There are so many health benefits to this simple fruit that comes in its own To Go package. Out of all of the fruits that we eat in our home, this one is the one that I can never keep an adequate supply of. Of course, that makes me happy as the Head of the Nutrition Department as just one of the hats that I wear in the household. Why do I love bananas….?
- If you are watching your weight, they are very helpful. There are about 110 calories in a medium size banana and this yields about 30 grams of carbohydrates and 3 grams of fiber. The fiber and a type of starch that you do not digest helps to fill us up and helps us to not get so hungry. This makes it a great in between meals snack.
- Eating bananas will increase your intake of vitamin C. This is important because vitamin C providse an antioxidant effect, helps to protect collagen that helps to hold bones, muscles and other body tissues together, and is used to absorb iron and folate which keeps our gums healthy and aids in healing.
- Bananas are important for our intake of vitamin B6. Vitamin B6 is important for healthy cells because bananas help us make nonessential amino acids. This wonderful fruit also helps produce insulin (for regulating our blood sugar), hemoglobin and antibodies that help in fighting infections.
- Have diarrhea? This fruit is recommended by dietitians and physicians in the BRAT Diet (Bananas, Rice, Applesauce and Toast). It will help to bulk up the stool so that you get relief from diarrhea.
- Bananas provide a lot of potassium, about 420 mg. As you may know, potassium helps to lower blood pressure, which will help to decrease our risk of stroke. We gain about 10% of the recommended daily adult requirement of potassium from a medium size banana (about 4,700 mg).
- Bananas are a mood booster due to the magnesium in them. If you are low on this nutrient, you may be more likely to be depressed, anxious or irritable. Who wants that? Just a small banana will provide about 27 mg of magnesium. Men need 420 mg and women 320 mg of magnesium per day.
- Bananas may help to influence serotonin levels, however, there is also some information that demonstrates that bananas may also help with sleeplessness because they contain magnesium and potassium.
- Have an itch or a bug bite? The peel of the banana can be rubbed on the area. This can also be used for psoriasis patches or poison ivy to help to relieve the itch and promote healing.
- Did you know that you can eat the banana peel….don’t know if I want to try this one but good to know. The peel can be boiled for 10 minutes to extract even more fiber, antioxidants and nutrients. After cleaning the peel then boiling, put it through the juicer or blend it with other fruits and veggies.
- And finally, bananas have a healthy amount of Vitamin A, iron and phosphorus.
One of my favorite quick dessert recipes that will not break the budget…Banana Cinnamon Cake with Coconut Cream (coconut cream and cinnamon optional).
You will need the above ingredients, but don’t be afraid to experiment on the amounts:
- Just 1 medium or large banana
- 1 large egg (or 2 medium is best)
- 3 tablespoons of oil ( I prefer sunflower oil)
- 1 1/4 cups of white granulated sugar
- Pinch of salt
- Baking powder (1 1/4 packets) which is about 2 1/2-3 teaspoons
- 2 tablespoons of sour cream
- (Optional tablespoon of cinnamon and 2 tablespoons of coconut cream- not pictured)
- Flour (as you add it will be about 2 cups but I like a thick batter so you may want less)
- About 1 teaspoon of vanilla sugar or vanilla extract
- About 1 cup of water (again, depends on the consistency of the batter you are comfortable with)
Smash the banana, add your egg(s), sugar, sour cream, oil cinnamon (optional) and coconut cream (optional). Stir until you get a creamy like consistency. Add baking powder, salt and vanilla and stir. At this point, it will look something like this:
Now add 1/2 of your flour to make the mixture like the consistency of pancake batter. Stir or mix with a hand mixer for about a minute until all lumps are gone. If you sift your flour, you should do this first. Add about 1/2 cup of water and stir until the mixture is well blended. Repeat the process of adding the rest of the flour, mixing, adding the rest of the water, and mixing. Now you will have a batter that is rather thick looking like a pound cake. Pour the mixture into a medium size baking dish and bake for about 20-25 minutes at 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Times may vary depending on your oven but do the toothpick test before taking it out.
Let the cake cool and if desired, add your favorite icing and toppings or just eat it as is. Hope you enjoy this half naughty and half healthy quick dessert! Comment and let me know if you tried it and the results and feel free to let me also know how you tweeked the recipe to put your own spin on it. I would love to share it on my blog!