I love fruit, but there is one kind that I don’t particularly like: bananas. I’ll have a banana when it’s on the green side, but when those brown spots appear, forget it – I can’t eat it.
For me, a speckled banana is too sweet. At home, when ripened bananas accumulate and there’s no one around to eat them, I’ll store them in the deep-freezer for future use.
No one should waste bananas; they’re packed with nutritional goodness. In fact, it’s a banana a day that keeps the doctor away! Bananas are the number one food for athletes or just about anyone on the go. Research shows that two bananas provide enough energy for a strenuous 90-minute workout.
With its high fiber, low salt and natural sugars – glucose, fructose and sucrose – bananas provide an instant and long-lasting boost of energy. One banana gives you 440 mg of potassium – an electrolyte needed to send oxygen to your brain, regulate your fluid balance and normalize your heartbeat and blood pressure.
This potassium-packed fruit is also high in magnesium and Vitamin B, making it the ideal food to reduce stress. Bananas calm the nervous system and relax the muscles. They can help you cope during the day and sleep better at night. John Zimmer recommends having a banana before giving a speech or a presentation. You can read about it here.
For mental health, bananas reduce symptoms of depression or Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) due to its high levels of tryptophan – a type of protein that your body converts into serotonin. Serotonin is a brain chemical that improves your mood and makes you feel happy and relaxed.
With its high Vitamin B6 content, bananas can regulate blood glucose levels, help with the production of white blood cells and protect against developing type-2 diabetes. Though they are not high in calcium, bananas help your body absorb calcium and keep your bones strong. They are also a good source of iron and Vitamins A and C.
Bananas are a natural remedy for many ailments such as intestinal ulcers, premenstrual syndrome, recovering from the effects of nicotine withdrawal or preventing strokes.
If you are looking for alternative ways to consume bananas, try a banana-based smoothie. Here are two kinds of smoothies I’ve been experimenting with – strawberry and spinach smoothies. To obtain that silky texture, use a blender or a liquidiser and not a food processor or a juicer.
These smoothies are delicious, easy to make and full of goodness.
- 2 frozen bananas, chopped
- about 15 large fresh or frozen strawberries
- 1 cup almond milk (with no sugar added)
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh ginger root sliced in litttle chunks
- 1/2 cup of rolled oats (with no sugar added)
- several ice cubes
Blend the bananas, strawberries and almond milk. Add the ginger and rolled oats and blend until nice and smooth. Add ice cubes and blend again. Serve.
- 1 frozen banana, chopped
- 1 cup 100% pure apple juice
- juice of 1 lime
- 1 cup baby spinach (pressed firmly to make a cup)
- 1/4 cup watercress
- 1 pear, sliced in cubes
- Several ice cubes
Blend the banana, apple juice and lime juice with spinach and watercress. Add pear and blend until smooth. Add ice cubes and blend again. Serve.