Big Mike Banana | Health Benefits | History
What is Big Mike Banana?
“Big Mike” is a variety of banana that was once widely cultivated, but is now relatively rare. It is also known as the “Gros Michel” banana, and it was the most popular variety of banana consumed in the world until the 1950s, when it was largely replaced by the “Cavendish” variety.
The Big Mike banana is larger and more flavorful than the Cavendish, but it is more susceptible to disease, particularly the Panama disease, which devastated Big Mike banana crops in the 1950s. As a result, the Cavendish banana, which is more resistant to disease, became the dominant variety of banana in the world.
While the Big Mike banana is still cultivated in some parts of the world, it is not as widely available as it once was, and most bananas consumed today are of the Cavendish variety.
What is the History of Big Mike Banana?
The Big Mike banana, also known as the Gros Michel banana, has a rich history. It was the most popular variety of banana consumed in the world until the 1950s, when it was largely replaced by the Cavendish variety.
The Big Mike banana is believed to have originated in Southeast Asia and was brought to the Caribbean and Central America by Spanish and Portuguese traders in the early 16th century. It quickly became a popular crop due to its large size, sweet flavor, and long shelf life.
During the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the United Fruit Company (now Chiquita Brands International) became the largest exporter of Big Mike bananas, which were grown in large plantations in Central and South America. The demand for Big Mike bananas was so high that the company came to dominate the economies of some countries in the region.
However, in the 1950s, a strain of Panama disease (also known as Fusarium wilt) wiped out much of the Big Mike banana crops in Central and South America. The disease was caused by a soil-borne fungus that attacked the roots of the banana plants, leading to a decline in production and the eventual replacement of the Big Mike with the Cavendish variety.
Today, the Big Mike banana is still grown in some parts of the world, but it is not as widely available as it once was. Its decline led to the development of more disease-resistant banana varieties, including the Cavendish, which is now the most popular variety of banana in the world.
Big Mike Banana Benefits
The Big Mike banana, also known as the Gros Michel banana, has several potential health benefits. Here are some of them:
- Rich in nutrients: Big Mike bananas are high in nutrients like vitamin C, vitamin B6, potassium, and dietary fiber.
- It may aid digestion: Bananas, including the Big Mike variety, are rich in dietary fiber, which can help regulate digestion and promote regular bowel movements.
- May support heart health: The potassium in Big Mike bananas may help reduce blood pressure, which can help lower the risk of heart disease.
- It may improve athletic performance: Bananas are a good source of carbohydrates, which can provide energy for physical activity.
- May boost mood: Bananas contain tryptophan, an amino acid that is converted to serotonin in the body. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that can help regulate mood and promote feelings of happiness and well-being.