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The Secret of...BANANA

Banana (English)
Kela (Hindi)
Vazhaipazham (Tamil)

The Wonderful Fruit:

The banana was originally cultivated by pre-historic peoples in Southeast Asia and the Western Pacific.

Some horticulturists suspect that the banana was the earth's first fruit. One of the first records of bananas says it was discovered by Alexander the great in India in 327 B.C.

Banana plants are featured as decorative item in main functions like wedding, housewarming in South India.

Banana leaves are used for serving food in South India.

How it is Grown?

There is no such thing as a banana tree. Bananas grow on plants which grow from a bulb. Each fleshy bulb will sprout new shoots year after year.

Banana plants are the largest plants on earth without a woody stem. The Banana plant trunk is a false stem formed by tightly wrapped leaf sheaths.

The plant’s gigantic leaves can reach up to 30 feet in length and the stems can weight up to 100 pounds.

In approximately two months, a flowering stalk emerges from the top and a large bud grows downward from the stalk's tip.

Purplish leaves around the bud unfold and banana blossoms are revealed. Each female blossom becomes an individual banana fruit.

Within 8 to 10 months, stems are ready to be harvested. Bananas are available all year-round. They are harvested every day of the year.

Interesting Facts:

There are about 400 varieties of bananas. Bananas have grown on this planet for over 1 million years.

The word banana is derived from the Arabic meaning 'finger'.

The long fibers in bananas are excellent for making paper. It is also used to make clothing in countries such as the Philippines.

Each banana plant bears only one stem of fruit. The plant is normally chopped down at the time of harvest.

Goodness:

Well-being:

One medium banana counts as one serving of your 5 A Day. When compared banana to an apple, it has four times the protein, twice the carbohydrate, three times the phosphorus, five times the vitamin A and iron, and twice the other vitamins and minerals.

Vitamins & Minerals:

Bananas are an excellent source of Vitamin C, A1, B6, B12 as well as the potassium and magnesium.

Happiness:

This is because bananas contain trypotophan, a type of protein that the body converts into serotonin known to make you relax, improve your mood and generally make you feel happier. Bananas are high in B vitamins that help calm the nervous system.

Instant Energy:

If you want a quick fix for flagging energy levels there's no better snack than a banana. Research has proved that just two bananas provide enough energy for a strenuous 90-minute workout.

Anemia:

High in iron, bananas can stimulate the production of hemoglobin in the blood and so helps in cases of anemia.

Blood Pressure:

This unique tropical fruit is extremely high in potassium yet low in salt, making it the perfect food for helping to beat blood pressure.

Fiber source:

High in fiber, including bananas in the diet can help restore normal bowel action, helping to overcome the problem without resorting to laxatives. One banana has 16% of the fiber.

Heart-burn:

Bananas have a natural antacid effect in the body so if you suffer from heart-burn, try eating a banana for soothing relief.

Ulcers:

The banana is used as the dietary food against intestinal disorders because of its soft texture and smoothness. It is the only raw fruit that can be eaten without distress in over-chronic ulcer cases. It also neutralizes over-acidity and reduces irritation by coating the lining of the stomach.

Healing burns:

Bananas contain a marvelous substance, a surfactant that has a particularly beneficial affect when it comes to healing burns. Banana leaf is used in treatment when people get burns.

How can you enjoy?

Bananas are the perfect snack! You can take them anywhere and they’re always ready to eat.

Bananas are great mixed with other foods. Put them on cereal, add them to sandwich or add them to fruit salads.

Unripe or 'green' plantain and bananas are used in cooking. Unripe banana chips are tasty and crunchy snacks.

Banana blooms or flower of the banana plant is used in Indian cooking. Try delicious snacks – Vazhaipoo vada, kola urundai.

The tender core of the banana plant's trunk (vazhai thandu) is also used.

Try our new recipe – vazhaithandu poriyal

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