Carbohydrate in bananas

Bananas are known

to be the most carby

fruit, but apples and

pears are not far

behind so it's no great

crime. In addition, bananas are 'complex

carbohydrates', which means that they

have a low GI of 55 (they release what

sugars they do contain slowly, thereby

avoiding blood sugar spikes. In fact, a

diabetic on insulin needs to be aware that

their insulin dose might absorb and get

to work before the carbs in the banana

are digested. Anyone on a pump might

consider a bolus type that covers a long

period of time to match the slow release

of the carbs contained in the banana.

There's a considerable array of

vitamins and nutrients contained within.

They are packed full of some goodies -

one banana contains 10% of your daily

potassium needs, 10% of your dietary

fibre and 14% of the RDA of Vitamin C as

well as a whopping 20% of your Vitamin

B6 needs. Plus the carbs alone in one

banana represent 7% of an adult's daily

requirement.

Under wraps

You are unlikely to lose weight on a

banana diet, but fibre boosts satiety and

helps with digestive health. Bananas are

a heart-healthy food when included in a

diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol.

Potassium helps to reduce blood

pressure and alleviates water retention

and bloating. continued over

Other than their distinctive colour, one of the

other notable aspects of bananas is that they

come ready-packed in an easy-peel wrapper

and has endured no human intervention on

their lushious insides.

Vitamin B6 helps the body produce

haemoglobin, a component of blood,

and helps with your body's immune

system and antibody production. It is also

involved in the mechanisms that converts

carbohydrates to glucose and therefore is

a factor in blood glucose control. Bananas

are also a good source of manganese,

which is an antioxidant that is involved in

regulating blood sugar levels.

Bananarama!

Edible bananas evolved from a plant

in the Indo-Malaysian region and have

been mentioned in literature as far back

as the 6th century BC. Most bananas

are now grown in tropical regions, like

South America, Central America and the

Caribbean so they do undertake quite a

journey to get into your hands.

Other than just peeling and eating

them, you can slip them into smoothies,

slice up and scatter on your morning

muesli, or bake and serve with cream,

pan-fry and pop on a pancake, bake

banana bread or mush into a muffin for

extra oomph, wrap in bacon and slap

them on the barbie.

Naughty but nice

If you want to make a healthy thing (a

banana) less healthy, then you can bake

in the oven. Just slit open the banana skin

to save it from bursting open and put in a

baking tray for 15-20mins at 180 degrees

C (350F), then serve with sugar (brown

this off under the grill) and add cream.

LIVING

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