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Fruit Bites: Meet the Banana

girl holding banana

There seems to be something funny about bananas.

People in cartoons slip on banana peels. Or you can "go bananas" -- that means you're silly or bonkers. Also, turn a banana on its side, and what do you see? The smile in a smiley face.

But no one's laughing at how much nutrition this fruit is packed with. She's got lots of vitamins B6 and C, and potassium and fiber. Eating one does good things for your body.

  • Bananas help your heart.
  • They help your muscles move well.
  • They help your stomach feel better when it's sick.


Question: Haven't I seen you green sometimes?

Banana: Yes, I'm green, but only when I'm not ripe yet. Please don't confuse me with my cousin the plantain, which looks like a bigger, green version of me. Plantains aren't sweet like me, and you have to cook them. They taste more like a white potato.

Q: I pretty much see you only in the produce section of the supermarket. Does that mean I should always eat you plain?

Banana: Oh, no, no, no! Just because you can't get me frozen or canned doesn't mean that I don't like to mix it up.

Blend me into a smoothie. Slice me and put me in a fruit salad or on top of cereal, waffles, or pancakes. Eat me with one or two spoons of peanut butter, or put us together for a sandwich. Mash me and put me in batter for muffins or bread to make them more delicious and nutritious!

Heating me up makes me super-sweet. Next time you grill out, ask your parents to slice a green banana and heat it up for a minute. Lay it on a graham cracker for a great new campfire dessert!

Q: Kids sometimes have trouble spelling your name. It is sort of strange, isn't it?

Banana: It's exotic. My name comes from the Arabic word for "finger," banan. And the bunches that bananas grow in on trees are called "hands." I won't be insulted if you add or leave out a "-na." Just eat me up so you benefit from how good I am for your body. Next time you want a snack, choose me!

Ready for another bite? Try Apples , Oranges , Peaches , or Watermelon .

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Kathleen Zelman on February 16, 2018