A banana is the most unique of all fruit because unlike any fruit it does not come from trees at all but from large plants that are giant herbs and are related to lily and orchid family.
In order to have a healthy lifestyle, you have to meet your daily requirement of five fruits and vegetables. Bananas are a perfect part of your diet and they are the most popular fruit in America. Bananas are available all year and they are a great source of instant energy whether you are watching your diet or just trying to eat healthy. Like other fruits and vegetables, bananas contain no fat, sodium or cholesterol. It is a known fact that a low fat, balanced diet rich in vegetables and fruit may reduce the risk of heart disease and certain types of cancer.
Bananas are rich in vitamin B6 and they are a good source of fiber, vitamin C, magnesium and potassium. Lack of B6 in a diet can cause weakness, irritability and insomnia. The potassium found in bananas helps to regulate blood pressure and may reduce the risk of high blood pressure and stroke. Potassium is also essential for helping muscles to contract properly during exercise and reduces cramping up. A medium-sized banana provides 400 mg of potassium -11% of daily value- and contains 110 calories and 4 grams of fiber. Bananas also contain plenty of carbohydrates which are the body's main source of energy. They are also easy to digest.
Because of their great taste, they can also serve as a substitute for sweets and satisfy sugar cravings.
Researche also shows that serotonin and norepinephrine in bananas may naturally help sufferers overcome depression. They are the good mood food.
Convenience and nutritional value of bananas make them a good post-exercise snack. During long exercises your body loses vitamins and minerals and a banana replaces these nutrients as well as giving you the energy you need.
Bananas are good for babies, too. They are in fact often the first solid food given to infants. Bananas are easy to digest because they have no fat and very few babies are allergic to bananas. They are also one of children's favorite snack because of their taste and they meet the energy needs of the growing children.
Green tipped bananas should be selected for cooking or ripening, yellow ones should be selected for eating and brown-specked ones should be selected for baking breads, muffins and cookies. As the bananas ripen, they will taste sweeter because the starch in the fruit will turn to sugar. You can toss bananas to your cereals, salads, yogurt, salsa, smoothie or shakes.
You should store your bananas over the counter at room temperature until they reach the ripeness you want, then you can store them in the refrigerator. The peel of the fruit will darken in the refrigerator but the banana inside will remain firm and delicious. To ripen a banana faster, it should be put in a brown paper bag with an apple or tomato overnight.