Bananas originate from the tropics. They are very nutritious and rich in fibre, potassium, carbohydrates, vitamins C, B6 and A. A lot has been written to glorify fruits such as apples and grapes, but somehow bananas have been overlooked. According to botanists there are around one thousand varieties of bananas found worldwide with approximately 50 sub-varieties.

Originally from the Indo-Malaysian tropical areas, bananas are now grown in the sub-tropical regions of the world as well. They are staple food for many people. In Pakistan bananas are harvested extensively in Sindh (Pakistan Provence). The banana is one of the first solid foods mothers are recommended to feed babies at the start of the weaning period. This is because they are one of the easiest natural food substances to digest for a baby. When taken with milk they make a very healthy snack.

For children with growing energy needs, bananas are the perfect snack and they should be encouraged to consume it instead of junk foods. It is highly recommended for athletes because it gives energy boosts lasting up to an hour. Bananas are also very nutritious. They possess eight essential amino acids — the ones that the human body cannot produce itself. Bananas are rich in fiber, potassium, carbohydrates, vitamins C, B6, and A. They also have neither fat nor cholesterol, and have a low amount of protein.

Being rich in potassium with no salt content, bananas help in regulating blood pressure. They are highly recommended for diarrhea patients, too. For pregnant women, bananas help overcome morning sickness by combating stomach acidity and providing a quick supply of the much-needed vitamins and glucose. Bananas can be eaten ripe, baked, mashed or blended with milk.

Moreover, banana peels when rubbed from the inside on to the skin help to soothe away a mosquito bite’s irritation and inflammation. Banana leaves are also used in a lot of recipes, as they add a unique flavor to baked, fried, and smoked food when wrapped around the ingredients. So the next time you have a banana or two, do remember that though it’s relatively less glorified than other fruits, it has tremendous value underneath the peel.

Syeda Mahwish Fatima Naqvi writes Articles, Features, and Columns in Different newspapers and Magazines working as a content writer.

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