Athletes are often told to eat their bananas. That’s because bananas are not only a good source of carbohydrates for pre- or post-workout fueling, they’re also an excellent source of potassium—422 mg per medium size banana.
Potassium is an essential mineral—along with sodium—for nerve impulse transmission, muscle contraction, and water balance. The recommended intake of potassium is 4,700 mg/day, which is two to three times the recommended upper limit for sodium. It is not uncommon for Americans to take in more sodium than needed and not enough potassium. Bringing the potassium to sodium ratio into balance can be remedied by incorporating more potassium rich foods into your diet while cutting sodium. So eat your bananas!
Looking to put those ripe bananas to use? Here’s a recipe for banana cookies that also makes use of another good source of potassium–raisins.
3 ripe bananas (mashed)
2 cups oatmeal
⅓ cup unsweetened apple sauce
½ cup raisins
1 tsp. cinnamon
Combine all the ingredients together in a bowl. Spoon onto a greased cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes.
Note: You can substitute cranberries, blueberries (or another dried berry), or chocolate chips for the raisins.