With a share of around 20 percent, the banana contains more carbohydrates and thus energy suppliers than any other fruit. What makes bananas healthy, why you should pay attention to the degree of ripeness and how to make banana bread yourself.
Bananas are not only popular with athletes: after the domestic apple, the yellow tropical fruit is the most popular fruit in Germany. Germans averaged around eleven kilograms of bananas per capita in 2018/2019.
Article content at a glance:
Bananas are among the oldest cultivated plants
The banana, whose botanical name is Musa x paradisiaca, originally comes from Southeast Asia. It is said to have been cultivated in countries such as Thailand or Malaysia 7,000 years ago, making it one of the oldest cultivated plants.
The main growing areas of the two to five meter high banana trees are now South and Central America. There the bananas are harvested green all year round and ripen on the transport.
When buying bananas, attention should be paid to organic cultivation and fair production conditions, which are identified by organic or fairtraide labels.
Banana: vitamins and nutrients
Bananas contain so-called multi-chain carbohydrates such as starch, which are first broken down into simple sugars in the intestine and slowly but continuously supply the body with energy. In addition, the tropical fruit contains fruit sugar (fructose), which is one of the simple sugars and quickly supplies the organism with energy.
The minerals it contains are particularly important for athletes. Above all, potassium and magnesium should be mentioned here: A deficiency in these two minerals can lead, among other things, to muscle weakness and cramps as well as heart problems. There are 382 milligrams (mg) of potassium and 31 milligrams of magnesium in 100 grams of banana.
Bananas also contain:
Broad spectrum of B vitamins
The vitamin content of the banana also makes it a healthy snack. Above all, there are plenty of B vitamins in the tropical fruit. For example, 100 grams contain 0.4 milligrams of vitamin B6. That is almost a third of the daily requirement, which is 1.4 milligrams for women and 1.6 milligrams for men. Vitamin B6 is important for building muscle.
There are more B vitamins in the banana
- B1, which is important for the nervous system,
- B2 and B3 for metabolism,
- B9 or B11, better known as folic acid, which promotes the formation of red blood platelets and is especially important during pregnancy.
Vitamin C is also part of the vitamin balance of the banana – and the more so, the more ripe the fruit is. Vitamins A and K are also included.
Note the degree of ripeness of the bananas
The ingredients of the banana change depending on the degree of ripeness:
green-yellow bananas: The partly unripe fruits have a very high starch content.
Yellow bananas: Bananas that have just ripe are rich in fiber and low in sugar.
yellow bananas with brown spots: At this ripe state they are high in antioxidants and fiber.
Yellow-brown bananas: In overripe fruits, the sugar content increases while the fiber and mineral content decreases.
Green bananas ripen within a few days at room temperature. Stored next to apples, ripening can be accelerated. They release the plant hormone ethylene, which stimulates the ripening process.
Do bananas make you happy?
The banana can provide not only for physical, but also for mental health. The precursor to the happiness hormone serotonin is the amino acid tryptophan, which is also found in bananas.
Serotonin itself is also found in bananas. It is absorbed through the intestines, but due to the blood-brain barrier it does not get into the brain, where it would have to work to lighten the mood.
Calories of a banana
A proportion of 2.6 percent in fiber ensures that the banana is easy to digest. Among the types of fruit, the banana is one of the fruits with a relatively high number of kilocalories. Depending on its size, a banana contains between 88 (100 grams) and 124 kilocalories (kcal).
Nevertheless, bananas are a healthy snack for in between, which in addition to carbohydrates provides many important nutrients.
Bananas and digestion
Bananas are easily digestible and are therefore very suitable for digestive problems. The high proportion of pectin helps with diarrhea, for example, because it binds water in the intestine. At the same time, the body receives, among other things, magnesium that it lost through diarrhea.
Bananas can also be used if they are constipated. The fiber it contains stimulates digestion. However, only ripe bananas should be used here, as unripe bananas are more difficult to digest.
Banana Bread Recipe
ingredients for a bread:
- 3 ripe bananas
- 3 apples
- 200 g spelled flour
- 90 g oatmeal
- 3 teaspoons of baking powder
- 100 g of brown sugar
- 5 teaspoons of cinnamon
- 150 g walnuts
- 1 pinch of salt
- 110 ml sunflower or rapeseed oil
- Fat for the loaf pan
Preparation: Preheat the oven to 180 degrees. Grease the loaf pan. Cut apples and mix with 3 teaspoons of cinnamon. Mix the spelled flour, oatmeal, baking powder, sugar and salt in a bowl. Mash the bananas and add to the bowl with the apples and oil. Chop the walnuts and add 2 teaspoons of cinnamon to the mixture. Mix everything well and place in the loaf pan. Bake at 180 degrees for 45 minutes.
Banana bread is a pleasure both warm and cold.
Source: Lifeline | Das Gesundheitsportal by www.lifeline.de.
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