Bananas are, quite possibly, one of the more underrated foods we have in our grocery stores. They are healthy, very simple to eat, and not very expensive for the most part.
Yet, for some reason, many people neglect this amazing work of nature.
Well let’s fix this…for you at least, and we’ll begin by explaining what their nutritional value and content is followed by some simple ‘recipes’ that you can make with them.
First, let’s get the numbers and science stuff out of the way.
- About 200 calories per serving.
- 6 of those calories are from fat.
- 1 gram of total fat.
- 2 milligrams of Sodium.
- 51 grams of total carbs.
- 6 grams of fiber.
- 28 grams of sugars.
- 2 grams of protein
- 3% of your daily Vitamin A needs.
- 33% of your daily Vitamin C needs.
- 3% of your daily Iron needs.
- And 1% of your daily Calcium needs.
So right away you can probably tell that bananas are a good source of carbs and sugar too.
If you were thinking of going on a ‘bulking’ period then bananas can certainly help you meet your daily carb macros.
Another thing you will notice is their lack of fat too.
This is quite handy for many bodybuilders as this means that a banana is essentially a straight-up unit of carbs that can be easily measured when trying to fit your macros for bulking or cutting.
Now there are some other things you should know about these handy little fruits that are oftentimes overlooked and also not covered by a simple ‘nutrition sticker’.
- Bananas contain Dopamine.
- They also contain Catechin.
At first those two things may seem insignificant, but allow me to break it down for you and I’m sure you’ll see why the complete opposite is true. That those two components are very much one of the major benefits of bananas.
The first thing you need to understand is that Dopamine is an important neurotransmitter in the brain, and when it comes to neural functions Dopamine is highly related to the known reward-motivation mechanism of our brains as well as being responsible for motor control.
However, the Dopamine found in bananas will not be able to cross the blood-brain barrier. In other words, they won’t have anything to do with what I just mentioned above.
But they can affect your BODY in several other ways.
In your bloodstream and body, Dopamine can…
- Act as a vasodilator.
- Increase sodium excretion in the kidneys.
- Reduce insulin production in your Pancreas.
And these are just a few of the benefits that Dopamine can provide.
So it really behooves you to take advantage of the banana.
But if that wasn’t enough still for you guys, let’s talk about Catechin.
So Catechin is a plant antioxidant, and antioxidants are basically what they sound like. They are a molecule that inhibits the oxidation of other molecules.
And when this happens it prevents the release of Free Radicals which are particles/molecules and/or atoms that can set off negative chain reactions within the body that may cause damage to cells.
You might also like to read: List of the high protein foods 2017
So, in short, a banana can prevent cellular damage because it contains an antioxidant known as Catechin which will stop the release of Free Radicals from happening by neutralizing any oxidizing particles in the body.
So ya, bananas save lives!
OK now all jokes aside let’s take some of this ‘conceptual’ stuff and turn it into ‘practical’ information.
For example, just what kind of ways can you eat a banana other than just peeling and eating it raw?
If you’re anything like me I’m guessing that you’ll likely eventually get tired of eating the same thing over and over and over again! Gets boring after awhile right?
Which is why we’re going to spice things up with some interesting recipes with bananas…surely you didn’t think that there was only one way to eat them right?
Banana Bread Pancakes Recipe
- 3 bananas, mashed
- 2 cups of buttermilk pancake mix
- 2 teaspoons of pumpkin pie spice
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 0.5 cups of oats
- 0.5 cups of chopped pecans
- 2 eggs
- 2 cups of buttermilk
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla
- Maple syrup
Now here’s how to actually make them:
- Combine pancake mix, pumpkin pie spice, and baking powder in a bowl and then stir in the oats as you mix them all together.
- Combine eggs, buttermilk, vanilla, and mashed bananas into a another bowl.
- Add the two bowls of ingredients together.
- Heat a frying pan then simply put the paste onto the pan and wait until ‘cooked’ to your desire.
- Serve, eat, and enjoy!
So I realize that this last recipe here is somewhat of a mess.
While pancakes are not terribly difficult to make from scratch. They can be rather tiresome at times when one simply does not care to prepare a dish, and pancakes can certainly leave a mess afterwards.
So this next one is going to be a little bit easier and lazier to do.
Easy Peanut Butter, Banana, and Chocolate Sandwich Recipe!
- 4 slices of whole wheat bread
- 4 tablespoons of chocolate hazelnut spread
- 6 tablespoons of peanut butter
- 2 bananas, sliced.
The next part is pretty much intuition and common sense really, but here we go anyway just to be safe.
- Toast your bread slices to desired ‘crispiness’.
- Spread peanut butter on said bread.
- Spread the chocolate hazelnut on top of the peanut butter.
- Cut bananas into slices if you haven’t already.
- Top the whole thing with said banana slices.
Now eat and enjoy at your leisure.
See? Wasn’t that simple and easy enough?
Now just remember that the real beauty of the banana is in how ‘flexible’ it can be as a meal.
For example, if you wanted to enjoy a quick and light pre-workout snack then downing a banana raw and the ‘normal’ way couldn’t get easier, but now say that you want a wholesome and high-carb post-workout meal…then simply whip up that nice peanut butter, banana, and chocolate sandwich recipe you got there and it’ll solve the problem!