Food for Thought: Introducing Bananas
The unassuming nanner as we know it is a powerhouse of fuel. They are packaged by nature in a thick peel, designed to protect their fruit from all kinds of perils. This “fruit of the wise man” is a happy yellow color (if you saw my posts on Eggs, you know that I find this color delightful) that can sweeten any dish bearing its contents. Many people (including myself until writing this post) believe that bananas grow on trees, but they’re actually herbs!
Bananas are easy in the kitchen, but can be tricky when it comes to using a whole bunch of them before they spoil. The darkening color of the fruit lets any home chef know when time is running out to get them into the next meal.
Talk with Your Mouth Full: The Banana Debate
It’s hard to see a debate when it comes to fruits or vegetables, but bananas are a hot topic these days!
+Bananas are Grab and Go
You can couple them with peanut butter – or any of the nut butters, really; you can spice up some oatmeal with them; you can freeze them on hot days to keep your cool; or you can take them in their humblest form. Bananas are great for baking and great for grabbing as a last-minute addition for lunch at the office or to accompany you on your commute.
+Bananas are Sweet
The natural sweetness of the banana makes you almost feel like you could skip dessert. If you’re not a dessert skipper, however, the banana can hold up in any sweet treat. Puddings, cakes, breads, and even pies with cream take on the banana flavor and make this yellow fruit sing.
If you’re trying to cut out the dessert, bananas stand up in savory dishes too! They’re even great in breakfast – from cereal toppers to French toast garnishes, bananas can be enjoyed any time of the day as an indulgence or guilt-free.
– Bananas are “Sugary”
There’s been a lot of talk lately that bananas are considered the “bad” type of carbohydrate. Here’s the thing: Fruit has carbs. These carbohydrates are thought to be like other processed carbs (the ones found in breads and pastas) and are believed by some to contribute to obesity and other problems such as fatigue, high blood pressure, and that overall feeling of just not feeling good. There are even diets cautioning against eating bananas.
Other research suggests that if nature made it, humans can process it. Humans need carbs for energy and the “sugars” found in bananas are naturally present in them. They’re not added for taste. Natural sugars – or carbs – like the ones found in bananas are thought by some to be totally harmless and are certainly better for you than the ones found in candy and packaged sweets.
The Secret Ingredient: Bananas as a Remedy
Many people think of bran cereal or raisins (or perhaps a certain cereal that combines both) when they hear the word fiber. They’re not wrong, but bananas have their fair share of fiber too. A carb (yep, that’s right!), fiber cannot be digested. While this might sound bad, what this actually means is that fiber helps…regulate your digestion. If you’re having a hard time getting things to go your way in the bathroom, fiber helps move the process along. Bananas have that special ability that helps keep it going.
This nutrient is a buzzword, but what does potassium actually do for us? One of the most important things potassium does is it helps with muscle contraction. One of our most important muscles? The heart, of course! Too low or too high levels of potassium can cause serious cardiac problems. Many people suffer from too little potassium, since many people don’t consume enough fruits and veggies. Luckily, bananas can help keep you heart healthy and keep those muscles up to speed.
This is the stuff in turkey that makes people feel sleepy. Tryptophan in the body converts to that all-important mood improver, serotonin. Serotonin makes people feel more relaxed, which is probably why lots of us like to take a long nap after our Thanksgiving dinner. Although, it’s hard to picture eating a big bunch of bananas instead of turkey!
Will bananas prove to be a-peeling? Come back next week to read The Findings!
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