The banana (Musa Acuminata) is one of the most popular fruits, due its sweet taste and its high nutrient content. Bananas grow on a banana "tree", which is not really a tree but in fact the world's largest herbaceous plant. The banana's grow in a bunch that weighs around 50 kg, above a huge red flower. In organic cultivation, no pesticides and artificial fertilizer are used. The organic grower tries to prevent diseases by taking care of the soil and the natural environment, thus boosting the banana plant's resilience.
In Europe, almost al banana's are of the same variety: Cavendish, which is yellow and sweet. However, hundreds of wild and cultivated banana variety's exist in South-East Asia, in many colours and shapes.
Banana's originate from Southeast Asia. Archaeological evidence in Papua New Guinea suggests that banana cultivation there goes back to at least 5000 BCE. Many wild banana species as well as cultivars still exist in extraordinary diversity in New Guinea, Malaysia, Indonesia, China, and the Philippines. Africa is another early source; there is evidence that banana's were cultivated in Africa around 1000 BCE. They were introduced to the Americas in the 16th century by Portuguese sailors, who brought the fruit from the west coast of Africa. As late as the Victorian Era, bananas were not widely known in Europe, although they were available. Only in the 20th century did they become the omnipresent fruit that they are today.
Bananas are an excellent source of vitamin B6, fibre, and contain moderate amounts of vitamin C, manganese and potassium. Along with other fruits and vegetables, consumption of bananas may be associated with a reduced risk of colorectal cancer and in women, breast cancer and renal cell carcinoma. Ripe banana's are also said to boost dopamine levels and thus elevate your mood!
Serving size: 100 grams
Protein: 1.4 gram
Fat: 0.2 grams
Carbohydrate: 22 grams
Dietary Fiber : 1.2 grams
Banana's continue ripening after you've bought them. They are most nutritious and sweet when the peel is stained by brown spots. If you want to keep the banana's longer, keep them away from other fruit in a place where the air is frequently refreshed. It's common wisdom the banana's should be kept outside of the refrigerator when they are not ripe yet. However, when banana's are already ripe, you may put them in the fridge to keep them for longer. The ripening process will stop. The peel will get a brown tan, but the inside of the banana will stay yellow and fresh!