In Africa, when we talk about Banana, Plantain also comes to mind.
The terms 'plantain' and 'banana' are sometimes interchangeable depending on their usage. A banana is undoubtedly a fruit and also a herb, but a plantain is firmer and starchier than Banana.
According to United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), a raw banana contains
Nutritional value per 100 g (3.5 oz)
Energy 371 kJ (89 kcal)
Carbohydrates 22.84 g
- Sugars 12.23 g
- Dietary fiber 2.6 g
Fat 0.33 g
Protein 1.09 g
Vitamin A equiv. 3 μg (0%)
Thiamine (Vit. B1) 0.031 mg (3%)
Riboflavin (Vit. B2) 0.073 mg (6%)
Niacin (Vit. B3) 0.665 mg (4%)
Pantothenic acid (B5) 0.334 mg (7%)
Vitamin B6 0.4 mg (31%)
Folate (Vit. B9) 20 μg (5%)
Choline 9.8 mg (2%)
Vitamin C 8.7 mg (10%)
Calcium 5 mg (1%)
Iron 0.26 mg (2%)
Magnesium 27 mg (8%)
Manganese 0.3 mg (14%)
Phosphorus 22 mg (3%)
Potassium 358 mg (8%)
Zinc 0.15 mg (2%)
These Percentages are relative to US recommendations for adults.
Source: USDA Nutrient database
As a result of the nutritional content of banana, it has been credited with a lot of health benefits.
Some Banana Benefits
Banana may be used to lose weight:
A diet plan called ‘Banana Diet’ can be used to lose weight. The Banana Diet involves consuming only bananas and water (at room temperature) for breakfast. This is said to fuel weight loss, regardless of what you eat during the rest of the day, and it works because bananas contain a large amount of an insoluble carbohydrate called "resistant starch". Resistant starch has been credited with various weight management benefits, including the ability to initiate fat burning. Bananas also contain enzymes that assist in digestion, speeding it up and thus reducing the amount of time the intestines need to work to digest food, resulting in a metabolism more suited to losing weight. These enzymes only exist if the bananas are eaten in their raw state.
Banana may be used to prevent Dehydration:
The electrolytes content of Bananas can help in restoring and maintaining body fluid level, and therefore prevent dehydration.
Banana may be used to treat Anemia:
Banana is regarded as the natural source of Iron, thereby treating Anemia through its iron content which stimulates haemoglobin production.
Banana may be used for Nicotine Withdrawal:
The rich contents of Vitamins A, C, and tryptophan can help in nicotine withdrawal.
Banana may be used to boost Energy:
The natural sugar content of banana such as sucrose, glucose and fructose, maximises energy level. Also, the fact that banana is rich in Carbohydrate and Potassium, makes it possible for banana to supply and sustain energy.
In conclusion, bananas eaten on a regular basis can provide us with health benefits such as serving as a source of energy, it is used for weight loss, used to prevent anemia, used as a nicotine withdrawal, used to prevent dehydration etc.
Researched and Written By Elzabeth O. Animashaun
1.’Benefits of eating Banana’, http://www.weightlossforall.com/banana-benefits-lose-weight.htm
2.’Health Benefits of Banana’, http://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/fruit/health-benefits-of-banana.html
3. Shikha Shah, ‘Want to lose weight, just eat bananas’, http://www.mid-day.com/lifestyle/2009/jan/130109-Bananas-Diet-Health-iTalk-Fruits-Benefits-Elizabeth-Hurley.htm
4.United States Department of Agriculture, ‘Nutritional value of a Raw Banana’,
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