The banana is one of the oldest and best
known fruits of the world. It is delicious and seedless and is available
in all seasons at a price which is within everybody's reach. It is a very
hygienic fruit as it comes in a germ-proof package. Its thick covering
provides an excellent protection against bacteria and contamination. The
mature fruits vary in sizes and may be greenish, yellow or reddish in
Original home of banana is believed to be
India and Malaya. The fruit as well as its plant is considered to be a
very auspicious in all the religious and social ceremonies in India. In
the mythological ages in Europe it is called the 'apple of paradise'. The
Greek and Arabian writers referred to it as a wonderful fruit of India.
The Malayan soldiers probably took them to Madagascar about the fifth
century AD and from there it spread to east coast and mainland of Africa.
Later, it was introduced in Western countries and other parts of the
world. In India, there are three important banana producing areas - South
India, Western India and Eastern India from Bihar to Assam.
The banana is of great nutritional value. It
has a rare combination of energy value, tissue-building elements, protein,
vitamins and minerals. It is a good source of calories being richer in
solids and lower in water content than any other fresh fruit. A large
banana supplies more than 100 calories. It contains a large amount of
easily assimilable sugar, making it a good source of quick energy and an
excellent means of recovery from fatigue.
The banana constitutes almost a complete
balanced diet in combination with milk. It contains a high grade protein,
which includes three of the essential amino acids. Banana and milk
supplement each other in an ideal manner and provide all the needed
nutrients to the body.