This has to be one of the most loved fruits. The banana is certainly one of our favourite super foods. Margaret Roberts shares some healthy benefits of bananas, as well as a few fascinating facts…
Bananas grow in tropical and subtropical regions throughout the world. Our plantings of the quickly grown “lady finger” bananas have given us many exotic and delectable bunches of paradise over the years.
Visitors from overseas are astonished to see bananas growing as a garden plant. The beautiful stately leaves make the most exotic “trays” on which to serve everything from rice to kebabs, grilled fish and fruit slices. Watermelon served on a banana leaf surely indicates Christmas holidays and everything exotic.
Health Benefits of Bananas
A ripe medium sized banana with a few dark freckles on its yellow skin contains 23g of protein, 3g of fibre, 12g of fruit sugar, including glucose and fructose, a massive 360g of potassium, 27-30g of magnesium and 6-10g of calcium.
Rich in minerals the leaves have been used for centuries as healing poultices around wounds, rashes and bruises.
This wonderful fruit:
- Protects the body from heart disease, strokes, tension and stress
- Helps to strengthens the arterial walls
- Stabilises blood pressure
- Assists in easing constipation and normalising regular bowl function
Best Ways to Eat Bananas
The most ideal way to enjoy the goodness of bananas is to eat it with a little cinnamon powder. Eating a banana with cinnamon and muesli for breakfast most definitely starts the day off well. You can alsp ry enjoy mashed bananas with a touch of honey, a sprinkle of cinnamon and a little spoon of whipped cream – delicious.
Top tip: Try cooking fish wrapped in banana leaves on the braai for supper.
Growing your own bananas in a frost-free subtropical garden is an experience you will love. You can eat the ruby curls of the banana flower too!
Did you know?
- The banana (musa acuminata) is one of the world’s most vital trades, which has been around for over 4000 years.
- In Malaysia tiny babies are placed on banana leaves and washed to give them health, strength and a long life. On a hot day little children often sleep on banana leaves in the shade to keep cool during high temperatures. The elderly also wrap their feet in banana leaves after a weary day and use the warmed leaves as a poultice for aching knees.
For more info
Note: Margaret Roberts has a fine selection of plants and seeds available from her nursery. Her shop stocks a wide variety of their health products that can be posted to you. Should you at any stage be stuck for fresh botanicals or natural cosmetic bases such as aqueous cream, these can be couriered or posted to you.
Words: Margaret Roberts
Styling: Sandy Roberts
Pictures: Sandy Roberts and Supplied