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Banana

The banana is a mildly sweet tropical fruit related to the starchy plantain.

Bananas are always picked green.  When green, they have a "green" taste somewhat like kiwi fruit.  Banana ripening is triggerd by ethylene gas, and causes the release of ethylene gas.  Most types of fruit will ripen when placed in a bag with ripening bananas.  As bananas ripen, they turn yellow and then get brown spots that eventually merge to make the banana completely brown.  A banana is best from immediately after the spots appear until the spots begin to merge.

Bananas are very easy to bruise.  Bruises will make a banana brown and mushy on the inside.

Dried banana chips are often available.  Chose brown ones (without sulfur dioxide) if you can find them.

The banana is a rich source of potassium.  The banana helps prevent both constipation and diarrhea.

Bananas are relatively high in calories (a medium-sized banana has about 110 calories). However, one should not eliminate bananas from the diet when trying to lose weight.  Bananas provide not only potassium but also calcium, carotene, vitamin C, vitamin B6, etc. Bananas are nutrient-dense food.

If substitution is desired, use pawpaws instead of bananas.  Pawpaws are generally more nutritious than bananas.

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