“I look at you and wham, I’m head over heels. I guess that love is like a banana peel.”Elvis Presley
I’ve done a few of these health benefits posts and I always share a quick introduction on why I love this fruit or veggie, but I have so much love for bananas. Where do I start? It’s one of everyone’s first foods, it’s a handy dandy snack, freeze them and toss in the blender for a quick dessert, the peels are great for your garden, they are always good for a laugh, the leaves are gorgeous tropical lush plants, and I’ve never met anyone who doesn’t love bananas. Our local baseball team is the Savannah Bananas. So we think bananas are amazing.
The Top Healthy Reasons You Should Go Bananas!
1. Bananas Make People Happy
Bananas contain tryptophan. Tryptophan converts to serotonin in the body, serotonin is the neurotransmitter in the brain that gives you that happy mood and helps you sleep.
Bananas are also high in Vitamin B, which can aid in warding off depression. Vitamin B helps keep the tryptophan in your body, giving you more benefits of the serotonin.
2. Bananas Keep you Regular
Bananas are high in fiber, fiber keeps your digestive system in peak condition! Bananas are also full of potassium. According to MDHealth, the potassium also helps but only if the bananas are ripe. Green bananas will do the opposite.
3. Bananas help you lose weight.
There was a weird fad banana diet in 2008, where people consumed large quantities of bananas. From what I’ve read, you ate as many as you could. It was impossible to stick with, but people lost weight. But experts agree, changing out a higher calorie / fat option for a banana a few times a week is an excellent plan to shed some unwanted weight. Maybe some excess holiday weight like I’m carrying right now.
4. Bananas Contain Nutrients That Moderate Blood Sugar Levels
Both the pectin and resistant starch found in bananas may moderate blood sugar levels after meals and reduce appetite by slowing the emptying of your stomach.
5. Bananas May Support Heart Health
Bananas are a rich source of potassium. Potassium is a mineral that is essential for heart health, especially blood pressure control. Bananas also contain magnesium, another heart healthy mineral.
6. Bananas are full of antioxidants.
Bananas are high in several antioxidants, which may help reduce damage from free radicals and lower your risk of some diseases.
7. Bananas may improve kidney function.
The potassium in bananas isn’t just great for your blood pressure and heart health, it’s also good for your kidneys. One 13-year study in women found that those who ate bananas 2–3 times per week were 33% less likely to develop kidney disease.
8. Long distance athletes love bananas.
Bananas may help relieve muscle cramps caused by exercise. They also provide excellent fuel for endurance exercise.
Now for the reason you guys are probably here, the recipe!
Chocolate Chip Banana Bread Recipe
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 1 hour
Serves: 10 slices
Calories: 352 kcal
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3 ripe bananas, mashed
- 1 teaspoon milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/2 cup butter, softened
- 1/2 cup white sugar
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips (dark are really good too)
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease a 9 x 5” bread pan.
- In a large bowl, mix together baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
- In a second bowl, stir bananas, milk, vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg together.
- In a third bowl, beat together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Mix in eggs one at a time.
- Stir the banana mixture into the butter mixture. Then add the dry mixture and stir until well blended. Fold in chocolate chips. Pour into prepared pan.
- Bake for 60 – 70 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean. Allow the loaf to cool for at least 10 minutes before removing it from the pan.
One medium-sized banana (118 grams) contains.
- Potassium: 9% of the RDI
- Vitamin B6: 33% of the RDI
- Vitamin C: 11% of the RDI
- Magnesium: 8% of the RDI
- Copper: 10% of the RDI
- Manganese: 14% of the RDI
- Net carbs: 24 grams
- Fiber: 3.1 grams
- Protein: 1.3 grams
- Fat: 0.4 grams
Banana Recipes For Kids
These easy-to-make treats all feature a kid favorite – the banana. With a little bit of adult supervision and help, young children can help to make these treats as a snack or a family dessert. Older children can make these items with no assistance.
Cut up a half cup of strawberries and a quarter cup of bananas for each serving. Place in a mixing bowl. Drizzle one tablespoon of honey over the fruit. Stir gently. Place the strawberry and banana mixture in an ice cream cone. If desired, top with one tablespoon of granola.
Place a dozen vanilla or chocolate wafer cookies in a plastic food storage bag. Crush the cookies with a rolling pin. Watch that the crumbs don’t spill out of the bag. Pour the crumbs onto a cookie sheet. Crush another dozen cookies and add the crumbs to the cookie sheet.
Peel a banana and slice into one-inch thick slices. Set each banana slice in the cookie crumbs and coat completely with the cookie pieces. Set the coated slices on a plate and set in the refrigerator for a couple of hours or until the crumbs adhere to the banana.
For each serving, place a half cup of cornflakes or another dry cereal in a plastic food storage bag. Crush the cereal with a rolling pin or by rolling a can over the bag of cereal. If the bag doesn’t seal shut, watch that the cereal doesn’t get pushed out of the bag. Lift the bag if necessary and jiggle the cereal to the bottom of the bag.
Shake the crushed cereal into a pie plate or cake pan. A flat plate could create a mess when the banana is rolled in the cereal. Peel one banana and dip the entire banana into a favorite yogurt flavor. Roll the yogurt-dipped banana in the cereal crumbs. Leave the coated banana in the pan and set in the freezer for three to five hours. Serve in a dish with a spoon or use fingers to pick up the frozen banana.
Frozen Banana Yogurt
Set a banana in a mixing bowl and mash it into a soft pulp. Stir in three tablespoons of apple, grape, or orange juice from unfrozen concentrate. Mix in a half cup of plain or vanilla yogurt. Stir well. Spoon the mixture into paper or plastic cups or into a bowl. Freeze for three to five hours. Scoop frozen yogurt into serving dishes. This recipe makes two servings.
Children can serve sliced bananas in ice cream cones, coated with cookie crumbs, rolled in cereal and frozen, or mixed with yogurt. Each recipe takes just moments to prepare.
Should I do pineapple next? I actually just grew my first pineapple from the top of a store bought pineapple and I’d love to research pineapple more!
For More Information on the health benefits of bananas check out Healthlines 11 Evidence Based Health Benefits of Bananas
It’s almost Orange Season y’all. Oranges are the sweetest in December and January. Check out my Health Benefits of Oranges Post.