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Bananas: Fun Facts About the Superfood

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Bananas: Fun Facts About the Superfood

By Randy Fritz

Bananas are healthy for you and that’s a good thing since they are the most popular fruit in North America. Everyone loves bananas. There are more songs, jokes and and silliness with this food than with any other plant on earth. Bananas are powerfoods!

5 Health Benefits of Bananas:

  • Normalized Blood Pressure and Heart Function:
    1 cup of bananas has a whopping 800 mg of potassium. Most Americans have an imbalanced sodium/potassium balance which is correlated with hypertension, heart disease and diabetes. This is also critical for nerve impulse transmission and muscle contraction.
  • Improved Elimination:
    Bananas contain significant amounts of pectin, a soluble fiber.
  • Low Glycemic Level:
    Although bananas have a lot of sugars, these digest relatively slowly with a glycemic index of 30 for unripe bananas and 60 for ripe.  This means you get energy without the rapid blood sugar yo-yo.
  • Improved Calcium Absorption:
    Bananas are high in fructooligosaccharide, a probiotic that encourages growth of friendly bacteria. These friendly bacteria promote proper digestion, including calcium and other minerals.  They also reduce the risk of colon cancer.
  • Heartburn:
    Bananas are naturally an antacid. Eating a banana helps with heartburn.

Interesting Facts:

  • The banana is the largest herb on earth.  What looks like a banana tree is not a tree but a herbaceous plant that grows up to 40 feet tall.
  • All bananas are slightly radioactive. Along with their high potassium content come small amounts of the isotope potassium-40, found in all naturally occurring potassium.
  • The yellow banana you eat is a mutant: a genetic variation on the hundreds of other varieties and rainbow of colors. The yellow banana is the sweetest.
  • United States immigrants were given bananas when they reached Ellis Island in New York. Many had never seen a banana before.  They didn’t know they needed to peel them and ate them whole.
  • Some bananas are fuzzy pink; some when cooked taste like strawberries.
  • There are over 500 varieties of bananas; they come in many shapes and sizes, from small finger fruits to big purple plantains.
  • Many species of bananas have lower sugar content than the common yellow banana, and are often cooked. These are commonly referred to as plantains.

Banana Nutrition:

  • Bananas are a rich source of potassium. A 100 g fruit provides 358 mg potassium.
  • Bananas have three times the vitamin C as apples.
  • There are about 110 calories in a banana.
  • Like many fruits, banans are alkaline-forming.
  • One banana contains 3 grams of fiber and 1 gram of protein.
  • They are a good source of vitamin B6 (pyridoxine).
  • Bananas also have minerals like copper, magnesium, and manganese.
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Diana Herrington

Diana Herrington turned a debilitating health crisis into a passion for helping others with healthy, sugar-free, gluten-free, eating and cooking. After testing and researching every possible healthy therapy on her delicate system she has developed simple, powerful principles which she shares in her recent book Eating Green and Lean, and as host to Care2 groups: Healthy Living Network and Healthy Cooking. She is the head chef at Real Food for Life, where she shares recipes and tips. Sign up for the Real Food for Life weekly newsletter or catch her on Facebook or Twitter (@DancinginLife).

151 comments

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11:18AM PST on Mar 7, 2014

Sorry about the transportation costs. i buy only bananas that have the little frog stamp that indicates Fair Trade, & put them on my bedside lampshade! Fun! :D

9:19PM PST on Feb 5, 2014

Love Bananas :) Thanks for sharing.

4:43AM PDT on Apr 20, 2012

We love bananas at our house. They don't stay around very long!

9:32AM PDT on Mar 21, 2012

YES -We have no bananas!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jT6JkceQ9FU

9:27AM PDT on Mar 21, 2012

Surprised to know the beneficial effect of bananas on nervous system with Potassium. Common understanding is that it is fat and protein only

3:20AM PDT on Mar 16, 2012

The more I read about healthy foods, the more I am motivated with my gardening projects. Raising our own fruits and vegetables and making a difference around one's neighborhood ; encouraging growing/planting/ food production on the family level are significant ways to foster family solidarity and cooperation among neighbors; a great way to healthy, prosperous life among those who live in the farm. Let's encourage this absolutely beneficial activity amongst us!
Thank you Ms. Diana H. for these wonderful, informational articles! More power to care2.com!

12:42PM PDT on Mar 15, 2012

The ratio Ca:Mg (calcium to magnesium) is close to 3:1 in bananas. This is the optimal ratio for absorbing magnesium.

10:52PM PST on Mar 7, 2012

My daughters natrapath told her to avoid bananas at breakfast because of the sugar content. They are ok to eat from lunchtime onwards. And apparently the skins are also good to drape over roses bushes to help with aphids.

1:59AM PST on Mar 5, 2012

It's strange that you said banana is a natural antacid because it's the very thing that gives me heartburn. I love bananas, I grew up with them 'cos my grandparents used to have many banana trees in their compound. Then one day when I was about 20 years old, I started getting heartburn. For years, I didn't know what caused it until I read Shirley McClain's book, Out On A Limb in which she wrote in one of the chapters that she was suffering from heartburn. "Damn those bananas!" she wrote. That was when I decided to do a study of my own and found out that indeed the banana was the culprit!

But that didn't stop me from eating one of my favourite fruits! I just eat less, 2 medium sized ones per day is good.

6:43PM PST on Mar 4, 2012

Maybe the former popularity of bananas that I learned about in this article is the reason for the old song, "Yes, We Have No Bananas."
Great article!

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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