There are plenty of reasons to love bananas. They’re easy to carry around for a snack, they taste good, and they’re loaded with natural sugars and vitamins. Bananas not only keep you energised, but they can also lift your mood thanks to their incredible serotonin-producing properties.
They’re also useful at every stage of their life cycle, as they help other fruits around them ripen, so bananas really have a lot going for them. An exotic fruit that can be found everywhere from gas station snack bars to organic produce markets, here are just a few reasons why I love bananas.
Bananas ripen other fruits
If you’re ticking off your grocery list with an eye on the future, you would be wise to buy green bananas. If you get them when they’re almost rock-solid, it can take around a week before green bananas are soft enough to enjoy without crunching on them like a carrot. This means you have plenty of time to diminish your current fruit supplies before those bananas are ready to eat, so you won’t need to dash out to the store for quite a while.
Another thing I love about bananas is how they help the fruits around them get ripe and ready to eat. The reason for this is that bananas release a special gas called ethene, which causes the breakdown of cell walls within other fruits, as well as the conversion of starches to sugars and the removal of acids. All of this means other fruits ripen more quickly than if left to their own devices.
So if you have any rock-solid avocadoes or tough mangoes you can’t wait to sink your teeth into, put them next to some green bananas.
Bananas can raise your mood
Naturally occurring sugars such as fructose are a great source of quick-release energy - and bananas are full of fructose. If you’re heading out for the day, a few hours’ walking can leave you feeling pretty tired out. But just a few bites of this sugary fruit can do me a world of good if I’m feeling a bit flat, and that’s not just for low energy levels: bananas can also raise your mood.
Due to the levels of tryptophan in each banana, this type of protein is converted by the human body into serotonin, the chemical within your brain that affects your mood. Serotonin has been linked to a wealth of health benefits, such as an improved general state of relaxation, more consistent levels of happiness, and reduced stress.
Bananas are loaded with vitamins
Packed with all sorts of useful natural products, and low on sodium - a contributing factor to heartburn - bananas the easy-to-peel snack your body will thank you for. One of the many health benefits inside each banana is vitamin B6, which plays an important role in maintaining the body’s blood sugar levels and making sure you don’t exhaust yourself. Bananas are also heaped with carbohydrates, a form of gradual energy that can keep you going after that initial burst of quick-release fructose.
Now if reading this is making you hungry, you can do yourself a favor and order some of our organic bananas right now.
High potassium levels
Another thing I love about bananas is their high potassium content. What this means is that they can restore the body’s electrolytes lost during high-intensity exercise, as well as reducing the risk of muscular cramps that can play havoc in the middle of any sports competition. This is why you’ll often see so many tennis players munching on bananas between sets at the U.S. Open.
Another thing you should know about potassium is that it helps reduce the likelihood of strokes and heart attacks. This is an amazing health benefit, from a fruit that can be found in kitchens and grocery stores all over the world - it really is an everyday superfood.
Brown bananas can be used for cooking
If you find your bananas are going a little bit brown and perhaps past their prime, don’t throw them on the compost heap just yet. Brown bananas can be frozen and used as the basis of some excellent smoothies, as the chill factor of that icy fruit will keep them cool and refreshing. You can also use the brown bananas for banana bread, which is actually even easier to make with soft bananas as they’re already just about mashed for you to mix into the cake mixture.
We even have a nice recipe for banana bread right here to get you started.
Babies love bananas
My mom told me that my favorite thing as a toddler was a bowl full of mashed bananas, which she would pulverize into a delicious stodgy gloop with the back of a fork. Not just a quick snack that’s easy to prepare, bananas are also ideal for babies thanks to a soft texture that’s well-suited to young ones with developing gums.
As their milk teeth come through, it’s important that babies begin to familiarise themselves with different textures and consistencies. Mashed bananas are perfect for 0-2 year olds with delicate gums, although parents can soon start to give their children small chunks of bananas so they can learn how to masticate their food without damaging their tiny teeth.
On top of all that, bananas are loaded with fiber, zinc, magnesium, and calcium, which are all necessary elements to assist with maintaining a healthy body weight throughout an infant’s development.
I love bananas for all kinds of reasons - they keep me going when I’m running low on energy, I know I can buy them almost anywhere. And they’re totally biodegradable! You can put green bananas next to other ripening fruits, enjoy them as a snack when they're yellow, make them into a healthy cake when they're brown, and feed the peels to the earthworms when you're finished enjoying them yourself.