Know your Banana!

Nutrients and Calories in a Banana: Bananas are a smart, convenient addition to a healthy lifestyle. With 110 nutrient-dense calories per serving (126 grams, or one medium-sized banana) it is deliciously easy to add Chiquita bananas to your family’s routine.
Did you know?
Bananas can help you eat healthy on a budget!
Nutrients in a banana, per serving*:

Vitamin B6 ? .5 mgManganese ? .3 mgVitamin C ? 9 mgPotassium? 450 mgDietary Fiber ? 3gProtein ? 1 gMagnesium ? 34 mgFolate ? 25.0 mcgRiboflavin ? .1 mgNiacin ? .8 mgVitamin A ? 81 IUIron ? .3 mg

Benefits of Bananas:

Safe and pure enough for baby’s first solid food, according to the American Academy of PediatricsBananas are a terrific, heart-healthy food when included in a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol. While many factors affect heart disease, diets low in saturated fat and cholesterol may reduce the risk of this disease.Naturally fat-, cholesterol- and sodium-freeA good source of potassium, dietary fiber, manganese and vitamins B6 & C

Health benefits of banana fruit
?? Banana fruit is one of the high calorie tropical fruits. 100 g of fruit provides 90 calories. Besides, it contains good amounts of health benefiting anti-oxidants, minerals, and vitamins.
?? Banana pulp is composed of soft, easily digestible flesh with simple sugars like fructose and sucrose that when eaten replenishes energy and revitalizes the body instantly; thus, for these qualities, bananas are being used by athletes to get instant energy and as supplement food in the treatment plan for underweight children.
?? The fruit holds a good amount of soluble dietary fiber (7% of DRA per 100 g) that helps normal bowel movements; thereby reducing constipation problems.
?? It contains health promoting flavonoid poly-phenolic antioxidants such aslutein, zea-xanthin, ? and a-carotenes in small amounts. These compounds help act as protective scavengers against oxygen-derived free radicals and reactive oxygen species (ROS) that play a role in aging and various disease processes.
?? It is also a very good source of vitamin-B6 (pyridoxine), provides about 28% of daily-recommended allowance. Pyridoxine is an important B-complex vitamin that has a beneficial role for the treatment of neuritis, and anemia. Further, it helps decreasehomocystine (one of the causative factors in coronary artery disease (CHD) and stroke episodes) levels within the body.
?? The fruit is an also a moderate source of vitamin-C (about 8.7 mg per 100g). Consumption of foods rich in vitamin-C helps the body develop resistance against infectious agents and scavenge harmful oxygen-free radicals.
?? Fresh bananas provide adequate levels of minerals like copper, magnesium, and manganese. Magnesium is essential for bone strengthening and has a cardiac-protective role as well. ?Manganese is used by the body as a co-factor for the antioxidant enzyme, superoxide dismutase. Copper is required in the production of red blood cells.
?? Fresh banana is a very rich source of potassium. 100 g fruit provides 358 mg potassium. Potassium is an important component of cell and body fluids that helps control heart rate and blood pressure, countering bad effects of sodium.
Selection and storage
Once ripened, bananas are very fragile and start decaying in short time. In the field, mature bananas?generally harvested while they are still in the green (firm and raw) stage as it enables them for easier transportation.
In order to ripen, they are usually subjected to ethylene spray or kept in close proximity with other ripened fruits.
In the stores, choose banana fruits based on when you want to use them; greener ones should last for more days, while yellow and brown-spotted bananas should be eaten in a few days.
Ready to eat bananas should be bright yellow, and emanate rich fruity fragrance. Ripe fruit peels off easily. Ripened, fresh bananas are nutritionally enriched and sweeter in taste than the raw green ones.
Avoid mushy or damaged bananas, as they are un-appealing.

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