If you've heard that bananas are high in carbohydrates, you may wonder whether they're a healthy fruit to eat. Bananas are made up of mostly complex carbohydrates, including resistant starch, which offers digestive health benefits. The vitamins and potassium in bananas are good for your blood pressure and overall health.
Banana Nutrition Facts
One medium-sized banana (118g) provides 105 calories, 27g of carbohydrates, 14.4g of sugars, and 1.3g of protein. Bananas are an excellent source of potassium, and one serving contains 422mg of potassium. The USDA provides the following nutrition information.
- Potassium: 422mg
- Vitamin C: 10.3mg
- Magnesium: 31.9mg
There are 27g of carbohydrates per medium banana (defined as 7" to 7 7/8" long). These carbohydrates include 3g of fiber and just over 14 grams of naturally occurring sugar. People with diabetes should count bananas as two carb counts or two carb choices.
As bananas ripen, some of the resistant starch (fiber) converts to sugar, meaning that a yellow banana with brown spots has more sugar and less fiber than a green banana of the same size. The glycemic index for bananas ranges from 48–54.
Bananas are low in fat, with less than 0.5 grams per medium-sized banana. Because there are small amounts of fat-soluble vitamins A and K in bananas, consuming them with fat can help unlock that nutritional benefit. A two-tablespoon serving of peanut butter contains about 10 grams of monounsaturated fat, 3.3 grams of polyunsaturated fat, and just 2.8 grams of saturated fat, and is a popular pairing with banana.
Bananas are pretty low in protein as well, with under 1.5 grams per medium banana. Again, peanut butter is a popular and plant-protein-packed addition to bananas, with 8g per two tablespoons.
Vitamins and Minerals
Bananas are known for their potassium content, with one medium-sized banana offering 422mg potassium, or about 9% of the daily value set by the USDA. Along with potassium, bananas contain some vitamin C, folate, magnesium, and choline.
One medium-sized banana (118g) contains 105 calories. How does that compare to other common fruits? A medium-sized gala apple has about 61 calories, a naval orange has 72.8 calories, and one cup of red, seedless grapes (150g) contains 129 calories.
Bananas are a great potassium-loaded food which also contains carbohydrates, vitamin C, and magnesium.
Bananas are a popular fruit with many benefits beyond that post-run hit of potassium. Here are some ways bananas may improve your health.
Improves Diabetes Management
Green bananas are high in resistant starch, which acts like fiber during digestion. Due to their health benefits, green bananas are often ground into a pulp or flour and used in functional food products and scientific studies.
A review of several studies found green banana flour effective in improving insulin sensitivity, promoting weight loss, and reducing some of the liver and kidney issues associated with diabetes—all beneficial for long-term disease management.
Bananas are a good source of prebiotics, the fermentable fibers that help feed "good bacteria," or probiotics, in the gut. Prebiotics aid digestion by promoting the growth of bacteria that help digest food. Pairing bananas with foods that contain live cultures (such as yogurt) is a great way to support gut health, digestion, and regularity.
Furthermore, studies evaluating the effects of green bananas show benefits for both constipation and diarrhea treatment in children. Eating bananas is a simple way to get the digestive system on the right track.
Aids Weight Loss
The banana has a bad reputation for its high starch content, but it is a low-calorie food with plenty of filling fiber to support weight loss goals. With about 3 grams of fiber for every 100 calories, bananas are a great way to feel satisfied without overeating.
Studies show an association between increased fiber intake, calorie reduction, and weight loss. A pooled analysis estimates adding 14 grams of fiber to the diet (or reducing calories by 10%) per day can lead to a weight loss of 4.4 pounds over four months. Bananas as a snack or breakfast choice can help you attain and maintain a healthy weight.
Lowers Blood Pressure
Bananas are a good source of potassium, with a medium banana covering about 9% of the daily value for most adults. The blood pressure-lowering ability of potassium is well established, especially when it is paired with the DASH diet or a low-sodium eating plan.
Eating bananas regularly contributes toward daily potassium requirements to keep blood pressure down and prevent further complications, like strokes and kidney disease. Do your whole body a favor by choosing a banana instead of a salty snack.
May Assist Wound Healing
The antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties in banana peels have made them popular in folk medicine for wound treatment. The inside of banana peels is placed on mosquito bites or minor wounds to provide some relief and protection for healing.
Although this effect may not be fully supported by modern medicine, bananas certainly offer wound-healing nutrients, like vitamin C and other antioxidants when eaten. One medium banana provides about 11% of your daily needs. Vitamin C is a precursor to collagen, an essential component of skin integrity.
Food allergies to bananas are possible, although uncommon. Some people experience a condition called oral allergy syndrome (OAS), where pollen allergens cross-react with fruits, like bananas. Banana allergies are also linked to natural rubber latex allergies. Observation studies show that 20% to 50% of patients with latex allergies react to bananas.
Allergy symptoms may include hives, vomiting, dizziness, tightness of breath, or even anaphylaxis. Although not well-studied, instances of acute pancreatitis have even been reported as the result of a food allergy to bananas. If you suspect an allergy to bananas, see an allergist for a full evaluation.
While bananas are generally beneficial for digestive health, some people experience constipation when increasing their fiber intake from foods like bananas. If you aren't used to eating a lot of fiber, increase your intake gradually and drink plenty of water to help your body adjust to higher fiber intake.
There are more than 1,000 varieties of bananas grown worldwide. Musa Cavendish is by far the most popular, dominating 45% of the global banana market.
Plantains are also considered a variety of bananas, with over 100 types within this subcategory alone. You may find bananas of various shapes and sizes in your local market or ethnic grocery stores. Experiment with different varieties to expand your enjoyment of this classic fruit.
When It's Best
Buy bananas that are still green to give yourself enough time to let them ripen just how you like them. Bananas can be found all year-round, fresh in the supermarket.
Storage and Food Safety
Bananas go from green to yellow to brown as they ripen. If you buy green bananas, you can let them ripen uncovered at room temperature. To speed up the ripening process, place green bananas in a paper bag or place them near other ripe fruits. Don't store bananas in plastic bags, as this will trap humidity, causing them to rot.
Once bananas reach your desired degree of yellow hue, just peel and eat. If you can't get to them right away, store ripe bananas in the refrigerator to buy yourself an extra week. The peel may turn dark brown or black in the refrigerator, but this does not affect the quality of the banana underneath.
You can also peel ripe bananas, mash or slice them, and store them in the freezer in airtight bags. This works well for use in baking or smoothies later on. There's no need to wash bananas or blanch them before freezing. Just wash your hands before handling them.
How to Prepare
There are many different ways to enjoy bananas. Add sliced banana to your plain oatmeal or yogurt to geta healthy dose of sweetness. You can also spread mashed banana (instead of jam) over peanut butter on a piece of whole wheat bread.
Frozen bananas are a yummy substitute for ice cream. Drizzle a frozen mashed banana with a small amount of dark chocolate, add a few crushed almonds, and you'll have a delicious, low-calorie sundae.
Most of us are accustomed to eating only the fruit of the banana and tossing the peel in the garbage. However, banana peels are edible. You may see them used in vegan and Japanese recipes. Just be aware that they can be tough to digest if you aren't used to eating them.
8 Creative Ways to Eat a Banana
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 health benefits of eating a banana a day? ›
Bananas contain fiber, potassium, folate, and antioxidants, such as vitamin C. All of these support heart health. A 2017 review found that people who follow a high fiber diet have a lower risk of cardiovascular disease than those on a low fiber diet.What is the nutritional value of eating bananas? ›
One serving, or one medium ripe banana, provides about 110 calories, 0 gram fat, 1 gram protein, 28 grams carbohydrate, 15 grams sugar (naturally occurring), 3 grams fiber, and 450 mg potassium.What are 3 benefits of banana? ›
- Vitamin B6: A medium banana gives you about a quarter of the vitamin B6 you should get each day. ...
- Vitamin C: You should shoot for between 75-90 milligrams per day. ...
- Magnesium:This mineral helps control your blood pressure and blood sugar and keeps your bones strong.
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.At what point is a banana the healthiest? ›
Among bananas' five stages, there's a clear winner for weight loss. “Green bananas (underripe or barely ripe) have the most weight loss benefits,” says Gabriel. “They are still young and full of resistant starch.Is eating a banana every day OK? ›
They're full important nutrients, but eating too many could end up doing more harm than good. Too much of any single food may contribute to weight gain and nutrient deficiencies. One to two bananas per day is considered a moderate intake for most healthy people.What is the best time to eat banana? ›
You can consume bananas in the morning along with other breakfast foods. However, you should avoid eating them on an empty stomach. Eating bananas at night should also be avoided if you have cough, cold, or breathing problems.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.
The bottom line. Eating bananas before bed may help you get a good night's sleep. Bananas are rich in magnesium, potassium, tryptophan, vitamin B6, carbs, and fiber, all of which may improve sleep quality via different mechanisms.
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.Is banana good for your cholesterol? ›
In addition to sucrose, fructose, and glucose, bananas contain a significant amount of fibre, nutrients, and minerals. It lowers cholesterol and blood pressure due to its high potassium and fibre content. Bananas, like all fruits, are rich in fibre, particularly soluble fibre.Do bananas give you energy? ›
Bananas contain helpful nutrients that make the body feel full of energy. A study in the journal PLoS One notes that eating a banana before a long bicycle ride helps performance and endurance just as much as a carbohydrate drink. While most people are not cycling each day, bananas may still provide energy.Is banana good for heart blockage? ›
New research suggests that eating bananas regularly may help prevent heart attacks and strokes. Bananas and other foods high in potassium can prevent fatal blockages that can develop and prevent arteries from hardening and narrowing.What foods heal the colon? ›
- diluted juices.
- canned fruit.
- plain chicken, turkey, or fish.
- cooked eggs or egg substitutes.
- mashed potatoes, white rice, or noodles.
- sourdough or white bread.
- Leafy Greens. Leafy greens are a powerful prebiotic and are high in vitamins C, K, B complex, folic acid, beta carotene, iron, iodine, calcium, potassium, magnesium, sulphur and chlorophyll. ...
- Asparagus. ...
- Oats. ...
- Greek Yoghurt. ...
- Apples. ...
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 banana healthier than Apple? ›
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.How long does it take to absorb potassium from a banana? ›
Key Points. Eating up to 2 servings of bananas caused marginal increases in plasma potassium concentration. The small increases in plasma potassium concentration occurred 30 to 60 minutes postingestion of bananas.How often should you eat bananas? ›
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.
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 1 banana a day enough potassium? ›
Adults should consume about 3,500mg of potassium per day, according to the UK's National Health Service. The average banana, weighing 125g, contains 450mg of potassium, meaning a healthy person can consume at least seven-and-half bananas before reaching the recommended level.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.What happens if you eat a banana on an empty stomach? ›
If you eat bananas on an empty stomach, then the amount of sugar in your blood can be high. It will give you energy in the beginning but after some time this energy will end and you will start feeling hungry again. Banana is acidic in nature. You may also have gas or indigestion problems in the stomach after eating it.Which fruit is best to eat at night? ›
Bananas are rich in magnesium and have been found to significantly increase melatonin. They're also a good source of carbohydrates to fill you up, making this peel-and-eat snack another easy food to enjoy before bed.
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 for heart? ›
Strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries are jam-packed with important nutrients that play a central role in heart health. Berries are also rich in antioxidants like anthocyanins, which protect against the oxidative stress and inflammation that contribute to the development of heart disease ( 9 ).What is the 1 healthiest food in the world? ›
Lemons. Lemons have been widely regarded in the health industry as the world's healthiest food. The sour fruit is an alkalising powerfood; they have strong anti-inflammatory qualities and can even help to inhibit the growth of cancer cells.What is the number 1 healthiest fruit in the world? ›
- 1 Apple. A low-calorie snack, high in both soluble and insoluble fiber. ...
- 2 Avocado. The most nutritious fruit in the world. ...
- 3 Banana. ...
- 4 Citrus fruits. ...
- 5 Coconut. ...
- 6 Grapes. ...
- 7 Papaya. ...
- 8 Pineapple.
The banana also regulates body temperature. Another vitamin B12-rich fruit is the blueberry. Blueberries are high in antioxidants, which keep us healthy and make our skin look great. Blueberries provide numerous health advantages.
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.Do bananas raise your blood pressure? ›
Bananas. Bananas contain potassium, which can help manage hypertension. One medium-sized banana contains around 422 milligrams (mg) of potassium. According to the American Heart Association (AHA) , potassium reduces the effects of sodium and alleviates tension in the walls of the blood vessels.Can diabetics eat banana? ›
Fruits like bananas are healthy foods that contain fiber, vitamins, and minerals. You can include bananas in your diet even if you have diabetes.What is one fruit you should 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.Which vitamin is for hair fall? ›
Only riboflavin, biotin, folate, and vitamin B12 deficiencies have been associated with hair loss.What nuts are rich in B12? ›
Walnuts. Probably the best of the nut snacks is the humble walnut. This little guy contains a plant-based form of B12 called alpha-linolenic acid.Which fruit has the most zinc? ›
Top Fruits That Are Rich in Zinc
Blackberries: Every 200 calories of blackberries contain 2.5mg zinc with 22% DV. Pomegranate: One of the vital fruits containing zinc can be pomegranate, as it comes with 0.4mg per 100 grams. Raspberries: About 0.4mg zinc is present in 100 grams of raspberries.