Banana Jungle

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banana treeEvery summer when I was kid we would visit my grandparents in New Orleans. My dad’s folks lived in Metairie, a parish just outside the city near Lake Pontchartrain in a small, brick, one-story house. For a kid it seemed like a land of the lost where every yard was a miniature prehistoric garden filled with lizards rustling through the strange wide-leaved plants and day glow-bright flowers. Houses were humid and smelled like chicory coffee and warm laundry – a scent that to this day reminds me of the summer struggle in Louisiana between the hospitality of conditioned air and the sweat of the swamp.

My grandparent’s house was bordered on the back by a wooden fence and between that fence and the house, in a narrow alley about five feet wide, grew banana trees. They weren’t large and they didn’t produce a lot of fruit but they were my own private jungle. My sister and I would play explorer, pretending to hack our way through the Amazon with stick machetes – trudging back and forth across the 30 feet of ground like we were lost deep in uncharted territory looking for gold or perhaps the original banana tree.

Little did I know at the time that the banana “trees” I was pushing aside were not trees at all but giant herbs whose trunks are formed from layers of leaves wrapped onto themselves. The bananas we most commonly eat in the United States are called Cavendish Bananas (the ones in my grandparents yard were not Cavendish). To me, Bananas are a magical fruit. Do you suffer from acid reflux? For some conditions Bananas can serve as a natural antacid. Bananas also help the body produce serotonin and are high in Vitamin B. Bananas also contain high levels of three key minerals that your body needs every day. One banana can give you 30% of your daily Manganese, 23% of your daily Potassium, and 15% of your daily Magnesium. These three minerals help keep your heart rate healthy, blood pressure low, bone density high, nerves functioning, and build a strong immune system.

Enjoy your bananas this week and check out our mixes by region at Enjoy and be fruitful!

- Chris Mittelstaedt


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Our online magazine offers a taste of workplace culture, trends, and healthy living. It features recipes for easy, delicious work meals and tips on quick office workouts. It's also an opportunity to learn about our GoodWorks program, which helps those in need in our communities and supports small, sustainable farms.