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Food Stats: Bananas

  • The word banana is thought to come from West African origin. Wolof is the language spoken in Senegal, Africa, and has the word “bannana.” It is believed that this is where the name came from after being eventually passed onto the English and Portugese language.

  • Most seedless and commonly eaten bananas come from a combination of the two species Musa acuminata and Musa balbisiana.

  • Bananas are grown in approximately 135 countries.

  • The banana plant is the largest herbaceous plant.

  • The earliest cultivated banana tree is thought to be the 12th century. The excerpt is from Book on Agriculture written during that time.

The Look:
  • Bananas are typically yellow but green before fully ripe. In transport, bananas are cultivated when green then upon arrival of their destination, they are ripened in a special room!

  • They come in multitudes of lengths and can vary in taste depending on how ripe they are.

  • Vitamin B6

  • Manganese

  • Vitamin C

  • Potassium

  • Vitamin B6 is a promoter of healthy brain development.

  • Manganese takes part in bone, cartilage, and connective tissue synthesis.

  • Vitamin C is an antioxidant and its biochemical functions include assisting in the synthesis of collagen, carnitine, and norepinephrine.

  • Potassium aids in main bodily functions like fluid balance, nerve signaling, and muscle contraction.

  • Bananas can aid in blood pressure control and help fight against osteoporosis.

Serving Size:
  • 1 serving is 1 medium-sized banana and provides approximately 105 calories.

  • About 1.3 grams of protein

  • About 27 grams of carbohydrates

  • About 0.4 grams of fat

  • About 14 grams of sugar

  • About 3.1 grams of fiber

Use & Cooking:
  • Bananas can be raw sliced or eaten whole as a snack, don't forget to peel!

  • Even if bananas turn darker in color with spots they can still be eaten! Extra ripe bananas are commonly used for cooking or frozen for later use! Bananas sugar content increases as bananas ripen.

  • Depending on the recipe, bananas can be substituted for fat or sugar when baking.

  • Bananas last a few days to at most a week and are best kept at room temperature and in the open air.

  • You can slow the ripening of a banana down slightly by refrigerating them. This will preserve the fruit longer but the skin will brown faster.

  • If you are not planning to eat the bananas right away, plan on purchasing greener bananas.

  • You can also chop bananas and place them in a freezer-safe container to be used for smoothies, or defrost for baking use.

  • Quick and easy breakfast ideas include chopping bananas to put on top of oats or greek yogurt!

  • Once overly ripened and dark-colored, bananas can be used for banana bread, waffles, pancakes, or even in a trifle recipe!

  • An easy and filling snack with bananas includes topping two rice cakes with peanut butter and sliced bananas!

  • Smoothies are one of the top uses for bananas and should continue to be! They help add sweetness and can mask the taste of veggies if included in a smoothie.

  • Fruit Salad

  • Banana "nice" cream

  • Banana oat muffins, cakes, or cookies

  • Banana cream pie

  • Baked oatmeal with bananas

  • Caramelized bananas

  • The classic banana split

Gropper, S. A., Smith, J. L., & Groff, J. L. (2018). Advanced Nutrition and Human Metabolism (Sixth ed.). Boston, MA: Cengage Learning.


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