Eat a colorful variety of fruits and vegetables every day!

Wednesday, February 14, 2018


Bananas are the most popular fresh fruit in the United States. They have a peel that comes off easily, they ripen after they've been picked, there is a generous supply all year, and they are inexpensive. 

Bananas have both a high amount of carbohydrates as well as potassium, which also makes them the fruit of choice for many athletes.

Serving size 1/2 cup, sliced (75g)
Amounts Per Serving% Daily Value
Calories 70
Calories from Fat 0
Total Fat 0g0%
Saturated Fat 0g0%
Cholesterol 0mg0%
Sodium 0mg0%
Potassium 400mg11%
Total Carbohydrate 17g6%
  Dietary Fiber 9g8%
  Sugars 21g
Protein 1g
Vitamin A0%
Vitamin C10%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

Avoid bananas with brown spots that seem very soft. Select those bananas with a nice color, specific for the variety. Choose fruit that is firm and free of bruises. Best eating quality has been reached when the solid yellow skin color is speckled with brown. Bananas with green tips or with practically no yellow color have not developed their full flavor. Bananas are overripe when they have a strong odor.

To further ripen bananas leave at room temperature for a couple of days. Once ripe you can store in the refrigerator for 3 to 5 days. The peel may turn brown in the refrigerator, but the fruit will not change.

The very popular yellow banana of Cavendish is the banana we see in grocery stores. However, Plantains, Finger Bananas and Red Bananas are also popular varieties. Most have a soft texture when ripe.

Banana Nut Smoothie

Makes 4 (1 cup) servings.
  • 2 bananas, ripe
  • 2 cups pineapple juice
  • 2 Tbsp creamy peanut butter
  • 2 tsp plain yogurt
  • 1 ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 6 ice cubes
  • nutmeg
Combine all ingredients, except nutmeg, in blender. Cover and run on high until smooth and well-blended. Sprinkle with nutmeg.
Nutritional analysis per serving: Calories 177, Total Fat 5g, Calories from Fat 23%, Cholesterol 0mg, Fiber 2g, Sodium 41mg.

Top 10 banana producing nations
(in million metric tons)
 Costa Rica2.1
World total95.6
Source: 2009 data, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations[3]

* Countries use 2008 FAO data

Bananas are packed with nutrients, especially potassium. An averaged-sized banana contains 440 mg of potassium and only 1 mg of sodium. Potassium is one of the most important electrolytes in the body, helping to regulate heart function as well as fluid balance. It is also a key factor in regulating blood pressure.
The effectiveness of potassium-rich foods, such as bananas, in lowering blood pressure and protecting against heart disease and strokes is well accepted and bolstered by considerable scientific evidence. For example, in one landmark study, researchers tracked more than 40,000 American male health professionals over four years to determine the effects of diet on blood pressure. Men who ate diets higher in potassium-rich foods had a substantially reduced risk of stroke.
Bananas are very soothing to the gastrointestinal tract due to their high content of pectin, a soluble fiber that not only lowers cholesterol, but normalizes bowel function. In addition, plaintain bananas have shown some promise in the treatment of peptic ulcers.

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