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