Benefits of Banana (Kela)

Juice Therapy

Benefits of Banana (Kela)

Botanical Name: Musa paradisiacal Linn

Family Name      : Musaceae

Hindi Name         :Kela

Sanskrit Name    : Kadali

English Name      : Banana, Plantain

Description

Musa, the biggest and geographically the most widespread, includes the majority of edible bananas, mostly of hybrid origin. Edible bananas of hybrid origin valued for their seedless fruits are included under this specific name. They comprise all the diploid, triploid or tetraploid clones, mainly hybrids of M. acuminata and M. balbisiana.

Distribution

A genus of perennial tree-like herbs, Musa "is widely distributed in moist tropics, from Africa in the west to the Polynesian Island in the east. About 14 species have been recorded in India; 3 or 4 exotic species are cultivated for ornament. Most of the cultivated or commercially important bananas particularly those occurring in India belong to Musa genus.

Parts Used

Fruit, flowers, stem, root & leaves.

Properties

Aromatic, cooling, anti-ulcer, diuretic, stimulant, antidysentric, hypoglycemic, anthelmintic.

Form of Use

Fruit pulp, juice of full ripe banana, unripe banana, banana powder and boiled unripe banana as vegetable.

Food Value

Banana is one of the most important fruit and vegetable crops of India. Not only it is cultivated on a large scale as a field crop but it is also widely grown as a backyard crop in the households. In certain parts of Kerala, in many Pacific Islands and in tropical Africa, banana forms a staple food of the people. Fresh fruit is eaten as dessert, while unripe fruit and cooking-type varieties are eaten as vegetable. Fruit pulp is dried and processed into flour or preserved in many forms for subsequent use. Fruits are used in various Indian confections like rasayanam and panchamrutam, sugar coated chips, toffee, coffee substitutes, jams and jellies. It is also canned.

The ripe fruit is a rich source of carbohydrates and a fair source of minerals & vitamins, particularly B-complex.

The main principal sugars present in ripe banana are sucrose, glucose, fructose, and maltose. Amino acids present in ripe banana are: arginine, histidine, isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methronine, phenylalamine, threonine, tryptophan and valine.

As far as vitamins are concerned, their values in ripe banana are as follows: (as Vit. A), 8-470 I.U., thiamine (Vit. B1), 20-51 riboflavin (Vit. B2), 21-71 niacin, 0.5-0.8 mg; ascorbic acid (Vit. C), 5-17mg/100 g; pantothenic acid, pyridoxin (Vit. B6), biotin (Vit. H), inositol, folic acid and tocopherol (Vit. E) present in minute quantity.

The aroma and flavour characteristic of banana develop during ripening. Amyl acetate is the main odorous constituent besides amyl butyrate, acetaldelyde, ethyl and methyl alcohols.

Malic acid is the main principal acid present in the ripe banana; citric and oxalic acids are also present. It also contains a number of enzymes (e.g. amylase, in vertase etc.)

Banana Products

Chips - Fully mature but unripe banana is cut into chips like potato and consumed after frying in oil.

Flour and Powder - Banana flour is prepared from unripe fruits, and banana powder from ripe fruits. The former is essentially starchy, while the latter is rich in sugars. For the preparation of flour, dried banana chips are powdered in a mill and sifted through sieves. Analysis of banana flour shows the following nutrient composition: moisture 10.2-10.9; carbohydrate 79.6-83.3; protein 2.8-4.9; fibre 0.7-1.4; ash 2.0-3.0%. It is used to prepare infant food.

Banana powder is prepared from the pulp of ripe fruits which is mashed and dried in drum or spray driers. The dried product· is pulverized and passed through a 20 mesh sieve. Analysis: total sugar 68.8%; starch 7.2%; protein 5.0%; fibre 1.5%; pectin 2.5%; citric acid 2.2%; and ash 3.17%. Banana powder may also be used in the preparation of various food items.

Banana Fig - Banana fig is the popular name for dried ripe fruits. For making figs, peeled fruits are split longitudinally, each half cut into pieces about one inch in length and dried in the sun till pliable and soft. Figs keep well for 3-4 months. A product with attractive appearance and good keeping quality is obtained by dipping banana pieces for 15 minutes in sodium carbonate solution (1 %) followed by washing in water, exposure to "50/ fumes for an hour and drying in oven at 55-60°. It is used for making puddings.

Medicinal Uses

Bananas contain two physiologically important compounds: 5erotenin and nor-epinephrine, in addition to dopamine, 3, 4-dihydroxy phenyl alanine and an unidentified compound catecholamine. The concentration of some of the compounds in the pulp and peel of ripe banana found to be as follows: pulp-serotenin-8-50 mg/ g; nor-epinephrine-1.9 mg/g; and dopamine-7.9 g; peel-serotenin-47-93 /g; nor-epinephrine-122 /g and dopamine-700 /g. 5erotenin inhibits gastric secretion and stimulates smooth muscle in the intestine and elsewhere; nor-epinephrine is a mediator of autonomic function and is widely used as a vasoconstrictor agent. 5erotenin is apparently well tolerated when administered orally to human beings; doses up to 20 mg of serotenin cause no adverse effect. The therapeutic uses of banana (in colon disease, constipation, peptic ulcer, etc.) may be due to the presence of these active principles.

Banana fruit has mild laxative properties that help to ease constipation.

The fruit aids in combating diarrhoea and dysentery and promotes the healing of intestinal lesions in ulcerative colitis.

Banana powder is effective in the treatment of colon disease, sprue and other forms of carbohydrate intolerance in children; it is also used for certain intestinal disorders in adults.

It forms a useful constituent of the diet of infants; a syrup prepared of the ripe fruit may be incorporated with milk and used for infant feeding.

The ripe fruit is reported to be useful in diabetes, uremia, nephritis, gout, hypertension and cardiac diseases.

Unripe fruit and cooked flowers are useful in diabetes.

Vegetable prepared from unripe banana helps in healing the intestinal ulcer.

The juice of flowers is used for dysentery and stem and root for disorders of the blood.

Ripe banana is useful in acidity. Heartburn resulting from tea consumption may be neutralized by taking two ripe bananas just before taking tea.

The banana plant juice is astringent; it quenches thirst in cholera; it is also given in nervous disorders like hysteria, epilepsy etc.

Ripe banana is aphrodisiac, demulcent and aperient.

The fruit is eaten to relieve soreness of the throat and chest accompanied with dry cough; it is also given in irritability of the bladder; the ripe fruit is a laxative.

The ash of the banana skin is used for dressing wounds.

An ounce of the ripe fruit mixed with a little tamarind and salt is a household remedy for diarrhoea & dysentery.

Banana is said to promote regeneration of red blood cells and to stimulate haemoglobin production.

 

It is a useful constituent of various nourishing foods for infants. 



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