Banana is undoubtedly a permanent member of the elite list of superfoods. It is one of the few fruits with so many varieties, which are famous for their unique benefits. Be it yellow, green or red bananas, at least one is a staple in every Indian household. It is no surprise, as India is one of the largest producers of bananas in the world. Bananas belong to the family of berries. Bananas are often referred to as plantains too. However, there is no proper distinction between the two.
Therefore, one usually uses plantains in cooked recipes. This article will mainly focus on the Benefits of Banana and its nutritional value.
Whether they are for culinary uses or simply a sweet dessert, do not undermine the humbleness of bananas. Instead, read along and find out the myriad of nutrients they contain.
Interestingly, the popularity of banana holds for its potassium content makes it radioactive. But, not to worry, as it takes eating 600 bananas per day for over 80 years to be dangerous.
Nutrition Values of Banana
100 grams of (approx. one medium-sized) raw banana contains:
- Calories: 89 kcal
- Carbohydrates: 22.84 g
- Dietary fibre: 12.23 g
- Sugar: 2.6 g
- Fat: 0.33 g
- Protein: 1.09 g
- Vitamin B6: 0.4 mg
- Vitamin C: 8.7 mg
- Manganese: 0.27 mg
- Potassium: 358 mg
- Magnesium: 27 mg
Nutritional Facts of Banana
- Almost three-fourths of a banana is water. Specifically, 100 grams of banana contains 75 grams of water. The remaining has 23 per cent carbohydrates and 1 percent protein.
- The carbohydrate content for a raw banana is constant. In such a case, most of it is starch and very little sugar. However, in a ripe banana, the sugar can make up to 16 percent of the whole fruit, and starch reduces to less than 1 per cent.
- They have negligible fat content and minimal protein content.
- The vitamin profile of bananas is rather impressive. All B vitamins except B12 are present in them. In particular, vitamin B6 makes up 31 per cent of the daily recommended value. Other B vitamins like pantothenic acid and folate make up for smaller percentages.
- Health benefits of Banana is that it also contains choline, which is an essential yet underrated nutrient for the body.
- A significant amount of vitamin C is available in bananas. Precisely, it makes up for about 10 percent of the daily recommended value.
- Although we often praise bananas for their potassium, it only makes up for 8 per cent of the daily requirement. However, the cooking bananas have slightly more potassium in them.
- The amount of magnesium in bananas is similar to that of potassium.
- Among other health benefits of Banana, one is they are rich in manganese, constituting 13 per cent of the daily recommended value.
- Slight traces of phosphorus, zinc and iron are also present.
- Like all other fruits, bananas contain potent plant compounds too. Dopamine and catechins are most notable here.
8 Proven Health Benefits of Banana
1. Promotes heart health
There are several benefits of bananas. One being the potassium in bananas has direct links to promoting the healthy functioning of the heart. It prevents fatal blockages in the heart and impedes the narrowing of arteries.
Research says that a regular potassium-rich diet can lower the risk of heart diseases by 27%. Moreover, the magnesium in bananas is also a heart-friendly nutrient that maintains or regulates heartbeats.
2. Aids in weight loss
Bananas are an excellent snack to steer away from hunger pangs. That must be a reason to have bananas for breakfast.
They are not only low in calories but nutritious and filling. They are also rich in fibre that slows down the digestive process of the stomach. Hence, it aids in managing weight loss.
3. Bananas help in improving digestion
Fibrous foods and digestion are a match made in heaven. A banana contains sufficient dietary fibre in the form of starch and pectin. Both of these are more prevalent in unripe bananas and reduce with ripening.
Bananas are also anti- pathogenic which treat various digestive conditions and symptoms. Therefore, bananas can help improve digestive health.
4. Bananas help you to relax and sleep
Next time you need to chill, grab a banana. The high content of vitamin B6 in bananas helps you sleep better. Bananas also contain tryptophan and magnesium which have sleep-inducing properties, also known as natural sedatives.
This amino acid called tryptophan produces serotonin in the brain and promotes relaxation. Serotonin also triggers melatonin (a hormone associated with the sleep-wake cycle) that is prescribed as a supplement to treat insomnia.
5. They may help to fight type II diabetes
One of the main reasons for type II diabetes to occur is insulin resistivity. Resistant starch has the potential to increase insulin sensitivity by 40 to 50% when consumed regularly.
Green bananas are also lower in Glycemic index (GI), than ripened bananas, and thus preferable for people with diabetic. Therefore, unripe bananas with significant resistant starch content may help fight diabetes.
6. Serves as an excellent workout food
You most probably know that the entire fitness community speaks highly of bananas. It is not without reason. Having just one banana before exercising will give you sufficient energy for the same. Also, some research says that the benefits of bananas help to relieve post-workout soreness and cramps.
Bananas are also ideal as a post-workout food because it is loaded with carbohydrate and it converts to sugar inducing natural digestion. It also contains potassium that promotes muscle growth.
7. Promotes kidney health
Some studies show that the risk of kidney diseases was much lower in those who consumed bananas regularly. The risk reduction can be as tremendous as 50 per cent.
Bananas are rich in potassium, magnesium and vitamin B6, also low in oxalates. Regularly consuming bananas can prevent chronic kidney diseases.
8. Banana contains antioxidants
Bananas are a good source of antioxidants in the form of natural flavonoids. They not only reduce inflammations but also protect your body from free radical damage. The presence of bananas reduces the risk of heart diseases and certain types of cancers.
The Different Ripening Stages of a Banana
Raw bananas are green. They also go by the name of plantain or cooking bananas. Low in sugar and full of resistant starch, these bananas are perfect if you need to watch your diet. Also, they promote good bacteria in the gut. However, the taste may be slightly bitter.
Recently ripened bananas are yellow with no spots on them. They are the most appealing to the eye. Sweeter in taste, most of the banana starch converts to sugar. Moreover, these bananas are easier to digest and snack on. When compared to green bananas, the amount of antioxidants is higher here.
This stage of the banana has many brown spots all over the skin. Every spot showcases the starch to sugar conversion. Therefore, a banana with many spots will have a very sweet taste. As the banana ages, the antioxidants also keep increasing. So, these bananas are rich in antioxidant properties and the health benefits of banana increases .
At this stage, many people tend to throw away the banana. It is because they may feel the brown colour to be unappetising to eat. Interestingly, it is these bananas that are a powerhouse of antioxidants. They are also the best for making bread and pancakes as they are easy to mush and require less refined sugar. While with the numerous benefits of banana, diabetic patients should steer clear of this type owing to its high sugar content.
Indian Recipes Using Bananas
While banana bread and pancakes are classics, here are two sweet and savoury Indian recipes that use bananas. If you do not already include bananas in your diet, these recipes will do the job for you.
#1 Kele ki Sabzi or Banana Sabzi
- Cooking banana or plantain – 2 medium
- Ghee (Homemade is preferable) – 1 tsp
- Mustard seeds – 1 tsp
- Asafoetida – ¼ tsp
- Coriander powder – ½ tsp
- Turmeric powder – ½ tsp
- Chilli powder – 1 tsp
- Sugar – 1 tsp (optional)
- Salt – to taste
- Coriander- to garnish
- Heat oil in a pan and add in the mustard seeds. Wait for them to crackle and add the asafoetida.
- Chop up the bananas and add them to the pan. Sauté for about 3 minutes.
- Now, add the turmeric, chilli and coriander powders to the bananas. Make sure to do it on low flame as the powders may burn.
- Add salt to taste and a little sugar if you prefer it. Mix then well and cook for about 5 minutes.
- Garnish with chopped coriander leaves and serve with rice or roti.
#2 Banana Halwa or Banana Sheera
- Roasted Rava (semolina) – 1 cup
- Bananas (sweet) – 2 medium
- Almonds – 10
- Raisins – 10
- Cardamom powder – 1 tsp
- Ghee – 1 tbsp
- Hot water or milk – 2 ½ cups
- Jaggery – 5 to 6 tbsp
- Make sure to buy pre-roasted Rava. Heat ghee in a pan and add the Rava to it. Toast it for about 2 to 3 minutes. Do not let it brown.
- Chop up the bananas and add them to the pan. Add in the sliced almonds and raisins along with the cardamom powder.
- Stir continuously and mix it well. Pour the water or milk into the pan.
- Now, add jaggery to it and let the milk simmer for 5 minutes.
- If needed, you can add saffron on top.
- Serve warm or cold as a dessert.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q. How many bananas are safe to eat in a day?
A. Ideally, one to two bananas are safer to eat per day. Although there is no hard and fast rule around this. Consuming too many bananas may lead to nutrient deficiencies. Due to its filling nature, you may avoid other foods that contain essential nutrients like protein and fat. You may also gain weight if your overall calorie limit regularly exceeds due to bananas.
Q. How to store bananas properly?
A. Studies show that bananas in a bunch ripen slower than individual bananas. By doing so, you can increase their shelf life. Keep bananas at room temperature as they do not do well in colder ones. Keeping them in the fridge before they ripen can lower their sweetness. However, once they are fully ripe, it is okay to refrigerate them.
Q. Should you eat bananas before or after exercising?
A. Both are acceptable and solely depend on your preference. Eating a banana before a workout can act as an energy supplement. Banana also relaxes the muscles and relieves muscle cramps and soreness. Therefore, they are also a great post-workout meal. However, one thing to consider is bloating. Sometimes, having a banana before a workout may lead to bloating, which can affect your performance.
Q. Are all types of bananas good for weight loss?
A. Not necessarily. Ideally, green or unripe bananas are best for weight loss. It is mainly due to their low sugar content and high amounts of starch. These bananas tend to keep you full for extended periods. However, they are also quite tricky to incorporate into a diet. Hence, opt for a regular yellow banana that is neither too ripe nor too raw.
Q. What do bananas do to your body?
A. There are numerous benefits of eating bananas in ripe and unripe forms. They are great for lowering the risk of cardiovascular diseases, helps in weight loss, improves digestion, treats kidney diseases, fights against Type II diabetes, etc.
Q. What are the disadvantages of bananas?
A. Diabetic patients should have bananas in moderation, or else it can increase their blood sugar levels. Excessive eating of bananas can cause dental problems, migraine, drowsiness digestive disturbances, bloating, weight gain and even cause constipation.
Q. What are the benefits of bananas to men?
A. Potassium is the key nutrient in bananas, and it helps in the production of testosterone. It also has high iron content that facilitates the production of haemoglobin.
Q. Do bananas make you gain belly fat?
A. They are a weight-loss-friendly fruit that helps one feel full and satiated. Although, excessive consumption of bananas can lead to weight gain because it is high in carbohydrates.
Q. Can bananas increase weight?
A. Bananas are rich in carbohydrates. So, excessive consumption of bananas can contribute to weight gain.
Q. Who should not eat bananas?
A. People who have high levels of potassium in their blood should refrain from consuming bananas. Also, diabetic patients should have bananas in moderation. It is always better to monitor your blood sugar levels if you are a diabetic patient who consumes bananas.
Tags: Banana Halwa or Banana Sheerabanana nutritionDifferent Ripening Stages of a BananaHealth Benefits of BananaIndian Recipes Using BananasKele ki Sabzi or Banana SabziNutritional Facts of BananasNutritional Values of Bananas
Bananas are a good source of several vitamins and minerals, especially potassium, vitamin B6, and vitamin C ( 1 ). Potassium. Bananas are a good source of potassium. A diet high in potassium can lower blood pressure in people with elevated levels and benefits heart health ( 6 ).What are the main nutrients in banana answer? ›
- Vitamin B6.
- Vitamin C.
- Rich in nutrients. ...
- May improve blood sugar levels. ...
- May support digestive health. ...
- May aid weight loss. ...
- May support heart health. ...
- Full of antioxidants. ...
- May help you feel fuller. ...
- May improve insulin sensitivity when unripe.
A medium banana offers about 105 calories, which provides fruits' natural sugar, as well as 3 grams of fiber (A quick rule of thumb is that one serving of carbohydrates should provide at least 3 grams of fiber).What is benefit of eating banana everyday? ›
It can help keep your cholesterol and blood pressure in check, and help ease inflammation. Green bananas are full of something called resistant starch. It acts like insoluble fiber, which is the kind that can help keep your bowels working at their best. Resistant starch also helps lower your blood sugar.What happens when you eat banana everyday? ›
Eating too many bananas (or other high-potassium foods) can cause excess potassium in the body, also called hyperkalemia. This can cause serious health problems, including heart issues.What is the best time to eat banana? ›
Our stomach takes a long time to digest a banana. On top of that, our body's metabolism is at its lowest in the night. Therefore, one should ideally consume bananas in the morning or the evening and must avoid eating them at night.What is the most nutritious part of a banana? ›
"[The skin] contains high amounts of vitamin B6 and B12, as well as magnesium and potassium. It also contains some fiber and protein," San Diego-based nutritionist Laura Flores told LiveScience.Do bananas raise your blood sugar? ›
A banana's effect on blood sugar depends on its ripeness
Green (unripe) bananas contain resistant starch, which doesn't raise blood sugar levels and may improve long-term blood sugar management. Yellow (ripe) bananas contain more sugar, so they may cause a bigger rise in blood sugar.
One to two bananas per day is considered a moderate intake for most healthy people. Be sure to eat this fruit as part of a balanced diet that provides all the nutrients your body needs.
Bananas are another low-fructose fruit that are fiber-rich and contain inulin, a substance that stimulates the growth of good bacteria in the gut.What is the side effect of banana? ›
Side effects to banana are rare but may include bloating, gas, cramping, softer stools, nausea, and vomiting. In very high doses, bananas might cause high blood levels of potassium. Some people are allergic to banana.Is a banana a day too much sugar? ›
A banana a day is not too much sugar. There are two types of sugar: natural and refined, and since bananas have fructose (a naturally occurring sugar), it's a good source of carbohydrates.Why are bananas so high in calories? ›
Over 90% of the calories in bananas come from carbs. As the banana ripens, the starch in it turns into sugar. For this reason, unripe (green) bananas are high in starch and resistant starch, while ripe (yellow) bananas contain mostly sugar.Is A banana better than an Apple? ›
HOW THEY COMPARE. These two fruits are remarkably similar in most nutritional areas, with bananas taking a slight edge over apples in the vitamin/mineral department, and apples taking the slight edge in the fiber department.Do bananas help you sleep? ›
Bananas are rich in sleep-promoting nutrients like magnesium, tryptophan, vitamin B6, carbs, and potassium, all of which have been linked to improved sleep.What fruit should I eat everyday? ›
Some of the healthiest fruits include pineapple, apples, blueberries, and mangos. You should eat three servings of fruit a day as part of a healthy diet. Eating fruit improves heart health, reduces inflammation, and boosts your immune system.Is it OK to eat banana in the morning on empty stomach? ›
As banana is a rich source of Vitamin B6, Vitamin B, and iron; most people opt for it as the right option. The sweetness in bananas gives an energy boost, and that's preferable why you must eat it on an empty stomach.Which fruit is best to eat at night? ›
Bananas are one of the few fruits known to be relatively rich in the nerve messenger serotonin, some of which your body converts to melatonin (16). Almonds and almond butter supply some melatonin as well. They're also a good source of healthy fats, vitamin E, and magnesium ( 17 ).Do bananas interfere with blood pressure medication? ›
People taking ACE inhibitors or ARBs should limit their intake of high-potassium foods like bananas, oranges, avocados, tomatoes, white and sweet potatoes and dried fruits —, especially apricots.
- Soaked almonds. Almonds are a rich source of manganese, Vitamin E, protein, fibre, Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acid. ...
- Warm water and honey. ...
- Wheat grass powder with water. ...
- Raisins. ...
- Papaya. ...
- Watermelon. ...
- Chia seeds.
Bananas and potatoes each provide B-complex vitamins and small amounts of other vitamins without an abundance of calories or fat. Overall, a potato is richer in vitamins and other essential nutrients.What fruit is healthier than banana? ›
While bananas might be the first fruit to come to mind, watermelon actually reigns supreme when it comes to potassium. In just 2 wedges, or about 1/8th of a melon, you'll get 640 mg of potassium, or about 14% DV. Watermelon is also a great source of vitamin C, vitamin A, and the antioxidant lycopene.What fruit has the same nutritional value as a banana? ›
If you're a banana hater looking for a substitute, kiwi is the perfect fruit for you. Other fruits that contain nutrients similar to bananas include cantaloupes and mangos.Can a banana raise blood pressure? ›
But you might not know that a banana a day keeps high blood pressure at bay. This fruit is packed full of potassium — an important blood pressure-lowering mineral.Can diabetic patient eat banana? ›
A person with diabetes can enjoy bananas in moderation as part of a balanced diet. The vitamin, mineral, and fiber content of bananas may even offer health benefits for people with diabetes, as long as an individual does not eat excessive portions.Do bananas open your bowels? ›
“Bananas, when fully ripe, contain soluble fiber and thus can help treat constipation,” Lee says. “However, unripe, or green, bananas have high levels of resistant starch, which can be very binding and cause constipation.” Because of this, unripe bananas can be used to treat diarrhea, she notes.Should we drink water after eating banana? ›
Dr MS Krishnamurthy, clarifies that you should not drink water (especially cold water) after eating bananas as it can cause severe indigestion. According to him, drinking water after eating bananas makes it hard to digest because of the inherent properties of the fruit which are similar to that of cold water.Are bananas good for cholesterol? ›
The fiber and potassium in bananas can reduce the level of cholesterol and blood pressure. Banana is especially known as a good source of soluble fibre which will gives one a healthy body and good immune system.What are the cons of eating bananas? ›
Take a look at the side effects of eating too many bananas:
Bananas contain fructose that stimulates blood sugar levels. Eating one too many bananas encourages weight gain. Banana, a fruit rich in potassium, can develop hyperkalemia. Bananas have a lot of fibre, which can lead to gas and bloating in the stomach.
- Apples. Grams of sugar in one large apple: 25.1. ...
- Bananas. Grams of sugar in one banana: 15.4. ...
- Cherries. Grams of sugar in 1 cup of cherries: 19.7. ...
- Grapes. Grams of sugar in 1 cup of grapes: 14.9. ...
- Mangoes. Grams of sugar in one mango: 46. ...
- Oranges. ...
- Pears. ...
Some commonly eaten fresh fruits may raise your blood sugar more quickly than others. These include figs, grapes, mangos, cherries and bananas. Eat them in moderation and in the suggested serving size of one small fruit or 1/2 cup.How many bananas is too many for a diabetic? ›
Diabetics can eat banana, but in moderation." On being asked in which quantities should people with diabetes eat bananas, she says, "A small banana twice or thrice a week is safe diabetics. But, a diabetic should not consume banana daily."What are the 5 foods that burn belly fat? ›
- Beans. “Becoming a bean lover can help you lose weight and whittle your middle,” registered dietitian Cynthia Sass told Today. ...
- Swap your beef for salmon. ...
- Yogurt. ...
- Red bell peppers. ...
- Broccoli. ...
- Edamame. ...
- Diluted vinegar.
- Oranges. ...
- Watermelon. ...
- Strawberries. ...
- Guava. ...
- Lime. ...
- Lemon. ...
- Pears. ...
- Grapefruit. Grapefruit is a wonder fruit and is rich in phytochemicals and vitamin C, both of which fight diseases and burn belly fat.
Avocados top the list of fruits that have a high-fat content, but they are on the top of the list of fat burning fruits as well. Avocadoes helps to increase certain hormones that aid weight loss and also inform our brain that our stomach is full, thus helping to prevent unhealthy food cravings.
Banana health benefits far outweigh those of the apple. That's because they have many more vitamins and nutrients than their round counterparts. Bananas have twice as many carbohydrates, 5 times as much Vitamin A and iron, and 3 times as much phosphorus as apples.What fruit has most protein? ›
Guava. Guava is one of the most protein-rich fruits around. You'll get a whopping 4.2 grams of the stuff in every cup. This tropical fruit is also high in vitamin C and fiber.Is banana and peanut butter healthy? ›
Bananas are a nutritious and filling snack that provide essential vitamins and minerals. Peanut butter is a good source of protein and healthy fats, which can help provide sustained energy and long-lasting satisfaction. This combination of carbohydrates and healthy fats can provide a nutritionally balanced snack.At what point is a banana the healthiest? ›
Green bananas are usually starchier, which means they have a minimal amount of sugar – so it's a better choice for those who have, or are at risk of, type 2 diabetes. And because they're so fiber-rich, they'll fill you up in a healthier way.
Bananas Contain Several Important Nutrients
As the banana ripens, the starch in it turns into sugar. For this reason, unripe (green) bananas are high in starch and resistant starch, while ripe (yellow) bananas contain mostly sugar. Bananas also contain a decent amount of fiber, and are very low in protein and fat.
According to Healthline, you should stick to the recommendation of one or two bananas a day, but no more than that. Eating too much of any food, even one as healthy as bananas, can lead to weight gain or deficiencies in nutrients. There are plenty of benefits to your body when you eat a banana every day.Which is healthier green or ripe bananas? ›
Underripe bananas are a great source of prebiotics for gut health and FODMAP friendly, while overripe ones contain the highest sugar and lowest fibre content but are rich in potassium, Vitamin B6, Vitamin C and Fibre, according to sports dietitian Ryan Pinto.How many times a week should you eat bananas? ›
Both pectin and resistant starch help slow down stomach emptying, which causes slower rises in blood sugar and helps you feel fuller for longer. So how many bananas should you eat per week? Kellow and Brewer recommend eating three to four bananas a week.Are bananas good for diabetics? ›
A person with diabetes should include a variety of fresh, whole foods in their diet, such as nutrient-dense fruits and vegetables. Bananas are a safe and nutritious fruit for people with diabetes to eat in moderation as part of a balanced, individualized eating plan.What happens if you eat a banana on an empty stomach? ›
Eating bananas empty stomach might also be a bad thing due to the high magnesium content in them. This can disrupt your metabolism and create an imbalance in your digestive system. In a few cases, it might also negatively affect heart health.What are side effects of banana? ›
Side effects to banana are rare but may include bloating, gas, cramping, softer stools, nausea, and vomiting. In very high doses, bananas might cause high blood levels of potassium. Some people are allergic to banana.Which banana is healthier green or yellow? ›
Give green bananas a try!
Green bananas are healthy, gluten-free, and low FODMAP. The high pectin and resistant starch content help regulate blood sugar and thus inflammation. They may be better tolerated than yellow bananas if you have IBS or other digestive problems.
If you're a banana hater looking for a substitute, kiwi is the perfect fruit for you. Other fruits that contain nutrients similar to bananas include cantaloupes and mangos.What is the best fruit to eat everyday? ›