Dessert bananas are the common type of bananas that we usually eat raw, whereas plantains are generally eaten cooked. In addition, there are also fiber bananas and ornamental bananas. All of the 70 species except for one (from Tanzania) come from Southeast Asia, but the largest cultivars are in the Americas as the banana is a hybrid with more than 1,000 crossbreeds and varieties.
The following quotes come from the article “First organic bananas from Tenerife, the 20 banana letters”:
“Bananas are made up of about 75% water (apples and oranges 85%), 21% carbohydrates, 3% fiber, and 1% protein. In addition, they also contain 0.2% polyunsaturated fatty acids, minerals, and vitamins.”
“About 90% of the calories in bananas are carbohydrates that are nicely divided into 4.8 g grape sugar (glucose or dextrose) per 100 g, 3.7 g fructose (fruit sugar), and 12.7 g cane sugar (sucrose). In addition, they contain 1.2 g starch. Glucose is absorbed immediately, fructose somewhat later, and sucrose slowly.”
“As concerns trace elements, bananas contain more copper than any other fruit or vegetable; they contain more iron than most fruits and have a good level of iodine. They are rich in potassium, phosphorous, and magnesium and have the highest manganese content of any fruit. At the intermediate enzyme level, manganese is particularly important for carbohydrate metabolism. The way that vitamin B1 is used in the tissues is also dependent on the presence of manganese.”
“Bananas contain pectin, an important soluble fiber. And they don’t contain any cholesterol, but instead, only essential unsaturated fatty acids. Measured as dry weight (dry matter), bananas are 12% fiber. They are practically salt-free (only 1 mg sodium per 100 g), have the healthiest sodium bicarbonate-potash ratio (1:1,748) of any fruit, and are free of purines. They are a highly alkaline food and don’t contain any phytates (phytic acid).”
Information about bananas related to diet:
“In some regions in southern Asia and Africa, bananas make up 90% of the diet. However, there they mainly eat cooking plantains and not the dessert bananas we are familiar with. Some nomadic tribes also eat a large proportion of dates, but no fruit can compare with bananas when it comes to amount or proportion.” However, this is an unhealthy, unbalanced diet.
“It is well known that people in the West eat too many calories, too much fat, too much protein, and too many denaturated foods. We eat too little fiber and don’t get enough natural, raw foods. But we hear from many different sources how healthy it is to have fruit regularly as a snack between meals and that eating a piece of fruit as an appetizer can prevent us from consuming too many calories as a result of food cravings.”
“Bananas are the perfect solution here. They are relatively inexpensive all year round. And as they are naturally and hygienically packed in convenient serving sizes and very simple to peel, they are the perfect choice for a healthy snack. They make us feel full although they only contain 96 calories per 100 g (about the average size of a banana). They taste good even if you eat a lot of them over a longer period of time and they are easy to digest.”