Bananas are one of the most common fruits in the world. We can also confidently state that they are among the most important food crops. In some countries, they have even considered a staple food. Bananas are native to southeast Asia and originate from a family of plants called Musa. Bananas can also survive in any part of the world as long as it’s warm.
What is the nutritional value of bananas behind the inviting yellow looks? Should you be eating them at all? Yes, bananas contain proteins and much other nutritional content. Let’s take a deeper look at the nutritional value of bananas.
Banana: Nutritional facts
Bananas come in different sizes and colors though we are accustomed to the yellow ones. The colors of bananas range between green and yellow, but there are red ones too. Each banana ranges in nutritional value depending on the size. Here are some nutritional facts of a medium-sized banana (100grams);
- Protein: 1.1 grams
- Carbs: 22.8 grams
- Water: 75%
- Calories: 89 grams
- Sugars: 12.2 grams
- Fiber: 2.6 grams
- Fat: 0.3 grams
Bananas are exceptionally low in proteins, like most fruits. However, we cannot overlook the benefits of the small amount of protein in bananas. Bananas may not be the best protein source, but they contain other nutrients that some high protein sources cannot match.
For instance, a roasted chicken breast packs over 26.7 grams of protein per 3 ounces. However, it does not contain any fiber, vitamin C, minerals, and other nutrients contained in bananas. If you have ever wondered why you are advised to have a banana after work out, we have the answer!
Bananas support post-workout recovery and may also be used to enhance athletic performance. The small amounts of proteins contribute to energy. Bananas also pack electrolytes like potassium and magnesium. Also, bananas are packed with antioxidants that reduce inflammation during workouts.
Bananas contain more carbs than you would expect. The starch is found in the form of starch when they are raw and sugars when ripe. Unripe green bananas contain 80% starch. When the bananas beg9in to ripe, the carbs composition changes drastically. The starch is transformed into sugars, and by the end of the ripening process, the banana contains less than 1% of starch!
Ripe bananas are overly sweet because they contain fructose, sucrose, and glucose. They are also very low in the Glycemic index (GI), which is a measure of how fast carbs enter your bloodstream.
Banana: Vitamins and minerals
The first nutrient of bananas everybody thinks about is potassium. However, bananas have more than just potassium to offer. They are a great source of various vitamins and minerals. Take a look;
Bananas are very rich in potassium. A high intake of potassium can lower blood pressure in patients and has unbelievable benefits to the heart.
- Vitamin C
Bananas are also a good source of vitamin C, like most fruits.
- Vitamin B6
Bananas are also a good source of Vitamin B6. Studies have shown that taking one medium-sized banana every day can provide up to 33% of this vitamin’s required value.
Bananas are also packed with fibers that prevent constipation, among other benefits. Unripe bananas are composed of starch, as mentioned earlier. When consumed, a big percentage of resistant starch makes its way to the gut without getting digested. The undigested resistant starch in the colon is then fermented by bacteria to form butyrate, which is beneficial to gut health.
Bananas also pack other types of fiber, such as pectin. Pectin on bananas is, however, water-soluble, which explains why bananas become softer as they age.
Banana has more calories than most fruits, but that does not mean that eating them daily could lead to obesity or weight gain. It all depends on how many you eat and the rest of your diet. A medium-sized banana contains up to 100 calories, while a large banana boasts up to 121 calories. With the fiber, the calories in a banana could make you feel fuller faster, so you don’t need to eat anything else throughout the day.
Studies have suggested that eating bananas could promote weight loss and prevent obesity. You must be wondering how considering the number of sugars and calories in these fruits. You need to remember that bananas contain simple sugars that the body can break down. They also contain high fiber content, which leaves you fuller and prevents constipation.
Bananas are known to be radioactive because they contain several bioactive plant compounds such as;
This compound in bananas does not affect mood changes in the body. Rather it acts as an antioxidant.
There are a couple of antioxidant flavanoids are found in bananas, but the one that stands out in amounts and functionality is catechins. Catechins in the body are beneficial to the heart as they reduce the risk of getting heart disease.
Banana: The Benefits
- Promote digestion
Bananas are exceedingly high in fiber, which prevents constipation and indigestion. They also contain resistant starch and pectins, which act as prebiotics to encourage the growth of beneficial bacteria in the gut.
- Promote heart health
Bananas are very rich in potassium, which promotes heart health. Potassium in bananas also regulates normal blood pressure. Bananas also contain antioxidant flavonoids, which significantly reduce the risk of a heart attack. A medium-sized banana contains at least 0.4 grams of potassium.
- Increase energy
Bananas are recommended for athletes to increase energy before and after works outs. They have the same effect as energy drink only without the additives and excess sugars.
Banana: The Downsides
Bananas contain sugars, but they have an exceptionally low GI, unlike foods that contain the same amounts of sugars and carbs. The sugars in bananas are therefore absorbed into the blood at an incredibly low rate. It is therefore risky for people with type 2 diabetes, which is why it is crucial to monitor blood sugar levels after consuming ripe bananas.
protein in banana
Bananas are greatly beneficial to your health, so they are so popular all around the world. They contain a lot of nutrients but should also be consumed in moderate quantities.
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