Bananas are one of Australia’s most popular fruits, but why are they so good for you during your pregnancy?
Apart from their fantastic taste, bananas have lots of great nutritional benefits for you and your growing baby.
Health benefit of bananas when you’re expecting
- Bananas are an excellent source of potassium, which helps to keep blood pressure at a normal level, which is important during pregnancy. It is also important for a healthy nervous system and kidneys. One medium banana contains 350mg potassium, which is around 12% of the recommended daily intake (RDI).
- Of all fruits, bananas are the best source of vitamin B6, with one large banana providing 50% of the RDI. Vitamin B6 helps the body to make red blood cells, and neurotransmitters such as serotonin (the ‘feel-good’ hormone).
- Bananas are a good source of Vitamin C, which acts as an antioxidant in the body. Antioxidants fight against damage caused by free radicals that can lead to some types of cancer, as well as heart disease and premature ageing. Vitamin C is very important during your pregnancy as it helps to boost your immune system. One medium banana provides 10mg vitamin C, a quarter of the RDI.
- Dietary fibre is important but especially so during pregnancy. One medium banana provides 2.3g dietary fibre, almost 10% of the RDI.
How to enjoy bananas
- Bananas can be cooked on the barbecue. Throw them whole onto the hotplate and cook until their skin turns black and the banana flesh inside is nice and soft. They are delicious on their own, or for an extra treat you can eat them with ice-cream or berries – or you can split the skin and pop some chocolate chips inside, wrapping in foil before cooking.
- Make a banana sandwich for lunch or a snack. A fantastic combination is bananas with peanut butter, sultanas or both.
- Smoothies are a great way to use up bananas, especially if they’re over-ripe. Try blending with yoghurt and strawberries for a quick breakfast or snack.
- You can make ‘ice cream’ from frozen bananas. Simply peel some bananas and freeze them overnight wrapped in cling film. Take them out the freezer about 20 minutes before needed to allow them to soften. Chop them up and place in a blender, mixing until smooth and creamy. This treat is best served straight away.
Supporting Aussie banana farmers
When buying bananas you are helping our Aussie farmers because no banana imports are permitted due to the possible pest and disease threats.