There have been many controversies about bananas being healthy for losing weight the fact that they contain high sugar content. There are also diets which encourage you to eat raw fruits and vegetables. These controversies set you thinking are bananas good for your health? A lot of research has been done to prove that bananas contribute massively to an individual’s health. In this article, we will go in details of banana nutrition facts, calories, and health benefits you can get from eating a fresh banana.
Banana Nutrition Facts And Calories
- A banana contains approximately 90 to 120 calories with carbohydrates leading the highest percentage. Half of a banana would provide you with about 45 to 60 calories. Most dieters use this to control their calorie intake.
- A banana contains the least amount of fats, about 0.3 to 0.5 grams. However, they do have a creamy consistency, thus, adding a creamy taste in healthy foods such as smoothies.
- Bananas are a great source of essential minerals and vitamins such as magnesium, potassium, fiber and much more. These vitamins and minerals make bananas an ideal food for athletes who exercise regularly.
- Bananas are a good source of dietary fiber which enhances the quality of bowel movements. It also facilitates the absorbance of dietary components such as calcium.
- People who use beta blockers should reduce their intake of bananas.
|Summary Of Banana Nutrition Facts|
|Principle||Nutrient value||% of RDA||Minerals||Nutrient value||% of RDA|
|Calories||105 Kcal||5%||Calcium||5.9 mg||1%|
|Total Fat||0.4 g||1%||Iron||0.3 mg||2%|
|Saturated fat||0.1 g||1%||Magnesium||31.9 mg||8%|
|Proteins||1.3 g||3%||Phosphorous||26.0 mg||3%|
|Omega-3 fatty acids||31.9 mg||–||Potassium||422 mg||12%|
|Omega-6 fatty acids||54.3 mg||–||Zinc||0.2 mg||1%|
|Carbohydrates||27.0 g||9%||Copper||0.1 mg||5%|
|Cholesterol||0 mg||0%||Manganese||0.3 mg||16%|
|Sugars||3 g||Selenium||1.2 mcg||2%|
|Dietary fiber||14 g||12%||Sodium||1.2 mg||0%|
|Vitamins in a Banana|
|Principle||Nutrient value||% of RDA||Principle||Nutrient value||% of RDA|
|Vitamin A||75.5 IU||2%||Niacin||0.8 Mg||4%|
|Vitamin C||10.3 mg||17%||Vitamin B6||0.4 mg||22%|
|Vitamin E||1.1 mg||1%||Folate||23.6 mcg||6%|
|Vitamin K||0.6 mcg||1%||Pantothenic Acid||0.4 mg||4%|
What Are The Health Benefits?
Bananas are excellent for both digestive and heart health. Banana nutrition chart we mentioned above, gives us a clear overview of banana nutrition facts or contribution to our health. Now we will discuss details of banana health benefits to our heart health and digestive health.
- Digestive health
The resistant starch and pectin contained in green or unripe bananas are different types of dietary fiber help to improve the bowel movements. They both act as prebiotic nutrients to support the growth of gut and beneficial bacteria to the body. It helps to reduce constipation and other gut issues making banana essential in your diet.
- Heart health
Heart disease is the most popular cause of premature death for most people around the world. Eating bananas help to improve heart health by regulating blood pressure. Potassium is the essential mineral found in bananas that aids in promoting all these functions. Most studies indicate that daily consumption of 1.3g – 1.4g of potassium can reduce the risk of heart disease by about 26 %.
Here we are going to look at an in-depth discussion of banana health benefits.
Bananas create a rich source of carbohydrates; mainly sugars in ripe bananas and starch in unripe bananas. There is a drastic change in the carbohydrate composition of bananas when they are ripening. On the basis of dry weight, unripe bananas contain starch of about 70 to 80 percent. The conversion of starch to sugar usually happens during ripening decreasing to less than 1% after the banana ripens fully.
Fructose and glucose are the most popular types of sugar you expect to find in ripe bananas. Depending on their ripeness, bananas contain a glycemic index of about 42 to 58 which is relatively low. It is a measure of how fast the carbohydrates are absorbed into your bloodstream.
The high content of resistant fiber and starch explains the low glycemic index of bananas that mitigates the rise in blood sugar after a meal.
Vitamins And Minerals
Bananas are a good source of essential minerals and vitamins such as Vitamin C, Potassium and Vitamin B6.
- Potassium: A diet that contains a significant amount of potassium helps to minimize the high blood pressure in patients and additionally has positive impacts on our cardiovascular health.
- Vitamin C: Bananas contain high amounts of Vitamin C which help protect against heart diseases. It also prevents scurvy and helps to repair and regenerate tissues. Research also indicates Vitamin C can protect against some cancers by combating free radicals.
- Vitamin B6: One medium-sized banana can provide you with 33% of Vitamin B6 which is the recommended daily intake for an individual. Vitamin B6 also supports eye health and additionally reduces the dry eye symptoms.
- Serotonin: A banana is also rich in serotonin that prevents symptoms of depression. It is a neurotransmitter responsible for mood regulation.
The resistant starch is mostly found in unripe bananas. As the name suggests, it is a type of resistant fiber to digestion. This starch is passed down to the colon where it is fermented by bacteria to form a short-chain fatty acid called Butyrate. This process provides beneficial effects that help improve your intestinal health.
Pectin is another type of fiber found in bananas. Some of them are soluble in water. The portion of water-soluble pectin increases when bananas start to ripen. It is one of the primary reasons why bananas become softer as they continue to age. Both resistant starch and pectin help to moderate the rise in blood sugar levels after a meal.
Other plant compounds:
There are several types of bioactive plant compounds found in fruits and vegetables. The same applies to bananas as well. Some of the plant compounds that can be found in a banana include:
- Catechin: The Catechins are the most notable antioxidant flavonoids you expect to find in a banana. They are associated with many health benefits including the reduction of health risks associated with cardiovascular disease.
- Dopamine: Dopamine doesn’t affect mood by crossing the blood-brain barrier, despite the fact that it is an essential neurotransmitter in the brain. However, it acts as a potent antioxidant which poses great health benefits.
Ripe Vs Unripe Bananas:Which Are Better?
Bananas are one of the most appetites satisfying fruit. Many people have them as meal replacements as well. Banana helps you to satisfy your hunger without consuming a high amount of calories. The only question which most of the people have is whether they should have ripe bananas or unripe bananas. Which one is better for you? You have to look at the pros and cons of both ripe and unripe bananas to consider which one is better for you.
1. Unripe Bananas:
- Pros: The best thing about unripe bananas is they do not consist of a high amount of sugar. If you have type 2 diabetics or if you want to avoid sugar in your diet, unripe bananas are the perfect option for you. Also, when you look at the composition of unripe bananas, you will realize they consist of probiotic bacteria. Due to this very reason, your digestive system & colon health is improved significantly as well. When you’re consuming unripe bananas, your body can absorb the nutrients much better.
- Cons: The only downside to unripe bananas is that the number of antioxidants which are present in unripe bananas is pretty low.
2. Ripe Bananas:
- Pros: Ripe bananas that are the yellow bananas are easier to digest. Yellow bananas are easy to digest because by now the resistant starch which is present in the unripe bananas has changed to sugar. The number of antioxidants which is present in ripe bananas is also on the higher side. As a result, not only you can fight the signs of aging but also you can reduce inflammation in your body as well. It is a definite advantage when you’re consuming ripe bananas.
- Cons: The only bit of problem is that if you are avoiding sugar, you should avoid consuming ripe bananas. If you’re trying to lose weight, the ripe bananas are not the perfect option for you. Similarly, if you’re a diabetes patient, you should avoid ripe bananas.
Above mention pros and cons help you to understand in which conditions, you should consume ripe bananas & unripe bananas.
Are They Good For Weight Loss?
Most experts would recommend avoiding bananas to weight loss as they contain high sugar content than other fruits. For dieters, portion control is always essential regardless of the type of food you are eating. If you are thinking of losing weight by incorporating bananas into your meal, take count of the calorie intake to keep your diet in check.
Bananas are one of the widely consumed fruits and they can be taken when ripe or cooked, when green or unripe. They pose great health benefits that can boost your immunity to fight against diseases such as scurvy and cardiovascular disease. Banana nutrition facts also help with your digestive health when taken in moderate amounts.