bananas and nutrition

Bananas And Nutrition - Nurturing Tips

Did you know that bananas were an expensive delicacy in the United States until the twentieth century? Bananas are the most commonly eaten fruit in the U.S and the U.S.'s yearly banana consumption averages out to about 28 pounds of bananas per person! Bananas and nutrition go hand in hand. Bananas are a source of potassium, vitamin B6 and other nutrients. One little known banana and nutrition fact is that bananas are the most easily digested fruit. So bananas make a great, not to mention nutritious, midnight snack. After ripening bananas will keep well in the refrigerator for at least a week and though the banana's skin will turn black, the banana itself will remain firm and white.

Bananas contain the eight essential amino acids which are the necessary building blocks of new cells. The banana is also the most carbohydrate rich fruit. Magnesium, potassium and selenium are all present in bananas and these nutrients help guard against heart disease and strokes. The nutrient potassium helps to regulate blood pressure. Eating bananas has been shown to reduce calcium loss and eating two bananas daily can help relieve chronic muscle cramps.

WAIT! Don't throw out those overripe bananas. You can still reap that banana's nutritional benefits. There are recipes that make use of that still nutrient packed brown speckled fruit such as banana relish, muffins, bread and smoothies. Here is one example:

BANANA BREAD

1 cups flour 1 teaspoon baking soda
2 eggs 3 overripe bananas
1 cup sugar 8 tablespoons margarine
teaspoon salt 1/3 cup walnuts (optional)

Cream sugar and margarine, mash the bananas and add to the mixture. Beat and add the eggs. Slowly add the flour, salt and baking soda. Pour into lightly greased loaf pan. Bake at 350 for 30-45 minutes.

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