Superfood Sunday: Bananas for Bananas (and a Banana & Walnut Muffin recipe)

 

Bunch of bananas

 

Anyone who knows me knows about my obsession with bananas. I just love them. I could eat them all day long, every day. If I was stuck on an island and could wish for any food – it would be bananas.

No-one quite understands why I love them so much, but after I read this article on Food Matters about the top 25 reasons to eat bananas – I knew I was on to something 🙂

  1. ENERGY! Eat two bananas before a strenuous workout to pack an energy punch and sustain your blood sugar.
  2. Fight cramps. Protect against muscle cramps during workouts and night time leg cramps by eating a banana.
  3. Calcium. Counteract calcium loss and build strong bones by supplementing with a banana.
  4. Potassium. High in potassium and low in salt, bananas are officially recognized as being able to lower blood pressure, and protect against heart attack and stroke.
  5. Mood elevator. Improve your mood and reduce PMS symptoms by eating a banana, which regulates blood sugar and produces stress-relieving relaxation.
  6. Vitamin B6. Bananas reduce swelling, protect against type II diabetes, aid weight loss, strengthen the nervous system, and help with the production of white blood cells, all due to high levels of vitamin B-6.
  7. Iron. Strengthen your blood and relieve anemia with the added iron from bananas.
  8. Help fight depression. Bananas help overcome depression due high levels of tryptophan, which is converted into serotonin the happy-mood brain neurotransmitter.
  9. Aids digestion. Rich in pectin, bananas aid digestion and gently chelate toxins and heavy metals from the body.
  10. Prebiotic. Bananas act as a prebiotic, stimulating the growth of friendly bacteria in the bowel. They also produce digestive enzymes to assist in absorbing nutrients.
  11. Fibre. A single banana has roughly 3g of fibre. The fibre in bananas can help normalize bowel motion.
  12. Perfect for UC and Crohn’s. Bananas are soothing to the digestive tract and help restore lost electrolytes after diarrhoea.
  13. Antacid. Bananas are a natural antacid, providing relief from acid reflux, heartburn and GERD.
  14. Anti-inflammatory: Bananas are the only raw fruit that can be consumed without distress to relieve stomach ulcers by coating the lining of the stomach against corrosive acids.
  15. Natural cure. Eating bananas helps prevent kidney cancer, protects the eyes against macular degeneration and builds strong bones by increasing calcium absorption.
  16. Brain activity. Bananas make you smarter and help with learning by making you more alert. Eat a banana before an exam to benefit from the high levels of potassium.
  17. Antioxidants. Bananas are high in antioxidants, providing free radicals and protection from chronic disease.
  18. Stabilise blood sugar. Eating a banana between meals helps stabilize blood sugar and reduce nausea from morning sickness.
  19. Treats stings. Rub a bug bite or hives with the inside of the banana peel to relieve itching and irritation.
  20. Great snack. Control blood sugar and avoid binging between meals by eating a banana.
  21. Perfect for warm climates. Eating a banana can lower the body temperature and cool you during a fever or on a hot day.
  22. Mood elevator. The natural mood-enhancer tryptophan, helps to relieve Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).
  23. Help fight withdrawals. Quitting smoking? Bananas contain high levels of B-vitamins as well as potassium and magnesium speed recovery from the effects of withdrawal.
  24. Remove warts. Remove a wart by placing the inside of a piece of banana peel against the wart and taping it in place.
  25. Polish your shoes! Rub the inside of a banana peel on your leather shoes or handbag and polish with a dry cloth for a quick shine.

Source: http://foodmatters.tv/articles-1/25-powerful-reasons-to-eat-bananas

So there you have it – 25 reasons why bananas are this week’s superfood!

 

To top it off, here is a delicious gluten-free, dairy-free and refined-sugar-free muffin recipe which I adore – not just because it gives me another excuse to eat bananas 🙂

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Banana & Walnut Muffins

Makes 12 muffins

These are the perfect snack to have between meals.

Dry ingredients

  • 2 cups almond meal
  • 1/2 cup LSA (ground linseed, sunflower seeds and almonds)
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1 tsp baking powder (plus 1 Tbsp lemon juice to activate the baking powder)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • Pinch salt

Wet ingredients

  • 3 smashed ripe bananas
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup melted coconut oil
  • 1 Tbsp honey
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 180 C.

Combine smashed banana, eggs, coconut oil, honey, vanilla.

Mix in a separate bowl, almond meal, LSA, walnuts, baking powder, cinnamon and salt.

Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients.

Scoop batter into pre-lined muffin tins.

Bake for 30 minutes (or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean).

Cool in tin or on a wire rack.

Serve warm with a pot of herbal tea 🙂

Keeps in the fridge for up to 1 week (or frozen if you prefer).

 

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Tip:

You can also make these into a banana bread loaf by spreading the batter into a loaf tin, reducing the temperature to 160 C and baking for about 45 minutes. Delicious either way!