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Bananas: The Perfect Source of Energy and Nutrition for Vegans

Bananas are great for quick energy, as well as making delicious vegan desserts. Not many people know, however, that there are several varieties of bananas, all different in texture and taste. Below you will learn more about the different types of bananas, their use, nutritional value, and the best way of consuming them.Bananas

Why Eat Bananas
There are several reasons why you should include bananas in your vegan diet. According to the Nutrition the Truth blog, bananas have just been approved in the United States by the Food and Drug Administration Agency as superfoods that are able to lower blood pressure and reduce the risk of stroke. Containing a specific protein, called tryptophan , they are also able to “calm down” the nervous system, and help the body create and release happiness hormones. They are also rich in Vitamins C, B, and A.

Cavendish BananaCavendish Banana
This is the most commonly harvested variety of bananas, and often found in supermarket shelves. One of the main reasons why this type of fruit is so popular is that it can be picked ripe and it has a long shelf life. However, today, plantations face several threats, such as fungal infections affecting this variety, and the lack of genetic variety, as all plants are reproduced by croms, instead of seeds, and this means that genetically all plants are identical.

Plantain BananaPlantain Banana
This banana is less appealing to the eye, as it looks as if it was over-ripe. It has brown spots all over, however, it tastes just as good as other varieties. They are often used in the vegan kitchen for making fried bananas, while the skin is still green. As this fruit is also often called a vegetable banana, it is less sweet and more creamy than common varieties. They are also longer than Cavendish bananas, and have thicker skin.

Burro BananaBurro Banana
This tangy-tasting banana is perfect for salads and eating fresh. It tastes a little bit as if lemon or lime juice was mixed with regular bananas. They are low in sodium and fat, as well as potassium. The skin is yellow with dark spots when ripe. The texture of these bananas is creamy, so it is great for both sweet creams and desserts. Use them in a Vitamix to create a fruit-based vegan fondue.

Red BananaRed Banana
These bananas are shorter and thicker than average bananas, and come in a bright red skin. They are free from fat and cholesterol, and have plenty of fiber that helps digestion. The texture of the fruit is firm, while these bananas taste slightly sweeter than other varieties. These bananas go soft inside when ripe, therefore, a simple pressure test would tell shoppers when to buy them.

Reasons to Eat Bananas Ripe
According to Dr Katz, ripe bananas have more antioxidants, therefore, they are better for people who are looking to reduce their cholesterol level or heart rate. Further, ripe bananas have the starch broken down into sugar, hence the sweeter taste. This means that eating bananas ripe would increase blood sugar levels more gradually, therefore, they are more suitable for those suffering from diabetes. Further, spotted ripe bananas can be digested easier, and they taste sweeter. It is likely that bananas need to be ripened for 3-7 days after buying them in the supermarket to get the maximum nutritional benefits from them in the vegan kitchen.

About the author

Henning Byø