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Bananas: Make this nutritious fruit part of your nutrition package

Published: December 16, 2016

Pack a banana for your snack
Pack a banana for your snack

Bananas are one of the most popular fruits in the world, and besides being tasty and versatile they 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 and 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.
Quick facts

  • 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

Nutrient value

Potential health benefits

Potential health benefits are associated with the fibre contained in bananas:

Potassium is an important essential mineral and is involved in many reactions in your body: 

  • 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

Despite these potential health benefits some "diets" prohibit the consumption of bananas. This maybe because of their moderate/ high glycemic index rating (GI 55).

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

Related Topics

Diet  Health  Food Choices  Nutrients 

References

1.
Whitney, E. & Rady Rolfes, S. (2005). Understanding Nutrition. Belmont, CA: Thomson Wadsworth
2.
Wikipedia
3.
Miller et al. (1996). The GI Factor: The health breakthrough for blood sugar control, weight loss, reducing the risk of heart disease.