Bananas are not just for monkeys! Did you know that bananas are high in potassium? Bananas outrank almost all other types of fruit when it comes to potassium. Bananas are officially recognized by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) as being able to lower blood pressure and protect against heart attack and stroke. Potassium helps maintain the body’s water balance. Higher potassium intakes may protect against high blood pressure by increasing the amount of sodium your kidneys excrete. Potassium is critical for normal muscle, nerve and brain function. Bananas are a good source of carbohydrate, therefore eating a banana one hour before you exercise/run will provide glucose into your bloodstream. In return, your muscles use it for energy. For more tips on eating before a run, you can read Eating for Runners.
Daily suggested potassium intake:
- Adults and teenagers need 4,700 mg each day
- children aged 1 to 3 require 3,000 mg
- 4 to 8 years old need 3,800 mg
- 9 to 13 years old should get 4,500 mg of potassium daily
Nutritional breakdown of a banana:
- Vitamin B6 – .5 mg
- Manganese – .3 mg
- Vitamin C – 9 mg
- Potassium – 450 mg
- Dietary Fiber – 3g
- Protein – 1 g
- Magnesium – 34 mg
- Folate – 25.0 mcg
- Riboflavin – .1 mg
- Niacin – .8 mg
- Vitamin A – 81 IU
- Iron – .3 mg
We definitely enjoy eating bananas at our household. A favourite snack using bananas is a Banana Chocolate Chip Bread (see recipe below). If you want a Banana Bread only, just omit the chocolate chips and it’s as delicious without them. You could also substitute the chocolate chips for 1 cup of walnuts. If you like your banana bread more moist add 4 bananas. You can serve it warm or cold and make sure to store it in a tight lid container to keep it moist.
For more recipes using bananas, you can check out:
- 1/2 cup of butter
- 1 cup of organic cane sugar or granulated sugar
- 2 eggs
- 3-4 medium mashed very ripe bananas
- 1 3/4 cup of all purpose flour
- 1 tsp. of baking soda
- 1/2 tsp. of salt
- 1/2 tsp. of baking powder
- 3/4 cup of chocolate chips
- In a small bowl, cream butter and sugar together.
- Beat in eggs one at a time.
- Add mashed bananas and blend with the mixture.
- In a large bowl, stir flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
- Add banana mixture and stir until it's moisten.
- Grease a loaf pan.
- Add batter to the load.
- Bake at 350 °F for 60 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
- Leave the bread in the pan for about 10 minutes, then transfer it to a cake rack to cool.
If you want a Banana Bread only, just omit the chocolate chips and it's as delicious without them. You could also substitute the chocolate chips for 1 cup of walnuts. If you like your banana bread more moist add 4 bananas. You can serve it warm or cold. Store in a tight lid container.
Photo credit for bananas: https://www.flickr.com/photos/billy_wilson/4200928193/