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Bananas Aren’t Just For Monkeys

The word “banana” originates in the jungles of West Africa and was passed on to the English speaking sailors (Naval, Commercial AND Pirates) through their Spanish or Portuguese counterparts.

And I want to thank those Portuguese sailors who brought this tasty fruit to the Americas in the 1500s… they did us a huge favor.

Bananas have become an important part of my daily lifestyle… I slice them into fruit salads, I put them in shakes and two to three times a day I peel a banana and eat it, as is.

Many mornings… the first thing to hit my stomach is a banana. I’m certain that’s where I get a jump start for the day.

But that’s not where it stops…

When available… Rosemary and I also like to cook plantains (which are part of the banana family) for supper, not only because they’re delicious… but also because when plantains are cooked,  they are higher in nutrients than bananas.

I guess you could say I’m bananas about bananas…

This “pre-packaged” food is a great energy source and has many positive effects on the human body… such as decreasing the risk of certain kidney problems… as well as helping to protect against vitamin A deficiency, something that contributes heavily to night blindness.

Bananas consist mostly of sugars (glucose, sucrose, and fructose) and fiber… which makes them great for an immediate and prolonged source of energy.

Looking at all of the nutritional figures one should be convinced that bananas are among the healthiest of fruits.

Just look what just one medium sized banana contain…

Nutrients Amount (grams)
Protein 2gm
Fiber 4gm
Potassium          602mg
Phosphorous 26mg   
Magnesium.    32mg
Calcium       6mg    
Sodium                   1mg
Iron                  0.31mg
Selenium      1.2mcg
Zinc    0.18mg
Copper            0.092mg
Manganese 0.319mg
Vitamin A…     422mg
Vitamin B1g     0.037m
Vitamin B2     0.086mg
Niacin… 0.785mg
Folate….            24mcg
Vitamin B6 0.433mg
 Pantothenic Acid 0.394mg
Vitamin C   13.8mg
Vitamin E     0.12mg
Vitamin K 0.6mg

 

As I’ve said many times I’m not a physician or nutritionist… but you don’t have to be to see how many of these health boosting nutrients are in just this one piece of fruit.

We’ve already talked about how I like to eat bananas everyday… but let me give you a few instances where I consider them a must.

If I’m planning on having a strenuous exercise day,  I normally put together a great shake… I fill the blender half full with a fruit juice(orange, apple or whatever your favorite juice is) then I add two bananas, one tbs of peanut butter, a half cup of crushed pineapple, three scoops of protein powder and six to eight ice cubes.

If you don’t want to use protein powder substitute one half cup of blueberries or any type of berry for flavor. Blend it all together… and you have a nutritious (and tasty!) shake that will help sustain your energy, help you recover faster and give your body the vitamin and minerals it needs.

For people who work out a lot… keeping your energy levels high can be a challenge…

That’s why when I need a quick pick-me-up before a workout I peel one medium to large banana, cut a “V” down the length of the fruit and fill with peanut butter. I usually do this about 15 min before exercise.

After eating a peanut butter filled banana I find that I get a more intense and longer work out when doing my pulling exercises or hammer training.

Here’s another little banana secret…

If you’re worried about them going bad before you can eat them, try freezing a few… when you’re sitting and watching TV and get that sweet-tooth craving… you can eat them like a popsicle.

There you have it… those are just a few of the ways I use this delicious fruit for energy enhancement… bit there are many other ways to use them in your daily recipes, you’re only limited by your imagination!

Eat right, exercise and enjoy life…

Never say “I’m too old” or “I can’t”… because you’re not and you can!

MIZPAH!
Doc

PS. A friend of mine said she can’t eat bananas because of her diabetic condition… so if you are concerned at all about whether this fruit is right for you…check with your physician. And if you have any banana recipes… send me your suggestion here… I’d love to hear about them!

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