An instant energy booster, banana is one fruit that is commonly available across the globe. In India, it is given much importance where various regional cuisines use it in making sinful desserts - kheer, malpua, halwa, payasam, sheera, and paniyaram, to name a few. The raw fruit too is not left behind. Cut into smaller chunks or thinly sliced using a mandolin, it gets used up in making wafers, subzis, kebabs, pakoras, and the famous curries of Kerala such as Avial and Kalan. If you travel towards the East and the Northeast, you will come across it in the local breakfast cereal, known as jolpan in Assam, which usually contains puffed or sticky rice mixed with curd and jaggery, and topped with banana pieces. It is a common feature in breakfast menus, and it is definitely with good reason. It provides you instant energy to kickstart your day, and is said to be very good for the stomach. Most natural home remedies in India circling around an upset stomach, call for using bananas as a remedy along with a few other ingredients. There are umpteen benefits of banana that is should make you include the sweet and delicious fruit in your diet today itself. A single piece of banana is said to contain only 90 calories, which also makes it a great (and healthy) snack to munch on rather than sugar loaded goodies or deep-fried treats. Carry one in your tiffin bag, and you will be thanking your stars whenever a sudden hunger pang grips you.
(Also Read: Eat the Peels: How Banana Peels Could Help You Lose Some Weight)
A single piece of banana is said to contain only 90 calories.
A look into the nutritional breakdown of bananas and it reveals the following: per 100 grams, it contains 0.3 gm total fat, zero cholesterol, 1 mg salt, about 360 mg potassium, 2.6 gm dietary fiber, 12 gm sugar and 1.1 gm protein.
If you still need reasons as to why you must include bananas in your diet, here are incredible benefits of eating banana:
1. High Fibre Content
Banana is loaded with fibre, both soluble and insoluble. The soluble fiber has the tendency to slow down digestion and keep you feeling full for a longer time. Which is why bananas are often included in a breakfast meal so that you can start about your day without having to worry about the next meal.
2. Heart Health
High fibre foods are said to be good for the heart. According to a study done by University of Leeds in UK, increasing the consumption of fibre-rich foods such as bananas can lower the risk of both cardiovascular disease (CVD) and coronary heart disease (CHD).
3. Ease in Digestion
According to Ayurveda, banana has a sweet and sour taste. The sweet taste is said to bring about a sense of heaviness but the sour taste is known to stimulate agni (the digestive juices), thereby supporting digestion and helping in building up metabolism.
4. Powerhouse of Nutrients
Banana is a heavyweight when it comes to nutrition. It is loaded with essential vitamins and minerals such as potassium, calcium, manganese, magnesium, iron, folate, niacin, riboflavin, and B6. These all contribute to the proper functioning of the body and keeping you healthy.
Banana is a heavyweight when it comes to nutrition.
5. High Source Of Potassium
The high content of potassium in bananas makes it a super fruit. This mineral is known for its numerous health benefiting properties - it helps in regulating heartbeat, blood pressure, and keeps the brain alert. So make sure you add bananas to your daily to keep your heart and brain healthy, plus for more stabled blood pressure.
6. Blood Pressure
It is a known fact that salt is the culprit when it comes to high blood pressure. Bananas have low salt content and high potassium content, and these properties contribute to making it an ideal for those undergoing this condition. But make sure you consult your nutritionist or doctor before you add it o your diet.
7. Helps Fight Anaemia
Due to the high iron content in bananas, they are good for those suffering from anaemia. Anaemia is a condition where there is a decrease in the number of red blood cells or haemoglobin in the blood. This leads to fatigue, shortness of breath, and paleness. But, as we always say that moderation is the key.
The high iron content in bananas helps fight anaemia.
Cooking with Bananas
There are a number exciting ways in which you can add bananas into your diet. Some points to remember while buying them are -
- If you are buying by the dozen, make sure you pick slightly firm bananas so that they last you at least 4-5 days without spoiling.
- Bananas tend to ripe really quickly, which is why after a while the peels turn back while the flesh become gooey. A smart thing to do would be to buy in smaller quantities and enjoy them fresh.
- Look for fruits without any blemishes or squishy spots.
- Do not store them in the refrigerator.
Here are two banana recipes to help you get started:
1. Jowar Banana Cake with Salted Caramel Sauce
A wholesome jowar cake made with banana, and slathered with decadent salted caramel sauce for a sinful treat. You could also use chocolate sauce and throw in some nuts if you like. This small dessert is perfect for those little celebrations. Pamper your child with this little treat for his good score in his test paper.
Jowar cake made with banana, and slathered with decadent salted caramel sauce
2. Banana Walnut Muffins
The crunchiness of walnuts and the sweetness of bananas makes this muffin a healthy breakfast option or a filling evening snack. You can pair with your morning tea or coffee, better still impress your friends by calling them at home for an evening tea party. We are sure that your friends are simply going to love this. You can thank us later!