Ahh... The Banana possibly the most easily bruised fruit's reputation has really taken a beating with misinformation lately.
Bananas are the world's best-selling fruit, squeezing out the apple and orange. Banana FYI is a distant cousin to ginger, turmeric, and cardamom, and is botanically classified as a berry. They are a natural antacid, and will get rid of a nasty case of heartburn in most cases. Which also makes it good for an upset stomach. Antonius Musa was the personal physician to Roman emperor Octavius Augustus, and it was he who was credited for promoting cultivation of the exotic African fruit from 63 to 14 B.C.
Looks like the Portugese brought bananas to Europe from West Africa in the early fifteenth century. Its Guinean name banema, which became banana in English, was first found in print in the seventeenth century. While the banana thrived in Africa, its origins are from East Asia and Pacific Islands. The banana was carried by those sailors to the Canary Islands, off of west Africa, and from there to the Caribbean Islands. Finally making it to North America with Spanish missionary Friar Tomas de Berlanga.
These historical traveling bananas were not the sweet yellow banana we know today, but the red and green cooking variety, now usually referred to as plantains to distinguish them from the sweet type. The yellow sweet banana is a mutant strain of the cooking banana, discovered in 1836 by Jamaican Jean Francois Poujot, who found one of the banana trees on his plantation was bearing yellow fruit rather than green or red. When he tasted it, he found out it was sweet in its raw state, without the need for cooking. He quickly began cultivating this sweet variety. Soon they were being imported from the Caribbean to New Orleans, Boston, and New York, and were considered such an exotic treat, they were eaten on a plate using a knife and fork.
Some banana trees continue producing up to one hundred years, although most banana plantations renew their stock every ten to twenty-five years.
The tree itself also has uses. The leaves are used as wrappers to steam foods in Latin, Caribbean, Polynesian and Asian cultures. There are over four hundred varieties of bananas with the yellow Cavendish being the most favored in America.
When you buy bananas, think about your usage time frame. You might want to choose some already ripe for immediate use and some still slightly but not overly green to ripen for later. Select bananas that are bright in color, full and plump, avoiding those with bruises. A dull, gray color indicates they have been chilled or overheated during storage. Ripe bananas show no trace of green skin. The sweetest flavor happens when bananas begin to develop tiny dark specks. If the skin is difficult to separate from the fruit, it is most likely too starchy and bitter to eat without cooking and could cause digestion distress and / or constipation if eaten raw.
One thing you need to be aware of is, The Banana Spider is known to hide among bananas shipped to the US and is really called the Brazilian Wandering Spider.
THE most venomous spider. They are not intimidated by size, and attack people when threatened. So be careful when you grab your banana mon. If you see a spider hiding in a cluster of bananas, you should move right along and inform the produce man or store manager that is may be a Banana Spider!
A physiological psychology professor at City College NY told his class, "the expression going bananas is from the effects of bananas on the brain. When compared to an apple, it has four times the protein, twice the carbohydrate, three times the phosphorus, five times the vitamin A and iron, and twice the other vitamins and minerals. It is also rich in potassium and is one of the best value foods around. No wonder monkeys are so happy all the time!" So here's some of the reasons you should eat bananas that I found on the web.
Bananas contain three natural sugars - sucrose, fructose and glucose combined with fiber. A banana gives an instant, sustained and substantial boost of energy. Research has proven that just two bananas provide enough sugar for a strenuous 90-minute workout.
According to a recent survey undertaken by MIND, people suffering from depression, felt much better after eating a banana. This is because bananas contain tryptophan, a type of protein that the body converts into serotonin, known to make you relax, improve your mood and generally make you feel happier. When you're happier those around you will be.
Bananas can also help people trying to give up smoking. The B6, B12 they contain, as well as the potassium and magnesium found in them, help the body recover from the effects of nicotine withdrawal.
Those keen on natural alternatives swear that if you want to kill off a wart, take a piece of banana skin and place it on the wart, with the yellow side out. Carefully hold the skin in place with a plaster or surgical tape!
Forget the pills, eat a banana. The vitamin B6 it contains regulates blood glucose levels, which can affect your mood.
High in iron, bananas can stimulate the production of hemoglobin in the blood and so helps in cases of anemia.
This unique tropical fruit is extremely high in potassium yet low in salt, making it perfect to beat blood pressure. So much so, the US Food and Drug Administration has just allowed the banana industry to make official claims for the fruit's ability to reduce the risk of blood pressure and stroke.
High in fiber, including bananas in the diet can help restore normal bowel action, helping to overcome the problem without resorting to laxatives.
One of the quickest ways I know of curing a hangover, which I learned in the carribbean, is to make a banana milkshake, sweetened with honey. The banana calms the stomach and, with the help of the honey, builds up depleted blood sugar levels, while the milk soothes and re-hydrates your system.
Try rubbing the bite area with the inside of a banana skin.. Many people in the islands, find it amazingly successful at reducing swelling and irritation.
Bananas are high in B vitamins that calm the nervous system.
The banana is used as the dietary food against intestinal disorders because of its soft texture and smoothness. It is the only raw fruit that can be eaten without distress in chronic cases. It also neutralizes over-acidity and reduces irritation by coating the lining of the stomach.
Potassium is a vital mineral, which helps normalize the heartbeat, sends oxygen to the brain and regulates your body's water balance.. When we are stressed, our metabolic rate rises, thereby reducing our potassium levels. These can be rebalanced with the help of a high-potassium banana snack.
According to research in The New England Journal of Medicine, "eating bananas as part of a regular diet can cut the risk of death by strokes by as much as 40%."
Make Revitalizing mask:
Who needs Botox when you have bananas? That's right, You can use a banana as an all-natural mask that moisturizes your skin and leaves it looking and feeling softer. Mash up a medium-sized ripe banana into a smooth paste, then gently apply it to your face and neck. Let it set for 10-20 minutes, then rinse it off with cold water. Another popular mask recipe calls for 1/4 cup plain yogurt, 2 tablespoons honey, and 1 medium banana.
Yep, don't laugh but, bananas contain potassium, which is also a key ingredient in shoe polish. To polish your shoes, all you need to do is eat the banana, rub the banana peel on your shoes, buff with a soft cloth, and then sit back and admire your shoe polishing job. Take the inside of the banana skin, and rub directly on the shoe. Finish with dry cloth.
There should be no problem with eating a couple bananas a day UNLESS you have problems with sugar or have heart disease / take medication for heart problems or have potassium imbalance, because too much potassium, found in bananas could cause heart complications. When in doubt check with your doctor. Enjoy the recipes. Good Luck...
Chocolate Dipped Banana's !!
- 4 medium ripe but firm bananas
- 8 wooden popsicle sticks
- 1 cup finely chopped walnuts
- 10 ounces good quality dark chocolate 60 to 70% cocoa.
Peel, 4 bananas slice then in half crossways and sodomize them with your sticks. Place them on a tray, cover with plastic wrap and put them in the freezer, about 3 hours.
Place the nuts in a shallow dish or on a plate. Melt the chocolate in the top of a double boiler over slightly simmering water, over the lowest possible heat, stirring frequently. Make sure the water is not touching the bottom of the top pan. Pour the melted chocolate into a tall glass. Dip each frozen banana into the chocolate, turning it to coat, and immediately roll in your nuts. Place on a tray covered in waxed paper. Serve immediately or wrap individually in plastic wrap or waxed paper and freeze for up to 2 weeks. Mmmmmmmm!!
Banana Daiquiri Recipe
1 1/2 oz light rum
1 tbsp triple sec
1 1/2 oz lime juice
1 tsp sugar
1 pineapple slice
1 tbsp triple sec
1 1/2 oz lime juice
1 tsp sugar
1 pineapple slice
Combine all ingredients except for the pineapple with 1 cup crushed ice in an electric blender. Blend at a low speed for five seconds, then blend at a high speed until firm. Pour contents into a hurricane flute, top with the pineapple, umbrella and tropical flower, and serve.
Bananas some say, can help cure or prevent hangovers too. The main causes of hangovers are dehydration and depletion of potassium, both direct results of alcohol consumption.
Bananas are an excellent source of potassium, second only to the avocado. Bananas have over 450 mg. for one serving, they are also high in magnesium, which can help relax those pounding blood vessels causing that nasty hangover headache. Bananas also contain tryptophan, the same amino acid found in turkey that makes you sleepy, as well as high amounts of vitamin C. So, if you're out partying and want to avoid a hangover, before bed drink a bottle of water and eat a banana.
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