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Ingredient Spotlight: Bananas

Ah, the banana … good for you? bad for you? You’ll hear facts on either side of that coin, but the bottom line is that if you keep your portions controlled (a small banana, no longer than five inches, is about right), bananas are a superfood.

Ingredient Spotlight: Bananas

Bananas are perhaps best known for packing potassium, but they’re also good sources of arthritis-fighting vitamin B6, folate, and vitamin C. They are also loaded with zinc, iron, and calcium. They’re easy for your body to digest, and since they’re a great source of soluble fiber, they are an important player in your weight loss efforts, because you feel full after eating one without consuming a large number of calories.

And ladies listen up: Bananas are good for menstrual difficulties, especially for athletes because they can quickly replace what your body loses during your cycle or when you’re exercising frequently. And, if you suffer from diarrhea during your monthly cycle, they are the ideal treatment when eaten in conjunction with apples, rice, and dry toast – more commonly known as the BRAT treatment.

If you suffer from chocolate cravings, eating a banana dipped in melted chocolate can ease that craving while preventing you from over-indulging. If you have a sweet tooth, frozen bananas make a great alternative to a lot of other sugary treats. If you’re trying to cut carbs, bananas can be a good alternative, too.

For active people, bananas are a better option than most sports drinks because they have nutrients and a healthier blend of natural sugars.

I love putting them in my smoothies because they not only sweeten the drink but add bulk so I feel more full. They also taste great sliced and served over your morning cereal or granola. And one of my favorite lunch treats is a banana, peanut butter, and honey sandwich.

Check out the new banana recipe for Banana Coffee Cake I added in honor of this yummy, healthy, yellow fruit.

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About the author

Carma Spence has been experimenting in the kitchen since she was four years old and loves trying out new recipe ideas. She is the author of Bonkers for Bundt Cakes and Your Perfect Pie, as well as author and contributor to several more non-food-related books. With Carma's Cookery, she is taking her passion for empowering people and blending it with her passion for cooking, gift-giving and entertaining.

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