The Food Coach

Healthy Food Database - Banana

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There are many varieties, but in Australia the most common are the Cavendish - the everyday banana, the Lady Finger - which has a sweet lemony flavour and the Plantain or 'green banana' - intended for cooking only. Experts say bananas strengthen the stomach lining and form a barrier against noxious juices, stimulate cell growth and prevent damage from harsh stomach acids, for example in ulcerative conditions.
Category: Fruit
In Season: all year
To Buy: Bananas mature off the plant, so choosing green fruit is not a problem. Look for bananas free of bruising and make sure the skin is not split. To eat immediately, pick fruit with a few brown spots, or buy with bright yellow skin and green tips to eat in a few days.
To Store: Store at room temperature until ripe. To extend shelf life, ripe fruit can be wrapped in a few layers of newspaper and refrigerated. The skin may turn dark but the banana flesh should stay fresh and firm.
Tips & Tricks: To ripen quickly, place unripe bananas in a brown paper bag with a ripe banana or an apple. Try eating a banana as a late night snack before bed, as the magnesium and melatonin levels encourage sleep. Bananas produce the natural gas ethylene, a gas which accelerates the ripening process so store bananas in a separate bowl if the rest of the fruit in your fruit bowl is already ripe.

Nutrition (1 Unit):

Energy (kJ): 380
Moderate GI 55 - 70: Glycaemic Index refers to the rate at which carbohydrate rich foods are converted to glucose for energy by the body; A moderate GI will release glucose into the bloodstream at a moderate rate.
Fat (g): 0.1
Vitamin B6: Important in development and maintenance of nervous system. Also plays a role in prevention of inflammatory and skin diseases, hormone production and the metabolism of protein, fat and carbohydrates.
Potassium: Needed for normal growth and muscle and nerve contraction. Together with sodium regulates water and fluid balance in the body.
Amines: Amines come the breakdown or fermentation of proteins. High amounts are found in cheese, chocolate, wine, beer and yeast extracts. Smaller amounts are present in some fruits and vegetables such as tomatoes, avocados, bananas.

For those with sensitivities, low foods are almost never a problem, moderate and high foods may cause reactions, depending on how sensitive you are and how much is eaten. Very high foods will most often cause unwanted symptoms in sensitive individuals. Moderate
Glutamates: Glutamate is found naturally in many foods, as part of protein. It enhances the flavour of food, which is why foods rich in natural glutamates such as tomatoes, mushrooms and cheeses are commonly used in meals. Pure monosodium glutamate (MSG) is used as an additive to artificially flavour many processed foods, and should be avoided, especially in sensitive individuals as it can cause serious adverse reactions. n/a
Carbohydrates, g: 20.1
Protein (g): 1.7
Saturated Fat, g : 0.0
Vitamin C: Antioxidant, anti inflammatory and immune-boosting, this vitamin has a range of uses. Is essential for collagen formation, therefore plays a role in wound healing. Fights infection and protects against free radical damage. Vitamin C helps maintain normal cholesterol levels, promotes the absorption of iron and counters the effects of stress as it is concentrated in the adrenal glands.

Contraindications:
Large doses can cause diaorrhea or gas.
Magnesium: Involved in energy production and proper functioning of muscles and nerves, magnesium also promotes the absorption of other minerals and promotes blood vessel dilation and lowers the risk of blood clots.
Salicylates: Naturally occurring plant chemicals found in several fruits, vegetables, nuts, herbs and spices, jams, honey, yeast extracts, tea and coffee, juices, beer and wines. Also present in flavourings, perfumes, scented toiletries and some medications.

For those with sensitivities, low foods are almost never a problem, moderate and high foods may cause reactions, depending on how sensitive you are and how much is eaten. Very high foods will most often cause unwanted symptoms in sensitive individuals. Moderate

Cooking:

Cooking Tips: The banana has many uses- peel and eat, or peel and fry, bake or freeze. Eat whole, sliced or mashed. When cutting banana, use a stainless steel knife to avoid discolouration, and coat with lemon juice to prevent darkening.

Benefits the Following Health Conditions:*

Constipation
High Blood Pressure
Low Energy
Detoxifying
Depression
Insomnia
Stress
Ulcers

* This information is sourced by a qualified naturopath. It is non prescriptive and not intended as a cure for the condition. Recommended intake is not provided. It is no substitute for the advice and treatment of a professional practitioner.

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