Little Known Facts about Bananas
Bananas are one of the world’s most popular fruits.
In fact, Americans eat more bananas than apples and oranges combined. One of the reasons for this is that, despite the fact that they are only grown locally in one state and require a great deal of care during harvesting and shipping, they are one of the cheapest fruits in the store.
As a matter of fact, the price of bananas has continued to decline over the last 30 years. Next time you peel and eat one of your favorite fruits, think about these five little-known facts about the banana.
1. Bananas are the fourth largest agricultural product in the world. Over 100 billion bananas are consumed worldwide every year. Americans eat an average of 27 pounds of bananas each year. This seems a lot until you find out that the each person in Uganda consume an average of about 500 pounds of bananas annually.
2. Bananas can aid in digestion and other gastro-intestinal problems. The pectin in bananas, which is also the ingredient in apples that ‘keeps the doctor away,’ aids in digestion. Bananas can help in the growth of good bacteria in the bowels similar to the way probiotics work.
Bananas also create enzymes that can help in the absorption of nutrients and the high fiber content will keep you regular. If you are a bit too regular, bananas are a great food to eat in the recovery after a bout of diarrhea. Finally bananas are a natural antacid providing relief from GERD, LPR and acid reflux.
3. Most people don’t know that the banana is actually in the berry family and (like money) they don’t grow on trees. The banana plant is actually a herb, in the same family as lilies.
4. Bananas can put you to sleep or cheer you up. Many people have heard that it is the tryptophan in turkey which makes people sleepy at Thanksgiving. Bananas are the only fruit which contain this amino acid along with B6 and the combination of the two can produce the body’s anti-depression chemical, serotonin.
5. Bananas are one of the healthiest fruits you can eat. They are low in calories and are fat-free gluten-free and cholesterol-free, and besides B6, are rich in vitamin C, potassium and fiber.
In addition, eating a banana can improve athletic performance and are great to eat during long-distance workouts such as running and cycling.
Almost everyone loves bananas. Now you have more reasons than ever to do your fair share of eating the 28 pounds of bananas needed to keep our average intact.