Bananas are one of the most widely popular fruits in the world. This curved yellowish fruit packs a great nutritional punch, covered in its own suitable packaging.
Dan Koeppel, who is an author of “Banana: The Fate of the Fruit That Changed the World”, traces this fruit back to the Garden of Eden, where he considers it was the banana and not the apple, that was the “forbidden fruit” which Eve gave Adam 1 .
Currently, bananas are grown in over 107 countries and are ranked 4th amongst the world’s food harvests in financial value 2 . People in the U.S. eat more bananas than oranges and apples combined.
Bananas Nutrition Facts
1 medium banana (around 126 grams) is considered as 1 serving.
So, 1 serving of banana contains about 3 :
- 110 calories
- 1-gram protein
- 30 grams’ carbohydrate
- 5 mg Vitamin B6
- 9 mg Vitamin C
- 3 mg manganese
- 450 mg potassium
- 3 g dietary fiber
- 34 mg magnesium
- 0 mcg folate
- 1 mg riboflavin
- 8 mg niacin
- 3 mg iron
- 81 IU Vitamin A
Banana is naturally free of sodium, cholesterol, and fat.
Health Benefits of Bananas
In the world of bananas, many people are asking the question: are bananas actually good for you?
This article will take a close look at the potential bananas health benefits.
- Boost Mood and Preserve Memory
Banana also contains tryptophan, which is an amino acid that research submits that play a great role in boosting your mood and preserving memory 4 .
- Prevent Asthma
According to a research conducted by the Imperial College of London, children who consumed just 1 banana a day had a 34 percent less chance of developing asthma 5 .
- Lower Blood Pressure
Maintaining a low sodium intake is crucial to lowering blood pressure, though, increasing potassium intake is just as significant because of its vasodilation properties. Fewer than 2 percent of US adults meet the daily allowance of 4700 mg 6 . Moreover, a high potassium intake is linked with a 20 percent decreased the risk of death from all diseases.
- Support Heart Health
The Vitamin B6, Vitamin C, potassium, and fiber content in banana all support heart health. A decrease in sodium intake along with an increase in potassium intake is the most essential dietary change that an individual can make to decrease their risk of cardiovascular disease, as stated by Mark Houston, MD, MS, a director of the Hypertension Institute at St Thomas Hospital in Tennessee and an associate professor at Vanderbilt Medical School 7 .
In one research, people who took 4069 mg of potassium a day had a lower risk of ischemic heart disease compared with individuals who consumed less potassium (around 1000 mg a day) 8 .
High potassium intake is also linked with a protection against loss of muscle mass, reduced risk of stroke, reduction in the formation of kidney stones, and preservation of bone mineral density.
- Reduce the Risk of Cancer
Eating bananas, orange juice, and oranges in the first 2 years of life can reduce the risk of developing childhood leukemia. Banana is a good source of Vitamin C that can help fight the formation of free radicals, which are known to cause cancer. Plus, high intakes of fiber from vegetables and fruits are linked with a lowered risk of colorectal cancer.
- Good for Diabetes (Type 1 and Type 2)
Research have found that people with type 1 diabetes who follow high-fiber diet have lower levels of blood glucose and those with type 2 diabetes may have improved insulin, lipids, and blood sugar levels. 1 medium banana provides around 3 grams of fiber 9 .
The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends 30 to 38 grams per day for men and 21 to 25 grams per day for women 10 .
- Treat Diarrhea
Some bland foods like banana and apple sauce are recommended for treating diarrhea. Electrolytes as potassium are lost in large amounts during bouts of diarrhea and can make people who are affected to feel weak. Banana can replenish potassium stores and help to promote regularity.
Beta-blockers, which is a type of medicine most commonly prescribed for some cardiovascular disease, may increase the levels of potassium in your blood. High potassium foods like banana should be eaten in moderation when taking beta-blockers.
Too much potassium intake can be harmful to people whose kidneys aren’t fully functional. If the kidneys are unable to eliminate excess potassium from your blood, it can be fatal.
Bananas are rich in antioxidants, fiber, and many nutrients. These nutrients can help moderate blood sugar levels and reduce appetite by slowing abdominal emptying. Some experts suggest that banana may help support weight loss. This fruit is low in calories and may have an appetite-reducing effect. Moreover, this fruit can help reduce damage from free radicals and decrease the risk of some serious diseases, such as cancer, leukemia, asthma, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease.