Banana, babano, banana and banana are the names given to the fruit of the tropical tree Musa paradisiaca . This plant is classified in the Musaceae family , which are tropical plants characterized by their large oval, elongated and smooth leaves, which can exceed 1 meter in length, their purple flowers and their yellow, elongated and sweet-tasting fruits. .The banana is native to Southeast Asia , where it has been cultivated for more than 10,000 years. It has been cultivated mainly in New Guinea, Indonesia, northern India and part of China, from where it was taken to Africa and, with colonization, to America and the Caribbean. When banana trees have matured, a more resistant pseudostem emerges from between their leaf stalks.

A large dark red or purple inflorescence in the shape of a cocoon emerges from this pseudostem . Under each of the petals of this inflorescence, the banana flowers develop, which are small flowers that grow in rows, each of which, when fruiting, will become, as is, a banana fruit.

What is the banana for?

The word banana , in addition to defining the plant, gives the fruit its name . It is a fruit with a sweet, smooth and aromatic flavor . It has a creamy consistency, which makes it an ideal food for children and adults; it’s easy to eat and keeps well out of the refrigerator.

The banana is mainly used for human and animal food. It is one of the basic fruits of many cultures, especially of the tropical countries where it is grown. It is part of the daily diet of the African, Asian, Caribbean and American populations.

It serves to:

  • Applications for wellness and nutrition
  • Avoid cramps and malnutrition, and lose weight
  • Add to desserts, stews and traditional dishes
  • Add to shampoos, cosmetics and perfumes
  • Treat constipation and digestive problems

Applications for wellness and nutrition

The banana has a wide variety of uses, most of them for food purposes . It is a very nutritious fruit and easy to integrate into sweet and salty foods. There are several types of banana, all of them edible. Almost always, this fruit is consumed raw , as it tends to soften too much when cooked until it falls apart. The exception is the plantain, due to its high starch content.

Banana is rich in potassium, fiber, sugars and vitamins, and has little fat , making it digestive and ideal to include in weight loss diets. It is also high in softening substances, which is why some people use it in masks to soften their skin and hair.

In general, the applications that banana has for well-being and nutrition are:

  • As raw food
  • Make desserts
  • Prepare ice cream
  • Preparing banana fritters
  • Prepare Banana Split
  • Accompany stews
  • Accompany cereals
  • Making milkshakes with milk
  • Making banana cakes
  • Accompany pastries
  • Decorate breads
  • Prepare liqueurs
  • Prepare drinks
  • Develop flavorings
  • Cover scratches
  • Make shampoos
  • Make perfumes
  • Make creams
  • Prepare hair care products
  • Fade spots on the skin
  • Whiten teeth
  • Avoid cramps
  • Lose weight
  • Improve nutrition
  • Soothe digestive discomfort
  • Relieve mild insomnia
  • Prevent constipation
  • Control appetite

The banana stands out for its gastronomic and cosmetic qualities.

Avoid cramps and malnutrition, and lose weight

Banana is one of the foods with the highest potassium content, so it is recommended to relieve cramps in people who suffer from them frequently.

Banana is a low-fat fruit with a high content of starches, protein and fiber, which helps to keep your appetite satisfied for longer . Its consumption is, therefore, highly recommended to help lose weight, as it is a nutritious and tasty food that allows you to substitute other harmful sweet foods.

Besides being rich in potassium, the banana has many other minerals and vitamins necessary for health. Therefore, it is recommended that children consume it during their growth, since elements such as:

  • Magnesium
  • Manganese
  • Iron
  • Match
  • Zinc

They are essential for brain development and neurotransmitter synthesis.

Add to desserts, stews and traditional dishes

Many cultures consider the banana as one of the basic ingredients of their traditional dishes, especially those of the tropical countries where their varieties are grown. Generally, the male plantain or Musa balbisiana is used to prepare salty foods, since its flavor is less sweet than the common plantain and its consistency is more dense.

In the world there are countless sweet and savory dishes with banana flavor; the most common are puddings, ice creams and desserts , which include this raw fruit. Banana slices are often a common fruit garnish in many desserts, and whole fruits are not lacking in fruit arrangements.

An example is the Banana Split , a frozen dessert that includes a banana without peel accompanied by snowballs of different flavors. Add-ons such as chocolate syrup, colored chips or jam are added.

Add to shampoos, cosmetics and perfumes

The banana has emollient properties, as it is rich in vitamins, minerals and starches that benefit the constant regeneration of the skin and hair. Therefore, there are many products that include extract of this fruit. The most common are shampoos, hair treatments, because the banana gives shine and softness to the hair.

The aroma of banana is very attractive to be used in lotions and perfumes, especially those that focus on the children’s market, because its essence is very sweet and intense.

Banana peels have been used for years to remove stains on the skin and teeth and to treat some skin problems . This is due to the high level of antioxidants, such as vitamin A (retinol), found in the peels. In addition, this part of the banana has anti-inflammatory properties in its chemical composition .

For many treatments an infusion of banana peels is applied, moistening a cotton ball and distributing it over the areas to be treated. Some people use the raw banana peel directly to scrub their teeth and skin, as it is also a gentle exfoliator and removes wrinkles.

Treat constipation and digestive problems

The banana has a significant amount of fiber, so its consumption helps improve intestinal transit. This effect is enhanced with adequate hydration.

Some people resort to cooking banana peels to take advantage of it as a laxative; Others prefer to consume them directly due to their fiber content and laxative substances. In both cases, it is convenient to ask the doctor in the first instance, since it is necessary to know if there would be allergies to this fruit.

Banana side effects

The banana could present side effects only if it is consumed in excess or if the consumer is allergic to this food. However, the banana is a fruit well tolerated by the population.

Banana contains small amounts of tryptophan, which is an essential amino acid (which cannot be made by the body) that, among other effects, is calming and sedative. It is a precursor of melatonin, the hormone in charge of the sleep cycle.

For this reason, some people feel sleepy after consuming bananas , especially if they eat several in a single run. Therefore, the consumption of several bananas is not recommended if you need to be awake.

In some patients with migraine, excessive consumption of banana can trigger more frequent episodes.

Pregnant women and minors can eat banana, but it is advisable to consult a nutritionist beforehand, especially if you suspect that you are allergic to this fruit.

This article is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical opinion. Consult a doctor.


Samantha Robson
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Dr. Samantha Robson ( CRN: 0510146-5) is a nutritionist and website content reviewer related to her area of ​​expertise. With a postgraduate degree in Nutrition from The University of Arizona, she is a specialist in Sports Nutrition from Oxford University and is also a member of the International Society of Sports Nutrition.

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