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On this page: Banana Facts , Avocado info

Here are some interesting banana facts:

Bananas. Containing three natural sugars - sucrose, fructose and glucose combined with fiber, a banana gives an instant, sustained and substantial boost of energy. Research has proven that just two bananas provide enough energy for a strenuous 90-minute workout. No wonder the banana is
the number one fruit with the world's leading athletes. But energy isn't the only way a banana can help us keep fit. It can also help overcome or prevent a substantial number of illnesses and conditions, making it a must to add to our daily diet.

Depression: According to a recent survey undertaken by MIND amongst people suffering from depression, many felt much better after eating a banana. This is because bananas contain tryptophan, a type of protein that the body converts into serotonin, known to make you relax, improve your
mood and generally make you feel happier.

PMS: Forget the pills - eat a banana. The vitamin B6 it contains regulates blood glucose levels, which can affect your mood.

Anemia: High in iron, bananas can stimulate the production of hemoglobin in the blood and so helps in cases of anemia.

Herb facts - Sage tea is a proven cure for fevers, colds and sore throats

Blood Pressure: This unique tropical fruit is extremely high in potassium yet low in salt, making it the perfect to beat blood pressure. So much so, the US Food and Drug Administration has just allowed the banana industry to make official claims for the fruit's ability to reduce the risk of blood pressure and stroke.

Brain Power: 200 students at a Twickenham (Middlesex) school were helped through their exams this year by eating bananas at breakfast, break, and lunch in a bid to boost their brain power. Research has shown that the potassium-packed fruit can assist learning by making pupils more alert.

Constipation: High in fiber, including bananas in the diet can help restore normal bowel action, helping to overcome the problem without resorting to laxatives.

Hangovers: One of the quickest ways of curing a hangover is to make a banana milkshake, sweetened with honey. The banana calms the stomach and, with the help of the honey, builds up depleted blood sugar levels, while the milk soothes and re-hydrates your system. Heartburn: Bananas have a natural antacid effect in the body, so if you suffer from heartburn, try eating a banana for soothing relief.

Morning Sickness: Snacking on bananas between meals helps to keep blood sugar levels up and avoid morning sickness.

Mosquito bites: Before reaching for the insect bite cream, try rubbing the affected area with the inside of a banana skin. Many people find it amazingly successful at reducing swelling and irritation.

Nerves: Bananas are high in B vitamins that help calm the nervous system.

Overweight and at work? Studies at the Institute of Psychology in  Austria found pressure at work leads to gorging on comfort food like chocolate and crisps. Looking at 5,000 hospital patients, researchers found the most obese were more likely to be in high-pressure jobs. The report
concluded that, to avoid panic-induced food cravings, we need to control our blood sugar levels by snacking on high carbohydrate foods every two hours to keep levels steady.

Ulcers: The banana is used as the dietary food against intestinal disorders because of its soft texture and smoothness. It is the only raw fruit that can be eaten without distress in over-chronicler cases. It also neutralizes over-acidity and reduces irritation by coating the lining of the  stomach.

Temperature control: Many other cultures see bananas as a "cooling" fruit that can lower both the physical and emotional temperature of expectant mothers. In Thailand, for example, pregnant women eat bananas to ensure their baby is born with a cool temperature.

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD): Bananas can help SAD sufferers because they contain the natural mood enhancer, tryptophan.

Herb facts - Rosemary, taken as a strong tea, sweetened with honey,  is used to treat high blood pressure

Smoking: Bananas can also help people trying to give up smoking.  The B6, B12 they contain, as well as the potassium and magnesium found in them, help the body recover from the effects of nicotine withdrawal.

Stress: Potassium is a vital mineral, which helps normalize the heartbeat, sends oxygen to the brain and regulates your body's water balance. When we are stressed, our metabolic rate rises, thereby reducing our potassium levels. These can be rebalanced with the help of a high-potassium
banana snack.

Strokes: According to research in "The New England Journal of Medicine,"eating bananas as part of a regular diet can cut the risk of death by strokes by as much as 40%!

Warts: Those keen on natural alternatives swear that if you want to kill off a wart, take a piece of banana skin and place it on the wart, with the yellow side out. Carefully hold the skin in place with a plaster or surgical tape!

So, a banana really is a natural remedy for many ills. When you compare it to an apple, it has four times the protein, twice the carbohydrate, three times the phosphorus, five times the vitamin A and iron, and twice the other vitamins and minerals. It is also rich in potassium and is one of the
best value foods around. So maybe its time to change that well-known phrase so that we say, "A banana a day keeps the doctor away!"

Avocados (discolouring)
Drop whole avocados into boiling water for 2 mins. Remove from water & peel. Use in salad or mashed - they will last for ages without discolouring.

FUERTE


CHARACTERISTICS

"Pear" shaped sometimes has a long thinner neck

SKIN
Smooth thin skin that stays green coloured when ripe. Flesh bruises easily.

FRUIT SIZE
Medium sized.

SEED
Medium sized

SEASON
Mid to late February from the Limpopo Province until (early) August from Kwazulu-Natal. 'Out of season' fruit is available year round

STORAGE

Ripens quickly out of cold storage - approximately 7 days from picking. Store at +5 degrees C - NOT COLDER - when green. Fruit will develop big brown and black cold damage marks if stored at colder temperatures

TASTE
Best known variety.



HASS

CHARACTERISTICS
Round / egg shaped fruit

SKIN
Thick, green, pebbly skin changes colour to purple/black when ripe/ready to eat. Skin does not yield to pressure easily - once soft or shriveled, fruit is overripe.

FRUIT SIZE
Small to medium (140 - 350g) - large fruit an exception.

SEED
In proportion to fruit size - small fruit, small seed.

SEASON
Mid / late May from the Limpopo Province until October from Kwazulu-Natal. 'Out of Season' fruit is available year round.

Excellent shelf life with very few port harvest problems. Store at +5 degrees C - NOT COLDER.

TASTE
Rich and nutty, as opposed to the stringy/watery "Natal" seedling varieties

 


PINKERTON

CHARACTERISTICS
This variety has a definite "neck" compared to the other varieties.

SKIN
Thick rough green coloured skin that stays green coloured when ripe. The thick skin does not yield to pressure easily.

FRUIT SIZE
Medium to large (230- 550g)

SEED
Medium to small

SEASON
Short season. June from the Limpopo Province, July from Kwazulu-Natal. Out of season fruit not easily available

STORAGE
Store at +7 degrees C - NOT COLDER

TASTE
Sometimes slightly sweet.


EDRANOL

CHARACTERISTICS
Oval / pear shaped.

SKIN
Thick green coloured skin with small corky speckles (lenticels). Stays green coloured when ripe. Skin shrivels at stem end if picked when not fully mature.

FRUIT SIZE
Medium large to large (312 - 500g)

SEASON
June from the North Eastern parts of the country until late September from KwaZulu Natal. Out of season fruit is available late in the year.

STORAGE
Ripens quickly out of cold storage. Skin prone to lenticel damage. Although cosmetically unappealing, this does not effect internal quality. Store at +6 degrees C - NOT COLDER, fruit prone to chilling injury.

TASTE
Excellent, rich and nutty.

 


RYAN

CHARACTERISTICS
Late season egg shaped fruit

SKIN
Slightly rough dark green skin that stays green coloured when ripe

FRUIT SIZE
Large (300 - 500g)

SEED
Large

SEASON
August / September from the Limpopo Province. October from Kwazulu-Natal. Late season fruit readily available

STORAGE
Store at +5 degrees C - NOT COLDER

TASTE
Good.