The benefits of banana

Le bananas they are one of the oldest fruits ever grown, e all parts of the plant have medicinal applications: flowers in bronchitis, dysentery and ulcers; cooked flowers are given to diabetics; the astringent sap of the plant for cases of hysteria, epilepsy, leprosy, fevers, bleeding and diarrhea. Also banana leaves they can be used as a cool compress for burns or wounds.


The flavor and texture of bananas are influenced by the temperature in which they grow and the degree of ripeness: fruits exposed to high temperatures and long ripening times are sweeter and softer than those grown in a cooler and more ventilated environment. 


The degree of ripeness is easily understood observing the color of the skin and pulp. It tends to green in unripe fruits, to dark yellow with small brown spots (corresponding to accumulations of sugars) in the very ripe ones, to bright yellow in those ready to be tasted. 


It gives a nutritional point of view, bananas contain about 75% water, 23% carbohydrates, 1% protein, 0,3% fat and 2,6% dietary fiber (these values, however, vary depending on the different banana crops, degree of ripeness and growing conditions). 


The pulp is rich in vitamins A, B1, B2, B6, C, PP and small quantities of E which, taken together, help keep the skin supple, to stimulate the immune defenses and to favor the metabolism of proteins.


Do bananas make you fat?

Considering that we live in a society characterized by the excessive consumption of processed foods, sugary drinks, fast food and junk food, focusing attention on the doubt that this fruit may be associated with weight gain should not cause us much trouble. 


A single banana contains tra 20 and 30% of our daily potassium requirement, the precious mineral that protects the heart and cardiovascular system, helps the bones and muscles not to deteriorate, also reducing the appearance of kidney stones. These data should already make us rest assured!


Banana is one of the few starchy fruits: according to data from the American Department of Agriculture, most of its sugars (48%) are composed of starch. When the fruit is unripe the starch has a high percentage of resistant starch (it acts like a dietary fiber), it also has several antinutrients (which chelate nutrients). 


The more the banana is ripe, the more the starch part becomes bioavailable and assimilable, like its micronutrients (potassium and magnesium in the first place).


Banana is thus a relatively caloric fruit, since it generally weighs from 150-200 g and the edible part without peel weighs 100-130 g. The banana thus has 65-95 calories depending on its size (compared to the apple it is, therefore, more caloric).   


How many bananas can we eat? The answer is very subjective and depends on how many carbohydrates we should introduce per day. Furthermore, the banana has an average glycemic index of 54, variable according to the degree of ripeness of the fruit. 


Science has long shown that the glycemic index is not predictive of whether a food will make you fat or not (the difference between the glycemic index and the glycemic load is clearly distinct). Therefore you can eat them quietly bananas if they fall within the daily calories and macronutrients.


Attention, never think that eating fruit is the answer to the need to get back in line after having eaten at the table. Fruit alone certainly cannot replace an entire meal which, to be balanced, must be represented by all the macronutrients of the Mediterranean diet.


In general, “single food” meals are never correct. This is because they do not provide the body with a balanced and correct supply of nutrients. Furthermore, a fruit-only meal does not provide an adequate sense of satiety. You will run the risk of finding yourself after an hour to deal with the sense of hunger. 


A good way to include bananas in your diet is to prefer it mid-morning or mid-afternoon, when you feel hungry and want to eat something that satisfies your appetite. Furthermore, avoid consuming more than one banana per day, because just one serving already provides all the nutrients.


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