More than 100 countries grow various types of bananas, making them one of the most popular fruits on the planet. In most parts of the world, bananas are available year-round. They are perfectly portion-controlled and offer numerous health benefits.
Bananas are a great source of fiber, vitamins C and B6 and lots of minerals such as manganese, copper, magnesium and folate. They have been noted to help with asthma, cancer prevention, healthy heart and diabetes, In addition, the potassium in bananas can help you recover more quickly from a bout of diarrhea.
Ripe bananas taste sweet, but their glycemic index (GI) is low, which is great for people with diabetes or pre-diabetes. The glycemic index is a measure of how food impacts the blood sugar.
Bananas are stored at room temperature and will continue to ripen after picking. Bananas ripen faster in warmer months. You can slow the process down by putting bananas in the fridge. The skin will go brown but the banana will be fine. Don’t put green bananas in the refrigerator though. If you do, they will likely never ripen, even if you bring them back to room temperature.
If you want to ripen bananas faster in colder weather, leave them in a brown bag or wrap in newspaper. Adding an apple can help quicken the ripening.
It’s best and most tasty to eat bananas fully ripened and at room temperature.
If a banana gets too ripe to enjoy, you can mash it and bake banana bread or muffins. Alternately, peel and freeze the banana for use later in baking or in a smoothie. Ripe bananas can be sliced into hot or cold cereal. And because they come already wrapped, they can be transported without needing refrigeration. Just be careful not to knock them around too much so they don’t bruise in transit.
If you take a beta-blocker for heart disease, it’s important to consume bananas in moderation because they are considered a high potassium food. Similarly, those with limited kidney function need to be careful about their potassium intake and should discuss their banana consumption with their doctor.