with Funke Oshifuye

I was in my office one morning, when a colleague of mine sauntered in. Kay, as she was fondly called by me just went on and on…………”I have been gaining so much weight and all I tried was adding fruits to my diet, I am just fed up”. So I asked her “what fruit have you been eating”? To my utmost surprise, she said “ bananas” . And I thought to myself, are bananas fattening?

Banana is among the most versatile and most widely eaten fruits in the world today. It is very good for health, is easily digestible and packs a lot of energy within itself, in the form of natural sugars. It is one of the most popular snacks, especially those had after a workout. The reason is that it is quite filling, gets quickly released into the bloodstream, in the form of energy, and does not contain fats. The nutrients present in bananas help a person in fighting a number of ailments and keep him in good health. Because of their impressive potassium content, bananas are highly recommended by doctors for patients whose potassium is low.

One large banana, about 9 inches in length, packs 602 mg of potassium and only carries 140 calories. That same large banana even has 2 grams of protein and 4 grams of fibre. No wonder the banana was considered an important food to boost the health of malnourished children! Those reducing sodium in their diets can’t go wrong with a banana with its mere 2 mgs of sodium. For the carbohydrate counters there are 36 grams of carbohydrates in a large banana.

Vitamins and minerals are abundant in the banana, offering 123 I.U. of vitamin A for the large size. A full range of B vitamins are present with .07 mg of Thiamine, .15 mg of Riboflavin, .82 mg Niacin, .88 mg vitamin B6, and 29 mcg of Folic Acid. There are even 13.8 mg of vitamin C. On the mineral scale Calcium counts in at 9.2 mg, Magnesium 44.1 mg, with trace amounts of iron and zinc.

Putting all of the nutritional figures together clearly shows the banana is among the healthiest of fruits. This unique tropical fruit is extremely high in potassium yet low in salt, making it the perfect food for helping to reduce the risk of blood pressure and stroke. Research has shown that the potassium-packed fruit can assist learning by making pupils more alert. When we are stressed, our metabolic rate rises, thereby reducing our potassium levels. These can be re-balanced with a high-potassium banana snack.

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