October 10, 2015

Ecuador Top Producer of Bananas in the World! And...Benefits of Bananas

When I was visiting my mom last year we bought bananas in Wal-Mart that were grown in Ecuador; they were Del Mante Bananas and they weren’t cheap either!  Twelve bananas grown in Ecuador cost almost $4 in Walmart.  They were virtually blemish free and they tasted really good.
                            
FYI: Ecuador is one of the top five producers of bananas in the world, with an annual production of 8 million tons. Now that’s a lot of bananas! About 4 million tons of those bananas are exported to other countries. The banana is the most popular fruit eaten in the world.
(Sources say It’s actually a berry)
 

Amazingly, there are hundreds of different varieties of bananas grown in Ecuador. The most widely grown and popular banana, the Cavendish is the most difficult to maintain as it is susceptible to mold and disease, and unfortunately they are sprayed with chemicals and pesticide to ensure high yields.
 

Source: Wikipedia Banana Production Ecuador

When Frank and I visited Quito Ecuador in 2013 we went out for almuerzo in a quaint restaurant of Ecuadorian cuisine.  I ordered the soup (sorry forgot the name) and it came with a banana on the side. I told the cook, “ I did not order the banana” and she smiled and said, “It goes inside your soup”.   “Ahhh”, I said with a smile.
 

The soup had a very creamy, rich flavor already so I decided not to put the banana in the soup.  Here is the video of my soup and banana in Quito. It was very interesting. The soup was excellent, by the way. Ecuadorians sure know how to make some great soup dishes. Including encebollado soup.
 

Nutrition of Bananas
 

Bananas are very high in potassium and a fiber called Pectin. Bananas are also a good source of B6, magnesium and Vitamin C.  The health benefits of bananas are many, from heart health to aiding in digestion because of their high fiber content. 

Bananas are best known for satisfying hunger and are great eaten right before a workout or bout of walking as they maintain balanced blood sugar levels.  Frank and I often eat a banana or two right before going out the door to keep our hunger level satisfied until almuerzo hour.  They pack a bigger punch than say, an apple or a handful of grapes when it comes to snacking in between meals.
 

5 Ways to Eat Bananas
 

1. Slice banana in half, spread peanut butter on it.
2. Banana bread/muffins
3. Just grab and peel and eat it the way it is (Recommended)
4. Ecuadorian soup
5. Banana shake/smoothies (Recommended)
 

Health Tip: Fruit is always best for digestive health when eaten by itself and on an empty stomach because it digests better and quicker in the intestinal tract. **When fruit is eaten with other foods it takes much longer to go through the digestive tract and the fruit actually begins to rot before it has a chance to digest fully and is why one feels gaseous and bloated when eating fruits paired with carbohydrates and meats.**

FYI: Bananas take about 30 to 45 minutes to go through the digestive tract if eaten on an empty stomach, if mixed with other foods from a previous meal, they take eight hours to digest and by that time the banana has rotted in your gut...good way to get smelly flatulence, cramps and bloating?  While apples take about 15 minutes to digest in an empty digestive tract, if food eaten previously or with the apple, it takes anywhere from 4 to 8 hours to digest depending on what you ate before the apple or with the apple. Much more detail in Better Health, Better Life!

Until we write again…If you liked this article, we think you’ll like these too!
We're an Expat Family of Five, Living Frugal, Healthy and Happy Abroad. We live in Cuenca, Ecuador and travel the Ecuador coast whenever we get a chance. We just adventured throughout the country of Panama for five weeks! Come along and enjoy some of our experiences with us!

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