A favorite tropical fruit of Americans, bananas are available year round, but can bring a touch of summer to your table during colder months. Native to the Caribbean and Central America, bananas are a good source of vitamins B6 and C, offer a fair share of magnesium, and are rich in potassium – one banana contains 450 mg of potassium, one-fifth of the adult daily requirement. In addition, bananas help to:
- Strengthen the stomach lining – bananas are good for soothing indigestion
- Normalize blood pressure, and protect against atherosclerosis and heart disease
- Promote healthy bones
The perfect go-anywhere food, bananas have only about 100 calories each, and serve as a healthful snack or pick-me-up anytime during the day. Bananas naturally lend their sweetness to cereals, smoothies, breads, muffins, and desserts, and also work well in relishes and salads.
Diabetics should take note that bananas have an intermediate score of 55 on the Glycemic Index (GI); I recommend diabetics choose fruits that rank low on the glycemic index, so if you do have diabetes, eat low-index fruits such as cherries, grapefruit, apricots and apples more frequently than you eat bananas.
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