Banana is an edible fruit and is herbaceous flowering plant belonging to the genus Musa and the family Musaceae. Banana is also eaten as cooked vegetable (and is then called plantains). It is grown worldwide and constitutes the fifth most important agricultural food crop in terms of world trade.
Fruits are essential components of a healthy diet due to their content of vitamins and minerals, fiber, and beneficial non-nutrient substances as bioactive compounds.
The World Health Organization (WHO) recommend ingestion of at least 400 g (about five portions) of fruits and vegetables per day.
Low fruit consumption is one of the main risk factors for increased mortality also increases the risk of chronic diseases and poor health quality. Therefore, the regular consumption of fruits can reduce the incidence of some diseases such as diabetes, cardiovascular and gastrointestinal diseases, and some types of cancer.
– To promote healthy eating lifestyle, the USDA recommends filling up half or 40% the plate with fruits and vegetables.
Vitamin and mineral content
Vitamins : C, E, B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B9, Choline
Minerals : Iron, Magnesium, Manganese, Phosphorus, Potassium, Sodium, Zinc
Polyphenols: CATECHIN, EPICATECHIN, EPIGALLOCATECHIN, GALLIC ACID, PRODELPHINIDIN DIMER, QUERCETIN, NARINGENIN, CHOLOROGENIC ACID
• Banana contains several bioactive compounds , such as phenolics, carotenoids, biogenic amines and phytosterols, which are highly desirable in the diet as they exert many positive effects on human health and well-being.
• Banana is starchy fruit that contains rapidly digestible starch. Rapidly digestible starch is digested and broken down to glucose within 20 minutes. Thus, it provides quick energy to the body. This makes banana an amazingly instant energy providing fruit.
•As the fruit matures or ripens, the carbohydrate content increases. Furthermore, on ripening the starch content decreases and the amount of soluble sugar increases , that is, starch gets converted to soluble sugars such as glucose, fructose and sucrose. Other sugars such as maltose and rhamnose are also present in very small quantities.
• Among the carotenoids present in banana fruit, α-carotene, β-carotene, and β-cryptoxanthin have provitamin A activity , but others like lycopene and lutein have a strong antioxidant capacity.
• They identified various anthocyanins such as cyanidin-3-rutinoside (main one as 80 per cent of total pigments, being 32.3 mg/100 g) and 3-rutinoside derivatives of delphinidin, pelargonidin, peonidin, and malvidin.
Properties and benefits
> For whole plant
• Taste – Madhura (Sweet), Kashaya (Astringent)
• Qualities – Guru (Heavy for digestion), Snigdha (Slimy in nature)
• Taste conversation after digestion – Madhura
• Veerya (Potency) – Sheeta (Cold)
• Effects on Tridosha – Reduces vitiated vata and pitta dosha but Increases kapha
> Banana stem :
• Guru – heavy to digest, • Sheeta – coolant, • Rooksha- Dry, • Grahi- hardens the stools, •Balances Kapha Pitta Dosha Indicated in –
• Yonidosha – gynecological disorders, • Keshya – Improves hair strength, promotes hair growth
• Asra – blood disorders such as abscess, skin disorders, bleeding disorders such as menorrhagia, nasal bleeding etc.
• Karnashoola – Earache, • Rajodosha – gynecological disorders
• Amlapitta – acidity, gastritis, acid peptic disorder, Prameha
> Banana inflorescence / Banana flower benefits:
• Tikta – bitter
• kashaya – astringent
• Grahi – absorbent, useful in diarrhea, IBS
Application, uses and benefits
1) Do not have heavy food when having bloating. Fiber rich fruits like Banana helps in such conditions.
2) Banana flower is very helpful in reducing kapha dosha and it’s related disorders , because of its aphrodisiac property.
3) Banana leaves juice : 20-30 ml is mixed with a pinch of each of ginger, black pepper and rock salt.
Mixed well. Jaggery is according to need. This is for the treatment of cold, cough, asthma, weak digestion and vomiting sensation.