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Many people know that bananas are a healthy snack and will make an attempt to consume them in many different ways, such as in breads, desserts, a smoothie, or sliced on a bowl of whole-grain cereal. But when you peel back that thick covering, the fruit inside is a better source of many nutrients than many people think.

Bananas contain a considerable amount of nutrients and health benefits, as most fruits do. They are good sources of many vitamins, including A, B12, C, and E and the minerals potassium, phosphorous, folic acid, iron, calcium, copper, zinc, and riboflavin, as well as many essential amino acids. Vitamin C, which is found in bananas, helps the body to defend and heal against infections. This vitamin also is valuable in the synthesis of the connective tissue, absorption of iron, and the formation of blood. Potassium is a mineral that helps in the building of muscles and protein synthesis. This is done as potassium stimulates nerve impulses for muscle contraction. They are filled with carbohydrates, which make up 22% of the banana. This fruit is very low in saturated fat, cholesterol and sodium. A medium-sized banana contains 100-125 calories. The more a banana ripens, the more the sugars are able to develop. These sugars include glucose, lactose, maltose, fructose, and starch. The banana has 76% water content.

There are many advantages to making banana recipes at home, including the cheaper prices, controlled portions, and fewer preservatives and chemicals.

Bananas have practical uses as well besides nutrition, such as relief from many types of cramps, providing the benefit of avoiding nasty pain reliever side effects, as well as a mediator for cramps due to the B6 vitamin, and a solution to depression. According to one study, many depression patients felt much better after eating a banana because the fruit contains tryptophan, a type of protein that the body converts into serotonin, known to make you relax and improve your mood. Bananas also reduce the risk of stroke by almost 40%.

So whether you are slipping on a banana peel or watching someone else fall in a cartoon, bananas have nutritious and practical value for everyone who eats them. Today they are recognized, eaten, and enjoyed worldwide. So next time you are in the middle of a mood swing or you are craving some carbohydrates or maybe a little potassium, reach for a healthy snack like a banana.