Banana’s are a contentious little fruit…I have friends who genuinely cannot even look at them with the the smell alone sending them running for miles, and others who gobble up a bruised mushy banana without a second thought….
Love them or hate them they are one of our most popular fruits…(they rank 2nd after apples since you ask…recently knocking Grapes off their long held second spot), and the UK spends roughly £550 million a year on banana’s, so there is good reason they are giving apples a run for their money.
Why is this slender yellow fruit so popular? Well they come in their very own biodegradable wrapping paper (I’m talking about the skin…obviously) AND they are jam packed with goodness, they were actually the first food to gain the label “Superfood” in 1917….and that is probably the reason millions of banana’s are shoved into the hands of schoolchildren on the day of their exams by loving and discerning Mum’s.
There is a lot more to a banana than meets the eye….keep scrolling to discover ?
MIND – Unleash Your Inner Chef
Anyone else been in the kitchen more than usual in the last 6 months?
Well, with Coronavirus closing restaurants you wouldn’t be alone if you have found yourself channelling Jamie Oliver (or in my case Gordon Ramsay and Yotam Ottilenghi) over the course of lockdown…more than a fifth of the UK are cooking every meal from scratch and 54% of people have said that they are cooking more than they were before Coronavirus. Obviously fresh ingredients keep us away from those dreaded E numbers but more excitingly new research is showing that getting in the kitchen is good for our MIND’s!
Recent research found that cooking has positive psychosocial outcomes (Phsycosocial = the effect of social activity on an individuals thoughts and behaviour…dont worry, I had to look that up too ?) and cooking is already used by many clinics and therapists as therapy to alleviate depression and anxiety. Much like any hobby, giving yourself 20 minutes to an hour of activity and creativity that isn’t on your laptop does wonders for your mind (n.b. positive mental and physical effects of cooking do not apply to: pot noodles, microwaved macaroni, rustlers burgers etc. etc. etc.).
Banana’s (and their many variations) feature in a wide range of both sweet and savoury recipe’s. From plantain chips to smoothies to the lockdown favourite; banana bread so if you have a couple of banana’s knocking about at home pick up a recipe book and get creative. ALSO keep an eye out for our next Mind, Body & Soil box (The September Sweetener) which has a plethora of baking goodies and an extra special recipe which includes the star of the show….
BODY – The OG Superfruit
Banana’s are correctly touted as the lucozade of the fruit world for the slow release energy they provide. But there is more, and the list below has a couple of surprises in it…
- Vitamin B6: One banana = a quarter of your daily vitamin B6 needs, helping you: Produce red blood cells, metabolise carbohydrates & fats, remove unhealthy chemicals from your liver and kidneys and keep your nervous system healthy.
- Vitamin C: Normally associated with citrus fruits, banana’s actually contain around 10% of your daily vitamin C requirements. Vitamin C helps you: absorb iron, produce collagen (goodbye wrinkles!), protect your body against tissue damage, produces serotonin (one of our happy chemicals…check out our serotonin blog to find out how plants help you produce serotonin too!).
- Manganese: One banana = 13% of your daily manganese needs. Manganese helps with collagen production (again, goodbye wrinkles) and protects against cell damage.
- Potassium: One banana = 16% of your daily potassium needs. Potassium helps keep your hear healthy and maintain normal blood pressure.
- Fibre: One banana = 12% of your daily fibre requirements. These help you with your digestion and can help you keep hunger at bay as they take time to be digested.
- Energy: Banana’s contain sucrose, fructose and glucose….so they energy they give you is fat-free!
So there you go…one banana comes with all of the above in a neat natural wrap ready to give you a big chunk of your daily vitamin and energy requirements.
SOIL – The Perfect Plant Pet
First introduced to the America’s by Portuguese sailors in the 16th century (what a treat that must have been) these plants have a vast amount of variation and have even made their way into the houseplant world.
Banana’s actually make an ideal houseplant….never seen one? Well the houseplant varieties rarely bear fruit (or if they do they are very small) but their tropical requirements mean they will be at home in a living room and they have fabulously large leaves with beautiful ridges….we really cant recommend them enough. PLUS they are very easy to look after:
? Bright, indirect light.
?Water regularly (when the topsoil is dry down to 4/5cm).
?Feed with a balanced fertiliser every few weeks during the growing season.
☁️ Enjoys a regular misting as they are used to humid climates.
Many of these household banana varieties are dwarf, which means that they will not take over your living room and nestle quietly into a bright(ish) corner. In fact our next Mind, Body & Soil box has one of these bad boys as the centrepiece and we have picked an absolute corker (sneak peek at our Banana plant stash below ?).
Caring for your houseplants and admiring their beauty has proven wellness effects and we think that this plant is so stunning that its definitely going to give your brain that happy feeling.
The aim with our next box is to encapsulate all of the above into a neat little parcel so you can benefit from this handy little plant and enjoy a new plant addition to your home…the boxes have been going down a treat (review below) and as you have put up with a rambling article about banana’s I wanted to reward you with a cheeky 25% off our September Sweetner box, just type in SWEET at checkout ?? (PRESS HERE TO HEAD ON OVER)