Bananas - Total Health Blog

Want to know about Bananas?

Go Bananas

This yellow fruit is promoted as a superfood. Bananas are packed with fibre which makes you feel full and vitamins that support your body. Americans go bananas as they each eat more than 12kg, about 90 bananas, a year, more than the consumption of oranges and apples combined.

Good as Gold?

One large banana is about 20cm long which equals one serving of fruit. Bananas have about 120 calories and 490 milligrams of potassium. That’s 19% of a woman’s daily potassium needs and 15% for men. Eating bananas enables the body to remove sodium from your body and relax blood vessel walls, which helps manage blood pressure. Bananas are also a great source of vitamin B6 (essential for your immune system, nervous system, and brain). They also contain manganese, magnesium, folate, riboflavin, copper, niacin and phosphorous. But be aware bananas are a high sugar fruit and therefore it is often recommended to consume no more than 1-2 per day and preferably in the first half of the day.

Bananas and ‘When it Rumbles’

Bananas are often recommended by healthcare practitioners along with apples and other binding foods when fighting diarrhoea or a tummy ache. Bananas can kick-start mucus production in your gut. This helps protect the stomach lining from acid that may trigger heartburn, nausea, or other reasons causing the upset tummy.


Banana studies

A study looked at cyclists who ate a banana before a 75 km ride and they performed as well as the ones who drank a sports drink. Blood tests conducted after the ride showed that signs of inflammation, cellular damage, and immune function were the same in those who ate a banana as those who drank the electrolyte-replacing drink.


Bananas for breakfast or snacks

Bananas can be great for breakfast. Nut butter and banana is a favourite morning dish for some. Their natural sweetness can also be used in bowl of warm quinoa, buckwheat or seed porridge. Some slice them over their cereal (gluten free preferred). Bananas can also add a creamy texture to a smoothie. And bananas are portable, handheld and convenient on their own for traveling or on the go.

Banana versus Plantain

They look very similar, but they don’t taste the same. Bananas you buy in supermarkets and fruit shops are sweet. Plantains, which are a staple in the diets of many South American and Asian regions, aren’t so sweet. Plantains are a starchy fruit that contains much less sugar and most people refer to it as a cooking banana or a vegetable as it is too firm to eat raw. Plantain contains a higher amount of carbs, higher amounts of fibre and Vitamin A and C. Most people who include them in their diet would steam, bake, boil, grill, mash, or fry plantains and use in stews, soups, as chips and side dishes. They often serve them more like potatoes or other root vegetables. In Asian supermarkets you can get steamed and frozen saba bananas that are a type of plantain.

Banana science

Some people comment that they are going to pick up a “bunch of bananas” at the shops. But that’s not exactly the correct term as a single banana is called a finger. And these fingers grow together in a group called a hand. Many hands grow together to form a bunch or stalk. A bunch may include as many as 20 hands, far more than you buy at once in the fruit section of the produce aisle.

Do they grow on Trees?

The banana plant is actually a giant herb and the yellow fruit it produces is actually a berry. Not all bananas are curved, but instead some bananas are long and straight. There is also one the shape of a ball. Ecuador is the leading grower of bananas in the world while the Philippines comes in second. While Hawaii is the only U.S. state that grows Bananas, they are grown here in Queensland and northern New South Wales.

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Sweet Banana Split

Not as healthy as a banana alone, the classic banana split is a soda-fountain or italian ice cream café sweet dish. The original recipe had a scoop each of vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry ice cream, whipped cream, along with chocolate, pineapple, and/or strawberry sauce – which increases the natural high sugar that bananas already have dramatically. The banana cut lengthwise is the tradition of the dish.

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What is the connection between Latex and Bananas?

People with latex allergies can have a reaction to bananas. Bananas and latex have similar proteins. Symptoms can be mild like an itchy mouth or more severe with hives, wheezing, or even a collapsed throat. If you are prone to this, usually symptoms are felt seconds to minutes after eating bananas. Bananas should be avoided by people who have had a reaction in the past. When avoiding bananas be careful as bananas might be in salads or baked goods.

Home Remedy

Banana peels have protective chemicals in them called antioxidants. Therefore, the skins can be used for skin irritations or to reduce swelling. Some use the peels to treat bug bites, minor burns, and sunburns. It is said to apply the inside of the peel onto your skin for a few minutes to get the relief.

Banana Storage

Keeping bananas in a cool dry place is the most effective as they don’t ripen inside the fridge. You can use lime or lemon juice to keep them fresh after peeling them. Without the effect of the lime/lemon they turn brown quickly. Also, storing them close to other fruits like apples will cause bananas to ripen faster. If you store them in plastic bags they can rot fast and won’t be consumable anymore.