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Bananas are one of the most popular fruits among people of all origins because these can be available fresh year-round and cheaper compared with other tropical fruits.

To the consumer, the banana seems a simple name for the yellow and elongated fruit that is served as a dessert. The word "banana" is a general term embracing a number of species or hybrids of the genus Musa of the family of Musaceae, closely related to plantains. Bananas are classified either as dessert bananas or as green cooking bananas. The ripe banana is popularly served as a dessert. It is a delicious addition to fruit salads or simply eaten out of hand. Overripe bananas make excellent breads, cookies, muffins and cakes. They make attractive garnish in ice cream. Unripe or green bananas are used in cooking. Unripe bananas can be fried, boiled, baked or made into chips.

Bananas are a good source of fiber, vitamin C, and potassium. Potassium is a mineral that is important for controlling the body's fluid balance. It is also needed for muscle contraction, transmission of nerve impulses, and the proper functioning of the body's heart and kidneys. Potassium helps regulate water balance and blood pressure in cells, together with other minerals like sodium, calcium, and magnesium.

Besides being a good source of vitamins and minerals, banana is also a natural remedy for a number of illnesses and conditions. Ripe banana relieves diarrhea, whereas the unripe banana relieves constipation. Banana is highly recommended for patients suffering from high blood pressure because of its potassium content. The fresh leaves of banana are also used as bed spreads for bed ridden patients to avoid bedsores.

One piece of banana each day restores the balance of potassium. So make it a habit to include banana in your daily meals.

According to Nutritional Guidelines for Filipinos 2000 developed by the Technical Working Group headed by the Food and Nutrition Research Institute-Department of Science and Technology (FNRI-DOST), you should eat more vegetables, fruits, and root crops.

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