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What’s not to love about the "smiley fruit"?

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Hi Everyone! My name is Robyn, you may get phone calls from me every once in a while ;) I am the administrative assistant here at Strong Together Chester CrossFit.

Growing up most of us probably had a banana packed in our lunch. I know my favorite lunch was and continues to be a peanut butter and banana sandwich. But where did this delectable berry come from (I kid you not, bananas are technically berries)? They're derived from a single flower with more than one ovary, making them an "aggregate" fruit. True berries are simple fruits stemming from one flower with one ovary and typically have several seeds. Tomatoes fall into this group, as do pomegranates, kiwis and—believe it or not—bananas. And why are they so healthy? Well, I’m here to lay down some knowledge.

Bananas have been around the block, sometimes more than once. They were introduced to areas just to be re-introduced or re-discovered in the same area. Some believe that they originated in Australia but were cultivated in Papua New Guinea. Others say they are originally from South East Asia and brought west by Arab conquerors in 327 B.C. Unfortunately, because humans can be greedy, this fruit has destroyed ecosystems and left already-poor countries dependent on this single crop export.

But why are these fruits so important to our diet and why have we become obsessed with them?

Well bananas can be considered the happy fruit, and not just because they are shaped like a smile. They literally can turn that frown upside-down mainly because they have high levels of tryptophan which is converted into serotonin, the happy-mood brain neurotransmitter. I’m sure most of you know that bananas are also packed full of potassium, which helps protect against muscle cramps, whether it's during a long run or a leg cramp at night. They can also be used as an energy punch to sustain your blood sugar during a strenuous workout, so eat  one and you're all set to go. They help build strong bones since they counteract calcium loss when you urinate. Not only are they low in salt they also have high vitamin B-6, which help with production of white blood cells, protect the nervous system, aid in weight loss, and reduce swelling. Going through some PMS? Eat a banana. At risk for heart attack and stroke? Eat a banana instead of a bag of chips. You'll be just as satiated!

Now if you’re having some problems in the bathroom, I’m telling you, eat bananas. They are RICH in pectin, a digestion aid that helps get rid of toxins and heavy metals from the body. They also help stimulate the growth of good bacteria in our bowels, which helps absorb nutrients. If you have one or have experienced; constipation, diarrhea, acid reflux, heartburn, stomach ulcers…EAT BANANAS!

The list goes on and on of all the benefits of bananas. They are truly a power fruit. If you still don’t believe me, here is some more banana food for thought…

Bananas help: prevent kidney cancer, protect the eyes against macular degeneration, build strong bones, keep you mentally acute (eat one before taking an exam), high in antioxidants to protect from free radicals, stabilize blood sugar, reduce nausea from morning sickness, can cool you down when you have a fever, help with the withdraw effects from trying to quick smoking, and even when you eat the banana peal itself, it can relieve itching from bug bites or hives and can assist in removing warts.

If you don’t like the taste of bananas you can always throw it into a smoothie and mix it with other fruits that you do like (like pineapples). And when the Balanced Habits KICKSTART nutrition event kicks off this month (Sept 16th!), the recipes that you get for smoothies are IMPECCABLE and filled with you know what! Remember, everything in moderation, even moderation...and even bananas!

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