The banana plant is widespread in the back yard of many home owners, a fruit that is consumed everyday worldwide. The banana fruits are developed from the banana heart in a large hanging cluster which is made up of tiers (called “hands”). The hanging cluster is known as a bunch, comprising 3–20 tiers. There is a protective outer layer which is the skin with numerous long, thin strings, which run lengthwise between the skin and the edible inner portion.
These historical bananas were not the sweet yellow banana we know today, but the red and green cooking variety, now usually referred to as plantains. Bananas are believed to have originated up to 10,000 years ago and some scientists believe they may have been the world’s first fruit. The first bananas are thought to have grown in the region that includes the Malaya Peninsula, Indonesia, the Philippines and New Guinea.
Most historians believe that the Arabian slave traders are the ones who gave the banana its popular name. The bananas that originated from Southeast Asia were not the size that we are familiar with today. They were small, about as long as an adult finger, hence the name “banan”, Arabic for finger. However, some believe the name may have come from a local language in West Africa.
Bananas are also known as plantains. Spaniards, who saw a similarity to their native plane tree, gave the fruit the name platano. This led to the name plantain – a word used to describe the banana genus as well as the banana variety, Plantain, which is typically used for cooking. The unripe Plantain, commonly steamed or boiled, resembles the taste of a potato. However, when ripe, they can be eaten raw like other banana varieties, and have a starchy but sweet flavour.
High in potassium and low in salt, bananas are officially recognized by the FDA as being able to lower blood pressure, and protect against heart attack and stroke.
Bananas reduce swelling, protect against type II diabetes, aid weight loss, strengthen the nervous system, and help with the production of white blood cells, all due to high levels of vitamin B-6.
Finding foods to fit into your weight-loss diet can be challenging, but bananas make a perfect fit. Bananas are naturally sweet and can help curb your sweet tooth if you get that afternoon sugar craving. A 6-inch banana has a minimal 90 calories, about one-fourth of the calories you would get from a chocolate candy bar.
Last, eat two bananas before a strenuous workout to pack an energy punch and sustain your blood sugar or consume it before an exam and it will boosts your memory.