Bananas are high in fiber and antioxidants and relatively low in calories; they moderate blood sugar levels and improve digestive and kidney health.
A banana is an edible fruit–botanically a berry–produced by several kinds of large herbaceous flowering plants in the genus Musa. In some countries, bananas used for cooking may be called plantains, distinguishing them from dessert bananas. The fruit is variable in size, color, and firmness, but is usually elongated and curved, with soft flesh rich in starch covered with a rind, which may be green, yellow, red, purple, or brown when ripe. The fruits grow in clusters hanging from the top of the plant.
Bananas are good as they are–just peel and eat. They are a delicious addition to a smoothie, and very ripe bananas make exquisite banana bread. Cooking bananas, known as plantains, can be fried, baked, or sliced and added to a stew. In southern Mexico, tamales are wrapped in banana leaves instead of corn husks.