Nutrition Of Banana: What You Need To Know About This Fruit
Bananas are commonly grown in Southeast Asia and other warm countries. They provide lots of potassium, fiber, vitamin C, phytonutrients, vitamin B6 and C, and antioxidants. They vary by size and type with colors ranging from yellow to green, with even a few reds in between. But what makes this fruit worth knowing is the nutrients it brings. Here is a guide to the nutrition of banana.
Nutrients, Vitamins, And Minerals
A medium-sized banana contains 89 calories, 22.8 g carbs, 2.6 g fiber, 1.1 g protein, 12.2 g sugar, 0.3 g fat, and 75% water. Here are more details about its nutrients:
- Fiber. Unripe bananas are rich in resistant starch, which is good for your large intestine because bacteria ferment and convert it into butyrate, a fatty acid that promotes gut health. Bananas also contain pectin, a water-soluble fiber. Pectin and resistant starch help regulate the increase in blood sugar after eating.
- Carbs. Bananas contain fructose, sucrose, and glucose. Because they rank relatively low on the glycemic index, which measures how fast the food can raise your blood sugar, you should eat more bananas to maintain normal blood pressure.
- Vitamin B6. Consuming a medium-sized banana will give you 33% of the recommended daily value of vitamin B6.
- Potassium. This is an integral part of the nutrition of banana, especially for people with high blood pressure. This mineral also makes the banana excellent food for heart health.
- Vitamin C. Bananas also provide vitamin C like many other fruits.
Bananas boast of bioactive plant compounds that are good for your health. Catechin and dopamine also make up the nutrition of banana. Catechins are antioxidant flavonoids that help lower the risk of cardiovascular disease, among others. Dopamine may be called a happy hormone, but the compounds you find in banana merely serve as antioxidants.
Benefits Of The Nutrition Of Banana
The following benefits might encourage you to pick up a banana for lunch and more meals onwards:
- Good for the heart. Considering how heart disease is the world’s most common cause of early death, it’s a healthy idea to start eating more bananas now. These fruits are rich in potassium, which helps regulate blood pressure and lower the risk of heart disease. Studies showed that eating 1.3 to 1.4 g of potassium reduces this risk by 26%.
- Digestive health benefits. The nutrition of the banana makes it suitable for gut health. The pectins and resistant starch found in bananas, which are particularly high in unripe bananas, promote the growth of good bacteria in the gut. The good bacteria ferment these compounds in bananas in the large intestine, converting them into a short-chain fatty acid that benefits your digestive health.
Note Of Caution
It has not been clearly established whether bananas are good for people diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. This is because these fruits are rich in sugar and starch, which should be consumed in moderation by diabetic people who need to control their blood sugar levels. However, bananas also rank low on the glycemic index, so they can be consumed in regulated amounts without raising your blood sugar like other carbohydrate loaded foods.
To be safe, people with diabetes should not eat over-ripened bananas and they should check their blood sugar levels after eating this fruit. Like with other food, eat bananas in moderation.