banana
Healthy Foods

Banana And Its Nutritional Value

Why would someone want to know the nutritional values of bananas? Because the nutritional value of bananas is so high, tennis players eat them all the time during their matches. Yes, from all the fruits, from all the food, they have picked bananas. Read on to find out why!

Where Do Bananas Come From?

Bananas are grown in many countries, although not all countries grow for export. In India, China, Thailand, and Brazil, bananas are grown mainly as a local food while in Colombia, Honduras, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Panama, Philippines, and Guatemala, it is grown for export.

The banana is a perennial herb. It dies back after successful fruiting then produces new growth for the next fruit generation. You will be surprised to learn there are over 300 species of bananas, although only 20 types are cultivated for commercial purposes; hence, you can only enjoy the non-commercial variety as a tourist to the growing nations or as a local resident.

Bananas are normally harvested in the green state. This is because if they are left to ripen, they will perish too fast, and if again harvested very early, they tend to develop a floury pulp that replaces the delightfully sweet flavor. It will only take 9 months for the plant to start shooting flowers hence start producing bananas. At that juncture, the plant is approximately 15-40feet depending on the variety.

While growing, bananas appear to grow upside-down and really puzzle people who see it for the first time. However, it does not affect productivity; neither does it compromise the agreeable taste of sweet bananas or the all rich cookery type of bananas.

Two Types Of Bananas

Note that there are two main types of bananas; the sweet banana (the fruit) and the plantain. The fruit is the one normally eaten raw and is yellowish in color. On the other hand, the plantain, also known as the meal, horse banana, or the vegetable, is the banana that is normally cooked.

Whereas the fruit banana is succulent on maturity with a creamy, smooth, but firm pulp, the Plantains are low in water content, therefore, making them starchier and drier. Of importance to note also is that the plantains hold a slightly higher nutritional value in vitamins and minerals, but equals the sweet banana in fiber content and protein.

Nutritional Value And Growing Of Bananas

Bananas are grown purposely because of their nutritional value and of course for commercial purposes. Long ago, the banana was considered a vital food that helped boost malnourished children’s health. Doctors recommend bananas to patients who have low potassium. Before delving into more details, let’s combine the nutritional values and see what makes the banana be ranked among the world healthiest and most nutritional fruits.

A banana of approximately 9 inches contains:

  • only 140 calories,
  • at least 602mg of potassium,
  • 4 grams of fiber,
  • 2 grams of sodium,
  • 2 grams of protein,
  • and 36 grams of carbs.

That same banana is not lacking in minerals and vitamins. It offers:

  • 123 I.U of vitamin A;

and is also occupied by B vitamins which contain:

  • 15mg of Riboflavin,
  • 88mg of vitamin B6,
  • .07 mg of Thiamine,
  • 82 mg of Niacin,
  • 29mcg of Folic Acid

Moreover, there is also:

  • 13.8mg of Vitamin C

Calcium and Magnesium on the mineral side is also available in amounts of 9.2mg and 44.1 mg

You are sure to also find some trace amounts of zinc and iron in the banana.

Apart from eating bananas raw, there are plenty of things that you can bake using them. One of our favorites is banana bread. You can find a few sources to different banana bread recipes a little lower on the internet.