Bananas represent on of the most widely traded agricultural goods in the world with annual export valued at five billion dollars. There are two main varieties of bananas, the fruit or sweet banana and the plantain.....

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Banana and Nutrition

Banana and Nutrition
Through out the western non-Mediterranean world, there has been since the 1970s a steadily rising awareness of the importance of diet to health. There is now little doubt that choice of diet contributes to the risk of developing diseases such as heart disease, strokes, some cancers, diabetes, bowel disease, gallstones, dental caries and osteoporosis – though to what degree is not yet known.

Northern Europe and United States, have sought with varying degrees of success to reduce saturated fat consumption, i.e. sugar not contained within the cell wall of a plant or animal food. By comparison, bananas contain their sugar content – fructose, sucrose and glucose – intrinsically, as well as containing substantial amounts of fiber (non-starch polysaccharides) which is helpful for digestion. Unripe banana contain ‘resistant’ starch, which is indigestible in the human small intestine. The nutritional qualities of the banana actually change with ripening, the sugar percentage rising form 2% to around 23% and the starch percentage falling from 23% to 1%.

Banana is high in vitamin B6, which helps fight infection and is essential for the synthesis of heme, the iron containing part of hemoglobin. The banana is a good source of vitamin C, needed to help fight infections. The combination of a good amount of potassium and low sodium may help protect against high blood pressure. As an easily digestible source of fiber, the banana is valuable in preventing both diarrhea and constipation. It has a creamy texture often associated with fatty foods, yet is virtually fat free.
Banana and Nutrition

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