Banana Split, Sans Guilt

by Anne Bennett on May 23, 2009

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Am I anthropomorphizing, or does Lulu look like she’s wondering where the ice cream and chocolate sauce disappeared to? Hungry poodle that she is, however, she dutifully nibbles away at one of her five daily recommended fruits and vegetables.

It should come as no surprise that bananas are good for you. But did you know that their high potassium content helps prevent high blood pressure and relieves muscle cramps? They also offer digestive benefits, acting both as an antacid and in relieving constipation. And on the other end of the gastrointestinal spectrum, they help restore electrolytes lost during diarrhea. Next time you suffer from any of the aforementioned ailments, you might want to reach for a banana instead of a pill bottle.

Unripe bananas are lower on the glycemic index than ripe ones, making them a better choice for diabetics. And when you freeze the very ripe ones, they make a delicious, thick, shake-like smoothie. 

Banana Smoothie

1 large banana, very ripe and frozen (Peel before freezing)

1 cup strawberries

1 cup skim milk (or 1/2 cup milk and 1/2 cup nonfat yogurt)

2 to 3 ice cubes

Blend in a blender until smooth (hence the name). If you like it on the sweet side, add a touch of sugar, honey or Splenda. 

Serves: 1 or 2

Points per serving: 5 (for one serving)

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