Though bananas thrived in Africa, they are thought to originate from East Asia and Oceania. The most common commercially traded species is the dessert banana. This is the common grocery store banana, with a yellow skin and a sweet soft flesh that is edible when raw. The flavour and texture are a few attributes that have made dessert bananas the most popular.
Bananas are very versatile! They are great as a portable snack on the go, sliced into oatmeal or yogurt at breakfast, and work well blended or mashed into baked goods. The natural sweetness and moist texture can help replace part of the added sugar and oil in homemade muffins or loaves!
- Bananas are rich in pectin and resistant starch, which help to slow down the release of sugar into the blood stream.
- The resistant starch in bananas is a type of soluble fibre that forms a gel-like structure in the gut. This may also help regulate appetite by slowing down digestion and making you feel full.
- Bananas are a good source of both potassium and magnesium, two essential nutrients important in optimizing heart health! A potassium-rich diet helps lower blood pressure, reducing risk of cardiovascular and kidney complications.
- Banana flesh contains bioactive phenolic acids and flavonoids that may promote anti-inflammatory and anti-tumor action in the body.
Nutritional Value of 1 Small Banana (68g)
- 61 calories
- 16 g carbohydrate
- 2 g fibre
- 7 g protein
- 2 g fat
- About 9% daily value of manganese
- 11% of daily potassium needs
Did You Know
Plantains are another popular sub-species of banana. They come in second place to dessert bananas, possibly because there is more effort required to cook them before they are palatable. Plantains are grown locally in Africa, Latin America and South-East Asia as an important staple food.