On a recent shopping trip to the local supermarket I noticed how nice and fresh the banana presentation looked, bright yellow with few skin marks and cheap at $2.00 a kilo.
This sent me scurrying around the internet looking for things I could do with bananas to justify my buying the three kilo I happily walked away with, I live alone, three kilo of bananas is definitely overkill! Of course I instantly found pages of recipes from banana smoothies, bread, muffins, sundaes and so on, but I also found information which convinced me that our humble banana is a hidden work of genius.
Its interesting to know bananas are Australia's number one selling fruit, outselling every other fruit and vegetable. According the the Australian Banana Growers Association about five million bananas are eaten every day in Australia and all fresh bananas available in Australia are grown in Australia – although banana extract and sauces may be produced overseas and sold in Australia there are no fresh banana imports because of the disease threat they pose to local production.
$2.00 a kilo, it doesnt get cheaper than this!
On the health side research is proven that just two bananas provide enough energy for a 90-minute strenuous workout. Bananas have become recognised by dieticians as a one-stop shop for help with many illnesses and conditions.
Tryptophan is a type of natural protein; our bodies process this and change it into Serotonin. This is a chemical that helps the human body to relax; it can improve your mood and generally make you feel happier so in a roundabout way bananas can help greatly with balancing the chemicals in our body which cause depression.
Bananas are high in Iron they can simulate the production of haemoglobin in the blood and this helps people who suffer with anaemia.
Potassium assists in reducing stress levels, guess which fruit is extremely high in potassium, you got it - bananas.
Austria has conducted studies to find people who work under pressure with high levels of stress often snack on items that bring comfort such as chocolate and chips. This study concluded that the simplest way to avoid food cravings is to control our blood sugar levels and the easiest way to do this - eat a banana. Controlling blood sugar levels can also help in reducing morning sickness.
Bananas are natural antacids so if you suffer from heartburn try eating a banana for some soothing relief.
If you've been bitten by mosquitoes try rubbing the affected area with the inside of a skin from a banana it will help to reduce swelling and irritation.
Ornamental plants such as elk and staghorn love rotting bananas, simply place the skin out of sight and allow it to rot, watch your plants flourish.
When your trying to keep bananas fresh simply wrap the ends in cling-film and keep them in the pantry, not in the fridge.
The down side - 225grams of banana will add 200 calories to your daily intake.
The up side - The good: bananas are very low in Saturated Fat, Cholesterol and Sodium. they are also a good source of Dietary Fiber, Vitamin C, Potassium and Manganese, and a very good source of Vitamin B6. Bananas have no fat, cholesterol or salt.
Of course, you should always discuss ailments with your doctor and if you do consider taking the natural route for treatment consult a professional.
Bananas are the No. 1 selling fruit in the UK as well. Bananas are also one of the cheapest fruits on the market, so my Dad buys loads as well. For him it is a banana a day that keeps the doctor away; he has one for lunch when he gets home from work.
One good use for bananas is ripening fruit. Just put a bunch next to some unripened fruit and it will be ready to eat in no time at all.
My plant pathologist husband aka The Good Banana Fairy says, "Don't waste your Gladwrap, but definitely don't store them in the fridge prior to ripening". That goes for all fruit. I picked up a few good tips when we conducted our courtrship in the banana ripening facility at the Rocklea Markets. What that man doesn't know about bananas isn't worth knowing!