Want a Super-Food that is high in energy, carbohydrates and natural sugars but doesn’t have any harmful side effects? Go for Bananas! Yes, bananas are nature’s very own energy food, and the calories in banana should really be the least of your concerns. Why, you may ask? For a person like you, who leads an active lifestyle and need tons of energy to go about his or her hectic schedule as well as pack an extensive workout session in the day, energy giving food is an essential you cannot ignore. And fresh, delicious bananas offer you just that.
To find out how many calories in a banana, you need to first understand there are different kinds of bananas. In a lady finger banana, for example, there are 95 calories. There are far more calories in a common banana which is the kind you would most likely buy at the grocery store with the calorie count landing at around 172. Although there are different kinds of bananas and the calorie count can differ dramatically depending on the size and type of the banana, the average for all bananas on the market today falls around the 184 calorie mark. All of these estimates assume the banana is raw (meaning uncooked) and has been peeled.
The scientific name for banana is ‘Musa acuminate colla’. And they are a cheap, energy rich source of food that you can pick fresh from your local grocery store. Here are the reasons you should go for banana fruit, without a worry:
- They are low on saturated fats
- They have no cholesterol in them
- They have minimal amount of sodium
- They are high in dietary fiber, necessary for a strong digestive system
- They are high in potassium, an electrolyte you lose readily while exercising
- They are one of the best foods that offer Vitamin B-6
- They also contain high amount of Vitamin C
There really are no downsides to bananas, apart from the fact they do have a large number of natural sugars in them. But these sugars are what make bananas good as an energy food. So the calories in banana are good calories; calories that give you the energy to live a fit and healthy lifestyle and not be a couch potato.
Banana nutritional facts you should know:
- Vitamin C is an important ingredient for a healthy body. How so? It helps the body fights infections, heal wounds, allows for synthesis of connective tissues and better absorption of Iron which means better health. A banana a day can give you all of that!
- Potassium found in banana is a mineral that helps muscles build and grow, as well as plays an important role in protein synthesis. So the protein supplements you take can be done away with if you depend on a good old Banana shake post workout. Potassium helps nerve impulses that cause muscle contractions, so it really is a wonderful treat, whether you choose to take it pre-workout or post-workout. Also, this potassium is good for you if strokes run in your family. As bananas are low in sodium but high in potassium, they reduce your chances for stroke and regulate optimum blood pressure levels.
- If you are so worried about calories in banana, let us put your mind to ease. Bananas contain 3 natural sugars which are Fructose, Sucrose and Glucose. But that is not all. They also contain high dietary fibers, so they really are great energy foods. This is why athletes depend on bananas as much as they depend on their energy mixes and protein supplements. These sugars offer a boost of energy and aren’t stored as fat if you use them up with your regular active lifestyle.
- Now we all know that Vitamin B6 is a great nutrient. It helps in creating more antibodies, which means, a stronger immunity system. And bananas are loaded with the goodness of Vitamin B6, which means they offer more red blood cell formation, better central nervous system functioning and an enhanced protein metabolism.
- Bananas have digestible carbs, which means that calories in banana are readily burned before calories from other foods. So the calories in banana really are doing you a lot more good than any harm.
Banana Nutrition Table
To put your mind more at ease related to calories in banana, we have here a nutritional chart.
Given below is nutritional content of banana per serving, where one serving equivalents to 1 medium banana (about 118 gm).
|Calories from fat||0|
Know the health benefits of Bananas
- The calories in banana may be high, but banana has minimal fat content. Also, banana has a high amount of vitamins, minerals and anti-oxidants which are all great for your health.
- Banana is used by athletes and underweight people because the calories in banana come from a high carbohydrate source. The 3 sugars in banana are in fact, good for health and these calories are better for overall health as they fuel energy in the best way possible
- Bananas have a high content of dietary fibre, about 7% each 100gms. So this helaps to regulate bowel movements, reduce constipation and problems resulting because of that – like pimples.
- The anti-oxidants in bananas like zeaxanthin, alpha carotenes and beta carotenes and lutein are great for your health. They fight free radicals, giving you better health and reducing age related complaints too!
- The Vitamin B-6 in bananas makes up for 28% of your daily needs. Pyridoxine – an important B-complex vitamin that bananas offer can reduce your risk of developing coronary artery diseases, anaemia and neuritis.
- Fresh bananas also have high levels of magnesium, copper and manganese. Magnesium gives you stronger bones as well as is great for heart health. Copper helps you produce more RBCs and manganese is great because it works with anti-oxidants to purify the systems of your body of free radicals.
Preparation and recommended serving methods:
- It is best to just peel a banana and enjoy it as it is. However, if you like to add flavours and textures to your bananas, here are a few ideas.
- Try banana milkshake. If you are more worried about calories in banana and overall calories, you can have a banana smoothie or even try milkshakes made with skimmed milk.
- Bananas go great with fruit salads. Add chopped pineapples, guavas, apples and oranges and enjoy as a wholesome snack or a great dessert option.
- Banana fritters with low fat ice-cream are both yummy and healthy
- Banana chips are also a great non-sweet snack that is much loved throughout Asia
- Banana and walnut cakes have been a favourite the world over. For the best result, mash ripened bananas for cakes and muffins
- Some people love raw banana vegetables, so that is another option to try!
Interesting Facts about Bananas
The Origin of Bananas:
Bananas originated in Malaysia and the oldest findings date back to 6th century BC. Alexander the Great is the one who took bananas with him back to the western world. China has grown bananas forever, but these particular bananas became popular only in the 20th century. It is said that Americans didn’t get to taste bananas until 350 years after it originated in Asia!
Here are some interesting facts about Banana, some food for thought!
- The word Banana comes from an Arab word called ‘Banan’, which literally means ‘fingers’. Since these finger-like bananas grow in bunches, the name came from there.
- Most bananas are actually harvested green because they are the only fruit that keep ripening long after they are picked!
- Unlike many other fruits, bananas don’t grow on trees. They grow on plants!
- Despite the fact that bananas thrive in tropical climate, even people in Iceland grow bananas by heating the soil with natural geysers!
So that is all about banana nutritional facts. We are sure that after reading so many benefits that bananas offer to you, the calories in banana are going to be the least of your concerns.