Bananas are the one fruit that is probably in your kitchen at this very moment. Being universally beloved and extremely versatile, they are a great option to add to your diet. The Harvard University School of Public Health reported that increasing our fruit intake is important because it helps us live longer by reducing risks of heart disease, digestive problems, and strokes.
Recent years have shown an increased popularity of fruits like dragon fruit, acai, and jackfruit, but the banana will always be a staple in our households. So, for National Banana Day on April 19, let’s celebrate how this fruit is a consistent rockstar in our lives.
The U.S. is not known for being huge in the banana growing industry, with the only suitable climates being Hawaii and Florida. However, research has shown that the average American consumes roughly 27 pounds of the staple each year, making it one of the most consumed fruits in the country.
When looking at the health benefits of bananas, this statistic explains why this fruit is the go-to option for many households. Regarding fiber content, the U.S. Department of Agriculture reports that they provide 10% of the fiber needed to support a 2,000-calorie-a-day diet. Not only does fiber regulate our digestive systems, but increased fiber has also been linked to a lower risk of heart disease, diabetes, strokes, high blood pressure and cholesterol, and cancer.
It’s also a known fact that bananas are an excellent source of potassium, which helps regulate organs and sodium levels and promote healthy blood pressure. The Vitamin B6 in the fruit regulates our appetites, sleep systems, and metabolism. Vitamin C boosts our immunity, allows us to absorb more oxygen, and repairs our body tissue.
And as if bananas couldn’t get better, one fun fact is that the peels are extremely versatile. One content creator on Instagram, @plantyou, shows that you can make vegan bacon using the peels in her series Scrappy Cooking. They can also be blended into smoothies or banana bread batter or utilized to tenderize meat.
Not feeling the edible route? Consider using your peels to shine shoes or even as a face mask, as it soothes skin irritations and nourishes your skin.
Need more inspiration on how to celebrate National Banana Day? Here are some tips on how to incorporate more of the tropical fruit into your diet:
Make some nice cream!
Frozen bananas are the perfect way you can elevate your smoothies. They make the whole batch creamier and thicker, giving your smoothie more of an ice cream consistency that is always delicious.
Go the classic route and make some banana pancakes or bread.
These recipes are a classic for a reason: they are super customizable, and everyone loves them.
Add banana chips to top your yogurt and smoothies, or just snack on the go
Don’t like them mushy? Banana chips are such a fun way to change their texture by giving you the perfect crunch.
Have fun with sliced bananas
You can cut and place it on top of your oatmeal or yogurt. You can also try my personal favorite: slice into coins, add a bit of peanut butter on top, drizzle with chocolate, and freeze to have the perfect snack.