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Let's Go Bananas

September 23, 2013

Bananas growing on trees in Central Florida

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Looking for a boost in your diet? Believe it or not, bananas may have just about everything you need. Find out why bananas are the perfect snack and what else they can be used for in The Old Farmer’s Almanac for Kids (now available by clicking here!).

Let’s Go Bananas

• Bananas are the healthy fruit that makes you happy. They have almost no fat and no cholesterol or sodium. Compared to an apple, the banana has twice the carbohydrates, twice the phosphorus, and four times the protein. Plus, they contain a healthy heaping of vitamin A and double the other vitamins and minerals.
• The banana’s natural sugars, combined with its fiber, will give you a quick boost of energy.
• Research has shown that the potassium in bananas will make you alert.
• Eating a banana will reduce stress. It will normalize your heartbeat, send oxygen to your brain, and regulate your body’s water balance.
• Bananas contain tryptophan, a protein that improves your mood and makes you feel happy.
• There are more than 500 different varieties of bananas. They come in many colors, including blue, green, orange, pink, red, and yellow. The super sweet red bananas (also called Jamaican bananas) have reddish-purple skin and are grown in South and Central America and on Caribbean islands.

The Skinny on Banana Skins

• Rub scrapes and bruises with the inside of a banana skin. It will promote quick healing.
• Polish your leather shoes with a banana skin. Rub the shoes with the inside of the skin. Then buff with a lint-free cloth.
• Reduce swelling and itching from a bug bite by rubbing the affected area with the inside of a banana skin.
• Place a small piece of banana skin, yellow side out, on a wart. Put a big adhesive bandage over the banana skin to hold it in place. Keep the banana skin on the wart for 1 week to remove the wart.

Does This A-Peel To You?

• If you peel a banana from the bottom (not the stem end), you won’t have to pick the little “stringy things” off of it.
• Most monkeys peel bananas by pinching the bottom end of the banana. Try it! The pressure of pinching creates a rip in the peel, and makes it easy to remove.

Not Just For Breakfast

• String and twine can be made from banana plant fiber, which also can be woven into baskets, place mats, hats, and bags.
• The banana plant helps to lower air pollution by absorbing large amounts of carbon dioxide.
• Banana leaves are often wrapped around food to be cooked and baked. The leaves can also be used as umbrellas or to polish wooden floors.
• The stem of the banana “tree”(really a “pseudostem” made up of the large, overlapping leaf sheaths that form the “trunk”) can be used to make rafts and benches. In Sri Lanka, it is made into soles for shoes and used in floor coverings.

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