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Diet Diva
Diet Diva

Get advice on healthy eating, nutrition, and weight loss from expert dietitian Tara Gidus. 

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Superfood of the Week: Health Benefits of Bananas

Bananas.Bananas are America’s most popular fruit and the world’s most consumed food sold at the supermarket, so just by sheer popularity bananas are our superfood of the week!  But never fear, bananas also have lots of nutritional benefit, too.

The nutritional benefits of bananas include:

  • 100-120 calories each.
  • Naturally fat-free, cholesterol-free, and very low in sodium.
  • Good source of nutrients including Vitamins B6 and C, potassium, manganese, and dietary fiber.
  • Contain electrolytes that are essential in the hot summer months for maintaining fluid levels and preventing dehydration.
  • Contain 3 grams of fiber and resistant starch, which promotes satiety (keeps you full).

Most people eat bananas in the morning, and Dole (leading producer of bananas) has created a campaign called Bananas After Dark to get us to eat bananas all day long!  Use them in salads, main dishes, drinks, or desserts.  Here are some of my favorite ways to eat bananas after dark!  All of these recipes (and there are a lot more) are from www.dole.com/bananas.

Salad:  Curried Banana Salad or the Summer Chicken Fruit Salad

Main dishes:  Quesadillas or Island Kabobs

Drink:  Dirty Banana

Dessert:  Grilled Bananas or Grilled Banana S’mores

One of my favorite things to do with bananas is grill them. When they are nice and ripe, stick them on medium heat for 5 minutes, flip, and cook for another 5 minutes. The peel will turn black, but the insides have turned into caramelized goodness.  Slice it down the middle and scoop out with a spoon, topping with chocolate chips or ice cream. Check out these grilling tips for creating the perfect grilled banana.

In my opinion, everyone should eat at least one banana every day, especially athletes (or active people) and anyone with high blood pressure (potassium helps with BP control). 

Fun banana facts:

  • Banana peels are edible, but cook them first.
  • Bananas ripen best off the plant (unlike most fruit).
  • Bananas grow on plants, not trees.
  • Ten or more bananas are called hands and a single banana is called a finger.

What’s your favorite way to eat a banana?

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Tags: Healthy Eating , Nutrition , Superfood of the Week

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About the Author


Tara Gidus is a nationally recognized expert and spokesperson on nutrition and fitness.

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