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Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Bananas- Good for you Fruit

Little Man A loves bananas! And when I say love, I mean L...O...V...E !!! Over the past week or so, when I get a banana for his breakfast or just a snack, he wants the entire thing. If there is the slight chance that he didn't finish the banana, we put it in a baggie for later. When he sees the baggie for the following meal, he quickly grabs it off the table and tries his darndest to open the bag.

So in the spirit of learning something new, I thought I would do a little research about bananas. Besides knowing that they are good for you and contain lots of potassium, I wanted to know more. So here you go, a little biology lesson all rolled into one!

--Bananas come in a variety of sizes and colors when ripe, including yellow, purple and red. There is a cultivar or variety of bananas called "Ice Cream" or "Blue Java" It has a bluish cast to the unripe fruit, usually 7 to 9 inches long, is quite aromatic, and is said to melt in the mouth like ice cream. Bunches are small with seven to nine hands. (Someone find me this variety!! I can only imagine the reaction from Little Man A to a banana that tastes like ice cream!)

--Bananas are grown in at least 107 countries.

--Bananas may also be dried and eaten as a snack food. Dried bananas are also ground into banana flour.

--The domestication of bananas took place in southeastern Asia. Many species of wild bananas still occur in New Guinea, Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines.

--The banana plant has long been a source of fibre for high quality textiles. In Japan, the cultivation of banana for clothing and household use dates back to at least the 13th century.

--Banana fibre is also used in the production of banana paper.

--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 fiber.

--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.

So there you have it. All the information you wanted to know about bananas and more. And here for your viewing pleasure is Little Man shoving a large piece of banana into his mouth. Yummo!


KiKi said...

I love bananas too. But haven't eaten them in years - I'm allergic :(

I used to sneak them anyway, and my siblings would save a piece of theirs and bring it to me later. Mom always found out, though. (Hmm, maybe the vomiting and hives gave me away?)

Luckily, I'm not severely allergic.

BTW, Zeze used to love bananas too, wanted them all the time. Now she sees them and swats them away. I think she overdid it. Like me.

Wenderina said...

Did you ever make that banana oatmeal bread with over-ripe bananas? I love it. I almost poisoned Kiki with it when i brought it into work...I honestly didn't know he was allergic.