Monday, August 8

Banana and Its Nutritional Value

Banana is an elongated crescent-shaped yellow fruit with soft sweet flesh. Banana is not a tree but a high herb that can attain up to 15 metres of height. It is a perennial plant that replaces itself. Bananas do not grow from a seed but from a bulb or rhizome. The time between planting a banana plant and the harvest of the banana bunch goes from 9 to 12 months.

Banana and Its Nutritional Value

Bananas are available all year long. Bananas are grown in tropical regions where the average temperature is 800 F (270 C) and the yearly rainfall is 78 – 98 inches (200 – 250 centimetres). They require moist soil with good drainage. In fact, most bananas exported are grown within 30 degrees either side of the equator.

Botanically, the fruit belongs to the family of Musaceae. Bananas come with nature gifted protective outer layer of skin, therefore are less likely contaminated by germs and dust.

Of the 1000 known banana varieties in the world, the types most commonly available for purchase include the most popular yellow Cavendish, the smaller apple banana, the baby banana, the red banana with pinkish flesh and the plantain, which must be cooked. Banana is consumed as fruits just by removing the peel and enjoy.

It can also be put to use in various ways such as fiber used in textile and paper, as fertilizer, animal feeds, and medicine and as skin care. The banana leaves can be used for wrapping food during cooking.

Rich in potassium and vitamins B6 and C, bananas also contain essential amino acids, high amounts of carbohydrate and fiber, but low amounts of protein and fat.

Keep the fruit at room temperature hanged on a rack and placed on a counter or put them in the sun for faster ripening. Don’t refrigerate them because that will turn them black and they won’t ripen. If you want to keep longer peel the skin of a ripe banana and freeze.

1.    Energy                                  90 kcal
2.    Carbohydrates                  22.84 g
3.    Protein                                 1.09 g
4.    Fat                                          0.33 g
5.    Cholesterol                         0 mg
6.    Dietary Fiber                      2.60 g
7.    Thiamine (Vit. B1)           0.031 mg
8.    Riboflavin (Vit. B2)         0.073 mg
9.    Niacin (Vit. B3)                 0.665 mg
10. Pantothenic acid (B5)    0.334 mg
11. Folate (Vit. B9)                  20 µg
12. Vitamin A                            0.64 IU
13. Vitamin C                            8.7 mg
14. Vitamin E                            0.10 mg
15. Vitamin K                            0.5 µg
16. Calcium                                5 mg
17. Iron                                       0.26 mg
18. Magnesium                         27 mg
19. Phosphorus                       22 mg
20. Potassium                           358 mg
21. Zinc                                        0.15 mg
22. Sodium                                 1 mg

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