Bananas are available year round and are nutritionally dense with a lot of health benefits. They contain fiber and water and are good to consume daily to keep you regular, thereby promoting digestive health.
There is a growing recognition that all diseases starts in the digestive system. If we are unable to digest our food properly, this affects our gut health. Once our gut health is compromised, our physical and mental health is affected.
It is so important to have good digestion through proper diet. We are after all, what we are able to digest and absorb not just what we eat. A fiber rich diet will help with good absorption. A diet with a low fructose fruit and high fiber such as a banana is a simple and easy way to begin your journey to eating well for your gut.
As the ancient Ayurvedic system states, all disease starts in the gut. I remember, my grandma insisting that all her grandchildren ate a banana everyday when I was growing up in the south of India. I loved bananas so it wasn't difficult for me to listen to her (unlike most times, when I didn't :)! Whenever my siblings and cousins were hungry and wanted a quick snack we were given tiny bananas, know as Elaichior Yelakki Bananas. In the south of India, they are know as finger bananas, as they are small, sometimes the size of a finger and loaded with sweetness and nutrition.
I'm fortunate to find these tasty bananas at the Indian or Sri Lankan groceries stores here in Canada. Sometimes, I'm able to locate them at Wholefoods. Whenever they are available, I grab a few bunches and enjoy in different forms - from eating them raw, to putting them in smoothies or making dessert with them.
In India, there are over 12 to 15 varieties of this tasty fruit. It is a go-to fruit for every occasion and woven into my birth countries rich cultural fabric. It's offered as gifts to friends and family, and in ceremonies it's offered up to the gods. This simple, humble ,inexpensive, revered fruit from time immemorial, is India's most versatile-fruit, grown in large numbers in the south of India, including in home gardens.
One medium size banana will give you energy, plus you will get fiber (3.1 g),magnesium (31.9mg), phosphorous (26 mg), potassium (422 mg), and even Protein(1.3g) and Vitamin C (10.3 mg), including other vitamins and minerals such asselenium, choline, folate, beta carotene and alpha carotene.
I encourage you to try this simple yet delicious and nutritionally dense smoothie, that will take you under 5 minutes to make and let me know what you think. I guarantee, you will be satisfied and consuming it will make you happy and put a smile on your face.
Always try to load your blender container with liquids first, then add soft fruit, the hard items like ice go right on top.
If you want your smoothie extra creamier and more like a milk shake, use frozen banana. You can even freeze your milk into ice cube trays and use.
If your smoothie does not turn out as yummy as you expected, don’t throw it away, add a few more pieces of ripe banana or experiment with dried fruit such as 1 pitted date and see if you like it.
I like to pour my blended smoothies into an attractive looking glass or mason jar and decorate with a fresh herb leaf or some chopped banana to make it took pretty. Research has shown that if food looks pretty it also tastes better.
A new study by the Crossmodal Research Library at the University of Oxford found that the prettier a dish looks, the better it seems to taste. Researchers served 30 men and 30 women one of three salads containing the exact same 17 ingredients, all prepared the same way. The only difference was in the presentation. Check out this study, if interested
P. S. Below, I'm buying fresh green bananas from a local market in the Komodo National park in Indonesia, for a sustainable food project I was hired to work on in the beginning of 2020, just before COVID surfaced.
If you look closely, you will see many different varieties of bananas being sold behind me on the low tables, including the small varieties, I earlier talked about, that I ate growing up as a child, in the south of India.
I will have lots of recipes to share with you on my website made from bananas - from desserts, to drinks, to curries, to pickles. I literally go bananas when talking about the banana fruit! (This is how much I love bananas).
Below is one of my easiest banana recipes. Give it a try and see for yourself how amazing this sunshine fruit is.
Simple Banana Smoothie Recipe
One of the easiest ways to begin incorporating smoothies into your daily diet is to start with making a simple smoothie.
A banana smoothie made in a Vitamix is one of the simplest and most delicious smoothies, one can have. Blending a banana is very simple to do in any blender. However if you use a Vitamix to make your banana smoothie the texture is simply spectacular. It's smooth and creamy and tastes delicious.
If you want to make this a post workout drink or a quick breakfast add 1 scoop of plant based protein powder when blending.
Give this recipe below a try.
- 1 large Banana
- 1 cup full fat cold milk To make this vegan swap out cows milk for a a plant based milk, such as coconut, cashew, or almond milk
- 1/4 tsp pure vanilla essence
- A pinch of cinnamon powder
- 1 medjool date Use 2 if you like your smoothie extra sweet. Use none if you think the banana is sweet enough.
- 1//4 cup ice
Into a Vitamix container add milk, banana, vanilla essence, cinnamon powder dates and ice (if using ice)
(if you are using protein powder, then add your powder after you've added your milk)
Once you've loaded your ingredients, close the lid well and select variable 1 and turn the machine on slowly increasing the speed to high. Make sure to use the tamper to push the ingredients down when blending.
Pour into a glass, sprinkle with a little cinnamon powder, and enjoy.