Featured today on Fiber Focus Friday is the amazingly balanced and beaming banana. There is no other fruit quite like it. It’s cheap, versatile, and tastes amazing.
As always, please comment with any questions or suggestions for future foods to be featured on Fiber Focus Friday! I want this post series to continue and to be AWESOME for generations to come (okay maybe not that long, but I am showing no times of stopping any time soon!).
Without further ado, let us discuss the beautifully magnificent banana!
The Banana Quick Fact Card
Types of Bananas
There are actually over 1000 different types of bananas that you can get! Here are a few of the more common ones:
- The Cavendish- this is the brand that you are probably most familiar with as it is the one that is found in most grocery stores across the US.
- Baby- These can be found in some stores, and as the name entails they are the smaller variety of bananas. I guess you could even call them the “snack size” of bananas, although I prefer a whole regular size banana myself!
- Manzano- this banana belongs to the subcategory of apple bananas. Firmer than regular bananas, and a tart taste true to its subcategory, give a manzano a try! They can be found mostly in Asian supermarkets, but I am sure you could order a case online if you truly desired to try this banana variety.
- Plantain- These are the weird things in grocery stores that look like bananas, but are bigger and greener than a regular Cavendish. They are most commonly used to cook with, as can be found in this recipe.
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Where Do Bananas Come From?
Well, bananas come from trees! Wow! Ill give you a second to recover from that shocking revelation… ACTUALLY I am just kidding here, as this is just a common misconception (that I fell for).
Bananas actually grow from a perennial herb that is classified as tree-like. The stems grow up from the ground from a root system which produces the fruit.
Geographically, bananas are grown in tropical regions. Much of what we get here in the US is outsourced from the tropical countries of Costa Rica Guatemala, Honduras, and Panama.
Unfortunately, unless you live in a tropical climate it will prove very difficult to grow your bananas. However, if you do live in such a climate, follow these instructions on growing bananas, and soon enough you will have your very own banana garden in your backyard!
How Much Fiber in a Banana?
So how much fiber is in a banana? The answer is 3.1 grams per 1 medium banana. This is enough to give you a significant boost toward your daily fiber goals.
Remember that Men need 38 grams per day and women need 25. There is a good chance that you are not getting enough fiber per day, as most people do not! Check out this article at Spark People for tips on how to get more fiber into your daily diet. It important to meet your daily fiber goals, and eating more fruits and vegetables is a great way to do this!
Health Benefits of Bananas
Bananas are probably the best food you can eat. Yah you heard me, THE BEST FOOD. they are the ultimate superfood! They are loaded with potassium, fiber, and other extremely helpful vitamins and minerals. Bananas are sure to help you in many ways including:
- Bananas regulate blood sugar, which means they are an excellent food to eat to prevent and manage diabetes.
- Bananas are a great food to eat for weight loss, as they are high in fiber, and we ALL know how awesome fiber is for us right? Right!?
- The inside of a banana peel can be rubbed onto a bug bite for mild relief. I am not sure if I would ever try this one, but I guess if I was stuck on the woods with naught but a banana peel then why not!?
- The high potassium levels protect against high blood pressure and reduce the risk of stroke.
- Due to the level of water soluble pectins that bananas contain, they are very friendly on our digestive system, even though they do contain 14 grams of sugar!
For more see 25 Powerful Reasons to Eat Bananas.
Fun Facts About Bananas
- Humans eat more bananas than oranges and apple combined.
- There is a shrub called the “banana shrub” that doesn’t produce bananas, nor is it even in the banana family. However, it was given it’s name because it smells like bananas. Really science? Really!?
- The banana is technically a berry since it doesn’t come from a tree!
- The scientific name for the banana is “musa sapientum”, which actually means “fruit of the wise men.”
- Bananas will actually float when put in water!
- You can use a banana peel to clean and polish leather shoes.
- Americans eat an average of 27 pounds of bananas each year per person, compared to people in Uganda who eat 500 pounds per person per year!
- A man from India once ate 81 pounds of bananas in a half-hour.
How Do I Eat a Banana?
I eat my bananas in smoothies, on their own, or in a bowl of bran flakes. It is hard to say which method is my favorite, as I love each of them. Another great way to eat them is to make banana bread. Here is the personal recipe that the Fiber Guardian himself uses:
I average about 2 bananas per day and I would recommend you do the same, as this fruit is delicious and nutritious!
Other Awesome Recipes Include:
Final Thoughts on this
Love the plantain recipe – definitely going to try that one!