Bananas have become a household staple in U.S. According to Dole’s website, the average American eats 28 pounds of bananas a year – thats about 112 bananas annually. What people don’t know is that a majority of the bananas in grocery stores are imported from tropical regions such as Latin America and South America. Because bananas make a nutritious and portable breakfast or snack, it’s no mystery why Americans consume as many bananas as they do, especially since they’re packed with vitamins, nutrients and tons of health benefits.
Health Benefits: Bananas are chock-full of vitamins and minerals, including vitamins C, A1, B6, and B12, as well as potassium, magnesium and fiber. Bananas are also filled with fiber, which helps regulate the digestive system. In addition, bananas help lower blood sugar and blood pressure. The potassium in bananas controls the amount of sodium in the body, allowing calcium to be retained and thus promoting healthy bones. Another benefit of potassium is the ease of muscle cramping. Bananas can also help protect the lining of the stomach and neutralize stomach acid, which helps those suffering from ulcers or intestinal disorders. Finally, bananas can reduce the risk of developing kidney cancer among females if consumed four to six times a week.
Nutritional statistics: One cup of raw bananas contains an estimated 200 calories, 1 gram of fat, 2 milligrams of sodium, 6 grams of fiber, 28 grams of sugar, and 2 grams of protein.
Cooking methods: Bananas can be prepared in several ways; baked, fried, or dried. Alternatively, slice them up and add them to a bowl of cereal or your morning smoothie. Or, mash or puree bananas and feed them to a baby. Bananas can also be used in baking recipes to satisfy a sweet tooth and replace some of the sugar. See our recipes below for a few ways to use this delicious fruit.
September 2nd, 2012