versatile, bananas also provide you with a range of nutrients in a package which is convenient to pack as a snack and go.
Bananas are a good source of energy. They are easily and quickly digested which makes them suitable for both pre and post exercise workouts or whenever you need to refuel your body quickly.
- Bananas first cultivated in Southeast Asia and Africa thousands of years ago
- Bananas as we know them today originated from two wild species: Musa acuminata and Musa balbisiana.
- The fleshy edible part of a banana contains seeds which in cultivated (sterile) varieties appear as tiny black granules
- Wild banana species contain many hard seeds still exist in New Guinea, Malaysia, Indonesia, China and the Philippines.
- Cultivated bananas are grown in at least 107 countries: major producers of bananas are India, China, Philippines, and Ecuador
- Fresh bananas are usually available all year round
- Bananas are a good source of potassium, vitamin B6, fibre and carbohydrate.
- The amount of sugar in a banana increases with its ripeness.
Potential health benefits
Potential health benefits are associated with the fibre contained in bananas:
- decreased risk of heart disease
- reduced cholesterol
- improved weight management
- improved blood-glucose levels
- promotes a healthy large intestine
- may decrease risk of colon cancer
- Maintenance of fluid and electrolyte balance
- Transfer of nutrients in and out of body cells
- Facilitator for many chemical reactions that occur in your body cells
- Required for cell integrity
- Required for nerve impulse transmission
- Required for muscular contraction
High GI foods eaten on their own tend to raise blood glucose quickly.
Consumption of too many high GI foods may be associated with an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Link to the full article to learn more about:
- Bananas and the glycemic index
- Harvesting and transporting bananas
- Selecting and storing bananas
- Preparation and cooking bananas
Whitney, E. & Rady Rolfes, S. (2005). Understanding Nutrition. Belmont, CA: Thomson Wadsworth
Miller et al. (1996). The GI Factor: The health breakthrough for blood sugar control, weight loss, reducing the risk of heart disease.