The reasons to love this tropical fruit keep piling up.

Summers are getting hotter, and Japan is no exception to that. So it’s more important than ever to stay cool, hydrated, and nourished. According to Japanese banana importer Sumifru, bananas are actually excellent at preventing heatstroke. The tropical fruits can replenish potassium, vitamins, and antioxidants that are lost through sweating, and their naturally occurring fructooligosaccharide can help a queasy stomach.

What’s more, bananas have a fair amount of magnesium, vitamin B6, and niacin, which can boost melatonin and serotonin levels to rejuvenate a heat-weary body. Though they’re on the high side in terms of natural sugars, it depletes slowly, so you’ll avoid the sugar crash you’d experience by ingesting something more processed.

But when it’s so hot and humid–especially in densely populated areas like Tokyo–how do you keep them from going bad quickly? Sumifru explains that the ideal storage conditions for bananas are to keep them in a well-ventilated room from 15 to 20 degrees Celsius, or 59 to 68 degrees Fahrenheit.

But if that isn’t possible, they recommend storing them in the fridge once their skins start to form brown spots, or “sugar spots”. Putting them in the fridge before the spots form means they won’t get sweet. And make sure to wrap the whole bunch in newspaper or a plastic bag to retain an ideal environment for them! Sumifru also notes that even if the skins darken in the fridge, it doesn’t mean the fruit inside has gone bad.

▼ “Yes!! A sugar spot!!”

Sumifru’s recommendation for enjoying bananas in summer is to wait for those sugar spots to form, then cut them into chunks and freeze them on a tray so they don’t touch each other. Let them freeze and then you can pop them in a bag or container and store in the freezer. When you’re ready to eat them, take them out to thaw for 15 minutes, and you’re done! You have a refreshing and nourishing summer snack that will help you cool down.

You can also mash them up in a bag with some raisins and spoon them into ice cube trays to make “banana ice cream.” Get creative, Sumifru encourages. So for those days when a wearable air conditioner doesn’t seem to cut it, consider packing a banana or two in your bag before heading out into the sun.

Source: Livedoor News
Top image: Pakutaso
Insert images: Pakutaso
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