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Nutrition

Banana: Nutrition Facts and Health Benefits

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The high banana nutrition value is one of the main reasons for the popularity of this fruit. You will find this nutrition landmine on many breakfast tables. In this article, we introduce you to the vital banana nutrition facts and benefits.

Bananas, the world’s first fruit, are believed to have originated some 10,000 years ago. These fruits are high in fiber and potassium, among other nutrients making them one of the best electrolyte foods.

Bananas Nutrition: A quick peek

Banana is one of the few fruits that can be eaten raw as well as ripe. In its raw form, bananas are an essential ingredient in curries, stews, and salads. Ripe bananas, too, are widely consumed. 

The table below indicates the nutritional goodness of this fruit. We detail the various nutritional values in a medium-sized banana.

Banana Nutritional Value Table

General Nutrients:  
Calories 80-100
Fiber 2-3 gm
Carbohydrates 20-27 gm
Sugars 14 gm
Proteins 1.5gm
Minerals:  
Potassium 350-400 mg
Magnesium 30 mg
Phosphorus 25 mg
Selenium 1-2 micrograms
Vitamins:  
Vitamin C 9-12mg
Folate (B9) 20-24 micrograms
Other Nutrients:  
Choline 12 mg

*This table is a rough estimate of the nutritional content of a standard, medium-sized banana. Nutritional values may vary depending on the type of banana. 

Banana Benefits- All you need to know

Bananas are highly beneficial for health. The ripe bananas, when consumed moderately, help regulate blood sugar and contribute to your overall health and wellness.

Let us now take a look at some key raw banana benefits and ripe banana benefits

1. Bananas help maintain your heart health

The raw and ripe forms of bananas are excellent in potassium and have very low levels of sodium. This combination is beneficial in regulating your blood pressure. When your blood pressure is in check, your heart stays healthy too.

The pectin present in raw bananas reduces the risk of high triglycerides and cholesterol and contributes to your heart health.

2. Bananas keep your gut healthy

A lesser-known fact about bananas is that they help your digestive system develop prebiotics and probiotics. 

Both of this help cultivate good bacteria in your gut. As a result, your digestive system works efficiently, and your body can absorb the nutrients from your food well.

3. Bananas aid in easy digestion

The high fiber content in bananas ensures easy digestion of food that you have consumed. 

If you struggle with problems such as indigestion and constipation, and increased banana intake in both raw and ripe form can be extremely helpful.

4. Bananas keep your colon healthy

Pectin is a type of fiber present in raw bananas that acts as a prebiotic. Pectin doesn’t get absorbed in your small intestines. Instead, your colon metabolizes this fiber. 

When you consume bananas, good bacteria reach your colon and ensure that the organ stays healthy.

Pectin is also known to reduce the risk of colon cancers.

5. Bananas aid in weight loss

Both raw and ripe bananas are high in fiber. Fiber takes longer to digest and keeps you feeling fuller for longer. Hence, those planning to lose weight can add bananas to their diet.

If you are planning to lose weight, raw bananas are a better option than ripe bananas since the raw ones are extremely low in sugar content.

6. Bananas regulate blood sugar levels

The high fiber content in bananas regulates blood sugar spikes and keeps your diabetes in check. Moderate consumption of ripe bananas is generally advised for diabetes patients.

However, if you have type 2 diabetes, you may want to consult with your consulting doctor/medical practitioner if you have any questions regarding bananas.

Other ripe banana benefits:

Apart from the above, eating ripe bananas has many advantages 

  • Bananas elevate your mood
  • Eating bananas improve sleep quality due to the presence of Tryptophan, a precursor for melatonin
  • Banana carbs improve your energy levels
  • These fruits act as an excellent source of electrolytes by being rich in potassium, calcium, and manganese.
  • Banana vitamins such as C, B12, and B6 make this fruit a superfood
  • Increasing your energy levels 
  • Consuming bananas also helps in quick muscle recovery and forms an ideal post-workout nutrition option.

Bananas are one of the best superfoods. On days when you are extremely busy, give your child a banana and a glass of milk for a nutritious breakfast. 

The calories in 1 banana are good enough to keep you going till mid-morning snack or lunchtime.

Banana Peel: Don’t throw it away

Most of us are used to consuming fruit and throwing away the peel. But did you know that the peel can be eaten and is highly nutritious too?

Banana peels are high in dietary fiber, essential amino acids, and polyunsaturated fatty acids. Eating them can be extremely beneficial for you.

Let us explore some lesser-known uses of the banana peel.

Banana peel uses

  • You can use banana peel to moisturize and hydrate skin. Rubbing the banana peel on your face reduces acne, scars, and wrinkles and keeps your skin healthy.
  • The antioxidants in banana peel keep your hair healthy and lustrous. You can use this peel in a homemade hair mask to achieve the benefits.
  • Rashes? Sunburn? Bug bite? Apply banana peel to the area, and you can feel instant relief from the itchiness and irritation.
  • Headache? Place a frozen banana peel in the area where you feel the pain.

Banana Factoid

Did you know that bananas are radioactive? Yes, it is true. Bananas are high in potassium. Potassium-40, one of the naturally occurring forms of potassium in bananas, is isotopic in nature, meaning radioactivity. This translates to bananas being radioactive too.

But you needn’t worry. One banana or a dozen bananas or even a hundred bananas are nowhere enough to trigger a radioactive warning. You will literally need a truckload of bananas to signal a mild presence of radioactivity on a detector.

Bottom Line:

Banana nutrition facts are well-known, and this is why the fruit is so popular in every region and country across the world. This superfood is choc-a-bloc with many nutrients, electrolytes, vitamins, and essential amino acids.

The next time you have a lazy day and don’t feel like eating anything, just grab a banana. It will fill you up and keep you in a good mood too!!

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