Called ‘The Fruit of Wise’, bananas live up to their reputation by offering us a plethora of healthy nutrients and good carbohydrates and become nature’s very own ‘Energy food’. The amazing banana nutrition facts are known for ages. They say that bananas originated in the Indo Malaysian region before the 3rd Century BC and were not carried to Europe until after 10th Century AD. It is believed that Portuguese travellers carried bananas from Western Africa to South America in the 16th Century.
There are two common kinds of bananas – the ripe sweet fruit and the plantain. The fruit is picked when raw and eaten once it ripens and becomes yellow and sweet. The fruit has a soft, creamy texture, where the pulp is removed from the outer covering and eaten just like that. The plantain is a cooking banana, which is consumed in the form of a vegetable. These plantains have a lower water content which makes them starchier and higher in calories. (Check Calories in a Banana) Both banana fruit and plantain are grown in humid tropical regions, and together are the 4th largest fruit crop the world over. The other fruits which are more widely grown than banana are grapes, citrus fruits and apples. It is estimated that about 28 million tons of banana are cultivated every year. Out of this, about 65% of the banana comes from Latin America, a 27% from Southeast Asia and a small percentage of 7% from Africa. After cultivation, banana is exported to other countries like United States, Canada and inner parts of Europe. In Asia, the leading banana producer is India.
Now that was all about how and where banana grows. Let us talk more on banana nutrition facts, and what makes them such a good fruit for you.
Banana nutrition table
The image below contains the most basic banana nutrition facts. Below the image are some more facts on banana nutrition.
Banana nutrition facts
Here are some more banana nutrition facts which will hopefully persuade you into eating more bananas.
- Bananas give power – A banana doesn’t just give you a sudden boost of energy; this is sustainable energy that fuels the body’s high intensity activities. This is why banana is the most preferred fruit by athletes who need more stamina – like cyclists and footballers. For these players, banana becomes a powerhouse of quick energy, which comes from the good carbohydrates and sugars in banana fruit. Banana is a fruit that can be eaten anytime – pre-workout, during workout and even post workout for quicker recovery.
- Bananas are great antioxidants – Many scientific tests and researches have confirmed that bananas are natural antioxidants. Study revealed that bananas can reduce levels of oxidative stress along with LDL levels, which is the bad kind of cholesterol. One study even went on to confirm that the antioxidant power of banana can protect nerve cells against diseases like Alzheimer’s.
- Bananas are high in Vitamins – There is nothing like a banana for a healthy dosage of Vitamin B6, which is a necessary vitamin that aids with production of serotonin and GABA. Along with that, bananas also offer you the goodness of Vitamin C, Vitamin B, Folates, Riboflavin and Niacin.
- Bananas have a low GI – With a Glycemic index as low as 52, bananas don’t cause spikes in blood sugar levels and are in fact, very healthy. Even though they have some natural sugars, these are good sugars. And banana is one of those fruits that even diabetics can eat witout a single worry.
- Bananas have cancer fighting properties – the Lectins in bananas have been strongly linked to reducing chances of cancer in human beings. Not just that, doctors today believe that bananas can even help in the treatment of cancer, as these lectins kill cancer cells in the body. A study done in Sweden revealed that out of all fruits, banana has the highest number of properties that fight cancer, especially renal cancer. So those people who eat up to 5 bananas a week can reduce their cancer of getting renal cancer by up to 50%!
- Bananas are the ideal snack – Just got home from work and need an instant snack that energizes you? There is nothing like a banana, as this fruit needs no de-seeding, no peeling, and no chopping. Just pull back the outer cover and chew on a perfectly yummy snack that is full of good carbohydrates that make sure your blood sugar levels stay maintained at optimum levels. Doctors have revealed that a banana at mid day can maintain sugar levels in the body and help with improved memory, clearer thinking and no mood swings! What can be better than a banana, when this snack comes with zero fats and a low GI?!
- Bananas help maintain a healthy BP – For those of you who have long suffered from blood pressure related issues, banana is the perfect food. Not only is it low in sodium, it is also high in potassium that helps regulate normal blood pressure. Ever since an Australian study proved that high BP can be beaten by a diet that is high in potassium and low in sodium, doctors have been advising more and more patients to eat bananas every day. Potassium is not a nutrient you get easily from a regular diet of processed foods, which is why making room for banana each day only makes sense. After all, it reduces chances of having stroke!
- Banana aids in digestion – Now we have seen the many benefits of banana. But what is the most common benefit? Yes, good digestion is one of the best properties of bananas as they are full of fibre. They ensure regular bowel movements, cleansing your colon of all toxins and protect you against constipation. It is nature’s very own laxative, along with making for 10% of your fibre needs every day. Still need more reasons to eat banana every day? Read on!
- Bananas can help in weight control – Unlike popular belief, bananas don’t make you fat. If anything, they will help you to lose weight. Bananas are very filling, and since they have good carbohydrates they give you only the right kind of calories. These are calories you can easily burn off by regular workouts, and these calories keep you energized through a hectic day of work. Since bananas have no fat content, they are a great diet food. They give dieters the energy they need to go about the day, without giving them unnecessary calories that might be stored as fat in the body.
- Bananas can moisturize your skin – Enough about eating bananas. But did you know that banana is also great for your skin and your scalp health? We bet you didn’t! The Vitamins in bananas make it a great mask – whether you want to mash it up to put it on your scalp or your face, bananas work wonders as they naturally moisturize your skin and remove dry patches. So the next time you have some banana left over from your salad, you know what to do with it!
So now that you know so much more about bananas and their nutritional value, we sure hope you will include them in your daily diet. Remember this tip while shopping for bananas – pick a mix of ripe and green bananas. This is because bananas ripen even after being picked, so you will get a steady flow of ripe, ready to eat bananas in your fruit tray instead of over ripe blackened bananas. We hope you know know everytinh on banana nutrition facts you wanted to know. If not, please post your question below. We’re happy to answer all your questions.
So, are you ready to Go Bananas?!