The Banana: Everything You Need to Know
By Cody Sung
Volume 1 Issue 7
April 22, 2021
Image provided by Time Magazine
The banana. A yellow fruit with a lot more to it. It’s one of the many fruits that seem to be so simple but so healthy. This article will help you understand what’s in a banana, the pros and cons of bananas, and even why banana peels tend to be slippery.
Bananas come in all sorts of varieties, from yellow, green to even red! They also come in a variety of sizes. However, one property remains the same: structure. Bananas are actually berries due to their structure, with an outer part, a fleshy middle, and an inner part containing the seeds. The fact that they are berries can also be attributed to the number of seeds (two or more), as well as their flower with one ovary. A medium-sized banana is 75% water, with 22.8 grams of carbs and 12.2 grams of sugar (important for later). As a banana ripens, lots of the starch it has is converted into sugar therefore leaving sugar as the main carb in the banana.
Carbs in bananas enter your body slowly in contrast to other foods, which is good for one’s blood-sugar levels. Another advantage the banana has is its amount of resistant starch, in other words, starch that does not digest in your stomach. Instead, bacteria in your large intestine ferment the starch to form butyrate, which helps gut health. Bananas have some very good types of fiber in them. Bananas also have potassium, which helps heart health, vitamin B6, and vitamin C.
There are even more beneficial properties in the banana. Bananas provide a lot of energy, enough for an intense hour-and-a-half workout. People with depression also felt much better after eating a banana, due to the presence of tryptophan. Tryptophan aids in producing serotonin, allowing for increased happiness levels. Furthermore, bananas are also a source of B6, a vitamin that regulates blood sugar levels. Not only that, bananas can also help you do better at school and on tests, and even help people quit smoking, and much more.
Of course, no food is perfect. Bananas aren’t, either. Since bananas have a lot of starch and sugar, eating lots of them at a time can cause blood sugar levels to spike. Bananas are also naturally radioactive, but only slightly. You would have to consume a billion bananas at once to die of radiation. Overall, though, bananas are generally beneficial to your overall health.
On the day of April filled with tricks, pranks, and jokes, the banana peel is widely used, primarily for tripping people. Now why does this work? Why are banana peels slippery? It’s quite simple, really. Polysaccharide molecules in the banana peel make the banana peel especially slippery compared to other peels of fruits.
To recap, bananas are extremely good for your health, especially gut and heart health, and the peel can be used to trip someone. Bananas also are slightly radioactive, but not deadly. Bananas are a sugary fruit, but as with other fruits, they prove to be very healthy.
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