People who often experience migraine headaches are advised to eat no more than half a banana daily. Considerations One carbohydrate serving for diabetics should contain 15 grams of carbohydrates, making a medium banana approximately two carbohydrate servings. Banana peels are usually served cooked, boiled or fried, though they can be eaten raw or put in a blender with other fruits. All of these benefits within one calorie piece of fruit sounds like a good deal, but bananas can also be tricky for certain people and may not be the best fruit choice for everyone.
Phytolith discoveries in Cameroon dating to the first millennium BCE  triggered an as yet unresolved debate about the date of first cultivation in Africa. There is linguistic evidence that bananas were known in Madagascar around that time. The banana may also have been present in isolated locations elsewhere in the Middle East on the eve of Islam. The spread of Islam was followed by far-reaching diffusion. There are numerous references to it in Islamic texts such as poems and hadiths beginning in the 9th century.
By the 10th century the banana appears in texts from Palestine and Egypt. From there it diffused into North Africa and Muslim Iberia. During the medieval ages, bananas from Granada were considered among the best in the Arab world. Today, banana consumption increases significantly in Islamic countries during Ramadan , the month of daylight fasting. Bananas were certainly grown in the Christian Kingdom of Cyprus by the late medieval period.
Bananas were introduced to the Americas by Portuguese sailors who brought the fruits from West Africa in the 16th century. Many wild banana species as well as cultivars exist in extraordinary diversity in India , China , and Southeast Asia. There are fuzzy bananas whose skins are bubblegum pink ; green-and-white striped bananas with pulp the color of orange sherbet; bananas that, when cooked, taste like strawberries. The Double Mahoi plant can produce two bunches at once.
In the 15th and 16th centuries, Portuguese colonists started banana plantations in the Atlantic Islands, Brazil , and western Africa. The earliest modern plantations originated in Jamaica and the related Western Caribbean Zone , including most of Central America. It involved the combination of modern transportation networks of steamships and railroads with the development of refrigeration that allowed more time between harvesting and ripening.
Keith also participated, eventually culminating in the multi-national giant corporations like today's Chiquita Brands International and Dole. Their political maneuvers, which gave rise to the term Banana republic for states like Honduras and Guatemala, included working with local elites and their rivalries to influence politics or playing the international interests of the United States, especially during the Cold War , to keep the political climate favorable to their interests.
The vast majority of the world's bananas today are cultivated for family consumption or for sale on local markets. India is the world leader in this sort of production, but many other Asian and African countries where climate and soil conditions allow cultivation also host large populations of banana growers who sell at least some of their crop.
Peasant sector banana growers produce for the world market in the Caribbean, however. The Windward Islands are notable for the growing, largely of Cavendish bananas, for an international market, generally in Europe but also in North America.
In the Caribbean, and especially in Dominica where this sort of cultivation is widespread, holdings are in the 1—2 acre range. In many cases the farmer earns additional money from other crops, from engaging in labor outside the farm, and from a share of the earnings of relatives living overseas. Banana crops are vulnerable to destruction by high winds, such as tropical storms or cyclones.
All widely cultivated bananas today descend from the two wild bananas Musa acuminata and Musa balbisiana. While the original wild bananas contained large seeds, diploid or polyploid cultivars some being hybrids with tiny seeds are preferred for human raw fruit consumption.
The plant is allowed to produce two shoots at a time; a larger one for immediate fruiting and a smaller "sucker" or "follower" to produce fruit in 6—8 months. As a non-seasonal crop, bananas are available fresh year-round. In global commerce in , by far the most important cultivars belonged to the triploid AAA group of Musa acuminata , commonly referred to as Cavendish group bananas.
They accounted for the majority of banana exports,  despite only coming into existence in Even though it is no longer viable for large scale cultivation, Gros Michel is not extinct and is still grown in areas where Panama disease is not found.
It is unclear if any existing cultivar can replace Cavendish bananas, so various hybridisation and genetic engineering programs are attempting to create a disease-resistant, mass-market banana. Export bananas are picked green, and ripen in special rooms upon arrival in the destination country. These rooms are air-tight and filled with ethylene gas to induce ripening. The vivid yellow color consumers normally associate with supermarket bananas is, in fact, caused by the artificial ripening process.
Bananas are refrigerated to between At lower temperatures, ripening permanently stalls, and the bananas turn gray as cell walls break down. Bananas can be ordered by the retailer "ungassed" i. Guineos verdes green bananas that have not been gassed will never fully ripen before becoming rotten. Instead of fresh eating, these bananas can be used for cooking, as seen in Jamaican cuisine.
A study reported that ripe bananas fluoresce when exposed to ultraviolet light. This property is attributed to the degradation of chlorophyll leading to the accumulation of a fluorescent product in the skin of the fruit. The chlorophyll breakdown product is stabilized by a propionate ester group. Banana-plant leaves also fluoresce in the same way. Green bananas do not fluoresce. The study suggested that this allows animals which can see light in the ultraviolet spectrum tetrachromats and pentachromats to more easily detect ripened bananas.
Bananas must be transported over long distances from the tropics to world markets. The fruit requires careful handling, rapid transport to ports, cooling, and refrigerated shipping. The goal is to prevent the bananas from producing their natural ripening agent, ethylene. After a few days, the fruit begins to ripen and is distributed for final sale.
Ripe bananas can be held for a few days at home. If bananas are too green, they can be put in a brown paper bag with an apple or tomato overnight to speed up the ripening process. Carbon dioxide which bananas produce and ethylene absorbents extend fruit life even at high temperatures.
This effect can be exploited by packing banana in a polyethylene bag and including an ethylene absorbent, e. The bag is then sealed with a band or string. This treatment has been shown to more than double lifespans up to 3—4 weeks without the need for refrigeration. As reported for , total world exports were 20 million tonnes of bananas and , tonnes of plantains. Bananas and plantains constitute a major staple food crop for millions of people in developing countries.
Most producers are small-scale farmers either for home consumption or local markets. Bananas and plantains are important for global food security. While in no danger of outright extinction, the most common edible banana cultivar Cavendish extremely popular in Europe and the Americas could become unviable for large-scale cultivation in the next 10—20 years.
Its predecessor ' Gros Michel ', discovered in the s, suffered this fate. Like almost all bananas, Cavendish lacks genetic diversity, which makes it vulnerable to diseases, threatening both commercial cultivation and small-scale subsistence farming.
Panama disease is caused by a fusarium soil fungus Race 1 , which enters the plants through the roots and travels with water into the trunk and leaves, producing gels and gums that cut off the flow of water and nutrients, causing the plant to wilt , and exposing the rest of the plant to lethal amounts of sunlight.
Prior to , almost all commercial banana production centered on "Gros Michel", which was highly susceptible. However, more care is required for shipping the Cavendish, [ citation needed ] and its quality compared to Gros Michel is debated. According to current sources, a deadly form of Panama disease is infecting Cavendish. All plants are genetically identical, which prevents evolution of disease resistance.
Researchers are examining hundreds of wild varieties for resistance. Tropical race 4 TR4 , a reinvigorated strain of Panama disease, was first discovered in This virulent form of fusarium wilt has wiped out Cavendish in several southeast Asian countries and has recently spread to Australia, India and Mozambique. This is how TR4 travels and will be its most likely route into Latin America. Cavendish is highly susceptible to TR4, and over time Cavendish will almost certainly be eliminated from commercial production by this disease.
This is conferred either by RGA2, a gene isolated from a TR4-resistant diploid banana, or by the nematode-derived Ced9. Black sigatoka is a fungal leaf spot disease first observed in Fiji in or Black Sigatoka also known as black leaf streak has spread to banana plantations throughout the tropics from infected banana leaves that were used as packing material.
It affects all main cultivars of bananas and plantains including the Cavendish cultivars  , impeding photosynthesis by blackening parts of the leaves, eventually killing the entire leaf. The fungus has shown ever-increasing resistance to treatment, with the current expense for treating 1 hectare 2. In addition to the expense, there is the question of how long intensive spraying can be environmentally justified.
Leaves become short and stunted as the disease progresses, becoming 'bunched' at the apex of the plant. Infected plants may produce no fruit or the bunch may not emerge from the pseudostem. There is no cure for BBTD, but it can be effectively controlled by the eradication of diseased plants and the use of virus-free planting material.
No resistant cultivars have been found, but varietal differences in suspectibility have been reported. The commercially important Cavendish subgroup is severely affected. Banana bacterial wilt BBW is a bacterial disease caused by Xanthomonas campestris pv. Given the narrow range of genetic diversity present in bananas and the many threats via biotic pests and diseases and abiotic such as drought stress, conservation of the full spectrum of banana genetic resources is ongoing. Consequently, they are conserved by three main methods: In addition, bananas and their crop wild relatives are conserved in situ in wild natural habitats where they evolved and continue to do so.
Bananas are a staple starch for many tropical populations. Depending upon cultivar and ripeness, the flesh can vary in taste from starchy to sweet, and texture from firm to mushy. Both the skin and inner part can be eaten raw or cooked. The primary component of the aroma of fresh bananas is isoamyl acetate also known as banana oil , which, along with several other compounds such as butyl acetate and isobutyl acetate , is a significant contributor to banana flavor.
During the ripening process, bananas produce the gas ethylene , which acts as a plant hormone and indirectly affects the flavor. Among other things, ethylene stimulates the formation of amylase , an enzyme that breaks down starch into sugar, influencing the taste of bananas.
The greener, less ripe bananas contain higher levels of starch and, consequently, have a "starchier" taste. On the other hand, yellow bananas taste sweeter due to higher sugar concentrations.
Furthermore, ethylene signals the production of pectinase , an enzyme which breaks down the pectin between the cells of the banana, causing the banana to soften as it ripens. Bananas are eaten deep fried, baked in their skin in a split bamboo , or steamed in glutinous rice wrapped in a banana leaf.
Bananas can be made into jam. Banana pancakes are popular amongst backpackers and other travelers in South Asia and Southeast Asia. This has elicited the expression Banana Pancake Trail for those places in Asia that cater to this group of travelers.
Banana chips are a snack produced from sliced dehydrated or fried banana or plantain, which have a dark brown color and an intense banana taste. Dried bananas are also ground to make banana flour.
Extracting juice is difficult, because when a banana is compressed, it simply turns to pulp. Bananas feature prominently in Philippine cuisine , being part of traditional dishes and desserts like maruya , turón , and halo-halo or saba con yelo.
Most of these dishes use the Saba or Cardaba banana cultivar. Bananas are also commonly used in cuisine in the South-Indian state of Kerala , where they are steamed puzhungiyathu , made into curries,  fried into chips, upperi  or fried in batter pazhampori.
A similar dish is known in the United Kingdom and United States as banana fritters. Plantains are used in various stews and curries or cooked, baked or mashed in much the same way as potatoes , such as the pazham pachadi dish prepared in Kerala.
Banana hearts are used as a vegetable  in South Asian and Southeast Asian cuisine , either raw or steamed with dips or cooked in soups, curries and fried foods. As with artichokes, both the fleshy part of the bracts and the heart are edible. Banana leaves are large, flexible, and waterproof.
They are often used as ecologically friendly disposable food containers or as "plates" in South Asia and several Southeast Asian countries. In Indonesian cuisine , banana leaf is employed in cooking methods like pepes and botok ; banana leaf packages containing food ingredients and spices are cooked in steam or in boiled water, or are grilled on charcoal.
When used so for steaming or grilling, the banana leaves protect the food ingredients from burning and add a subtle sweet flavor. In Tamil Nadu India , dried banana leaves are used as to pack food and to make cups to hold liquid food items.
The tender core of the banana plant's trunk is also used in South Asian and Southeast Asian cuisine , and notably in the Burmese dish mohinga. Banana fiber harvested from the pseudostems and leaves of the plant has been used for textiles in Asia since at least the 13th century. Both fruit-bearing and fibrous varieties of the banana plant have been used.
Harvested shoots are first boiled in lye to prepare fibers for yarn -making. These banana shoots produce fibers of varying degrees of softness, yielding yarns and textiles with differing qualities for specific uses. For example, the outermost fibers of the shoots are the coarsest, and are suitable for tablecloths , while the softest innermost fibers are desirable for kimono and kamishimo.
This traditional Japanese cloth-making process requires many steps, all performed by hand. In India, a banana fiber separator machine has been developed, which takes the agricultural waste of local banana harvests and extracts strands of the fiber. Banana fruits are among the most important food crops in the world. They come from a class of plants called Musa, that are native to Southeast Asia, and are grown in many of the warmer areas of the world.
Bananas are a healthy source of fiber , potassium, vitamin B6, vitamin C, and various antioxidants and phytonutrients. There are many different types, and they come in many different sizes. Color usually varies from green to yellow.
The table below contains detailed information on all the nutrients in bananas 1. Bananas are a rich source of carbohydrates , mainly starch in unripe bananas and sugars in ripe bananas. The main component of unripe bananas is starch.
The most common types of sugar found in ripe bananas are sucrose, fructose and glucose. Bananas have a glycemic index of , depending on their ripeness, which is relatively low 3. This is a measure of how quickly the carbs in a food enter the bloodstream.
The low glycemic index of bananas is explained by their high content of resistant starch and fiber, which mitigates the blood sugar rise after a meal. A high proportion of starch in unripe bananas is resistant starch , which, as the name suggests, is resistant to digestion and is therefore a type of fiber.
Resistant starch passes down to the large intestine where it is fermented by bacteria in a process that forms butyrate, a short-chain fatty acid that appears to have beneficial effects on intestinal health 4. Bananas are also a good source of other types of fiber, such as pectin. Some of the pectin in bananas is water-soluble. When bananas ripen, the proportion of water-soluble pectin increases, which is one of the main reasons why bananas turn softer as they age 5.
Bananas are a significant source of several vitamins and minerals, especially potassium, vitamin B6, and vitamin C 1.
Fruits and vegetables contain numerous types of bioactive plant compounds, and bananas are no exception. Of those calories, A banana contains 27 grams of total carbohydrates, with 3. A banana has only 0. A single banana contains Additionally, a medium-sized banana contains 5 milligrams of calcium, 31 milligrams of magnesium, milligrams of potassium and trace amounts of sodium, zinc, iron, copper and selenium.
Bananas offer several health benefits because they are considered potassium-rich foods. Potassium is an important mineral in the regulation of blood pressure, organ health and muscle integrity. Potassium deficiency symptoms can range from cramped and tired muscles to high blood pressure and headaches.
Bananas, raw Nutrition Facts & Calories For best results, be sure to enable the option to PRINT BACKGROUND IMAGES in the following browsers: Firefox (File > Page Setup > Format & Options) - Internet Explorer 6/7 (Tools > Internet Options > Advanced > Printing) - In Internet Explorer 7 you will need to adjust the default "Shrink To Fit" setting. Vitamin and Mineral Content A single banana contains IU of vitamin A, milligrams of vitamin C, milligrams choline and trace amounts of vitamin E, vitamin K, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B-6, folate, pantothenic acid and betaine. A third type of cardiovascular benefit from bananas involves their fiber content. At about 3 grams per medium banana, we rank bananas as a good source of fiber. Approximately one-third of the fiber in bananas is water-soluble fiber. For one medium-sized banana, this amount translates into 1 gram of soluble fiber per banana.