What Vitamins and Minerals are in Bananas – The Most Consumed Fruit in the World?

Traditional offerings of bananas and coconut a...
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Since I am a nutritionist, after all, I thought it was about time I slipped in a blog post about food!

Turns out a lot of people are asking “What vitamins and minerals are in bananas?

In fact,  bananas are one of the most consumed fruits in the world!

I can see why.  Bananas are inexpensive, readily available all year, portable, super easy to peel, and easy to chew and digest.

Here are the highlights of the vitamins and minerals in one medium banana:

  • 41% of your vitamin B6
  • 33% of your vitamin C for the day!
  • 23% of your suggested fiber intake for the day.

Why Do You Need Potassium?

Potassium, an electrolyte, is a very important mineral for regulating blood pressure, which is why you often see bananas and other potassium-rich foods, such as  papayas and mangoes, suggested for anyone with high blood pressure concerns. Potassium is also critical in regulating muscle function, and heart, kidney and adrenal function. You need potassium.

A drawback to bananas, however, is their high sugar content. At 28 grams of sugar per banana, if you are watching your carb/sugar intake (if you have diabetes, for example, or are wanting to lose weight) you may want to limit your bananas.  As a comparison, a medium apple with skin has approximately 13 grams of sugar.

Cooking With Bananas - Whip Up Some Banana Cookies!

The good thing about that sugar content is you can use ripe bananas in recipes (the riper the banana the higher the sugar content) and cut back on the sugar needed. Using fruit versus refined sugar is always a healthy idea.  In fact, here’s a tasty recipe for banana cookies, with  the naturalhealthywoman.com stamp of approval – delicious, nutritious…and easy!

Of course, variety is the spice of life.  It’s also the best way to get the many vital nutrients you need to stay healthy.  If you are serious about your health, you probably know the recommended daily total intake of fruits and vegetables has been updated to nine servings (from five) per day.

Don’t groan!  You can do it! Keep in mind that one serving (generally 1 cup), isn’t that much.  It’s actually easy to get credit for 2 servings at a time with a 2 cups of berries in the morning, a large apple at lunch, a big helping of veggies at dinner…you get the idea.  However, if you aren’t even at five per day, start there, and then I promise to post later about easy ways to sneak in a few more servings every day.

In fact, that’s the real secret to eating healthy:  Make it easy.  Have it available. Sounds simple, but when it’s not there for you to grab, that’s when you reach for the chips instead of the banana, or the cookie instead of the apple.

Here’s one of my favorite ways to make it super easy!  Get fresh, healthy fruit delivered to your door on a regular basis!

And….very important…..The Fruit Company offers an all-organic fruit basket. I always recommend organic whenever possible and I’m absolutely delighted they offer this option.

(If you aren’t already convinced about the importance of eating organic, look for more info on that topic soon.)

In the meantime, go bananas with fresh fruit and veggies and do your health a world of good!

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7 Responses to “What Vitamins and Minerals are in Bananas – The Most Consumed Fruit in the World?”

  1. You know, that’s really interesting. I started out my net search for bananas because I wanted to uncover a great recipe for banana pie. Some how I came across your site. I am quite glad I took the time to read your page. Fascinating how the net can move you around and support you to learn so effortlessly. Thanks for the fantastic insight. I

  2. Hi Donald! I’m glad you liked the post. :-)

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  4. This is good news about bananas! It is easily my favorite fruit, but I have always heard the warnings about high sugar content. I knew about the potassium and fiber but the rich levels of Vitamin C and B6 were a surprise.Just recently I have began to see reports that the positives by far out-weigh the negatives of sugar content.
    sara recently posted..The Role of B VitaminsMy Profile

  5. I eat two bananas per day, I find that if I do that I do not have sweet cravings, a little known fact they regulate blood sugars. Natural sugars in bananas are just that natural and should not be considered a detriment to weight loss in fact they should be consider a helpful assistant in that en-devour, they give you more energy, the high potassium is good for muscles and prevents cramping i.e charlie horse, they also help people rest better during sleep. Regulating blood sugar side effect, staying on track, leaving alone the need or craving for sweets and other unhealthy snacks. Bananas are power food, breakfast food, mid-morning, snack . I keep my intake to 2 per day. I read a list that was a lot more detailed than given here about this fruit they ended by saying instead of an apple a day keeps the Dr away, we should change it to banana a day ;)

  6. I felt bad about not having the list posted with my comment so here it is:
    ” BANANAS…”
    A very interesting FACTS

    Never, put your banana in the refrigerator!!!…
    This is interesting. After reading this, you’ll never look at a banana in the same way again.

    Bananas contain three natural sugars – sucrose, fructose and glucose combined with fiber. A banana gives an instant, sustained and substantial boost of energy.

    Research has proven that just two bananas provide enough energy for a strenuous 90-minute workout. No wonder the banana is the number one fruit with the world’s leading athletes.

    But energy isn’t the only way a banana can help us keep fit. It can also help overcome or prevent a substantial number of illnesses and conditions, making it a must to add to our daily diet.

    DEPRESSION:
    According to a recent survey undertaken by MIND amongst people suffering from depression, many felt much better after eating a banana. This is because bananas contain tryptophan, a type of protein that the body converts into serotonin, known to make you relax, improve your mood and generally make you feel happier.

    PMS:
    Forget the pills – eat a banana. The vitamin B6 it contains regulates blood glucose levels, which can affect your mood.

    ANEMIA:
    High in iron, bananas can stimulate the production of hemoglobin in the blood and so helps in cases of anemia.

    BLOOD PRESSURE:
    This unique tropical fruit is extremely high in potassium yet low in salt, making it perfect to beat blood pressure So much so, the US Food and Drug Administration has just allowed the banana industry to make official claims for the fruit’s ability to reduce the risk of blood pressure and stroke.

    BRAIN POWER:
    200 students at a Twickenham (Middlesex) school ( England ) were helped through their exams this year by eating bananas at breakfast, break, and lunch in a bid to boost their brain power. Research has shown that the potassium-packed fruit can assist learning by making pupils more alert.

    CONSTIPATION:
    High in fiber, including bananas in the diet can help restore normal bowel action, helping to overcome the problem without resorting to laxatives.

    HANGOVERS:
    One of the quickest ways of curing a hangover is to make a banana milkshake, sweetened with honey. The banana calms the stomach and, with the help of the honey, builds up depleted blood sugar levels, while the milk soothes and re-hydrates your system.

    HEARTBURN:
    Bananas have a natural antacid effect in the body, so if you suffer from heartburn, try eating a banana for soothing relief.

    MORNING SICKNESS:
    Snacking on bananas between meals helps to keep blood sugar levels up and avoid morning sickness.

    MOSQUITO BITES:
    Before reaching for the insect bite cream, try rubbing the affected area with the inside of a banana skin. Many people find it amazingly successful at reducing swelling and irritation.

    NERVES:
    Bananas are high in B vitamins that help calm the nervous system..

    Overweight and at work? Studies at the Institute of Psychology in Austria found pressure at work leads to gorging on comfort food like chocolate and chips. Looking at 5,000 hospital patients, researchers found the most obese were more likely to be in high-pressure jobs. The report concluded that, to avoid panic-induced food cravings, we need to control our blood sugar levels by snacking on high carbohydrate foods every two hours to keep levels steady.

    ULCERS:
    The banana is used as the dietary food against intestinal disorders because of its soft texture and smoothness. It is the only raw fruit that can be eaten without distress in over-chronicler cases. It also neutralizes over-acidity and reduces irritation by coating the lining of the stomach.

    TEMPERATURE CONTROL:
    Many other cultures see bananas as a ‘cooling’ fruit that can lower both the physical and emotional temperature of expectant mothers. In Thailand , for example, pregnant women eat bananas to ensure their baby is born with a cool temperature.

    So, a banana really is a natural remedy for many ills. When you compare it to an apple, it has FOUR TIMES the protein, TWICE the carbohydrate, THREE TIMES the phosphorus, five times the vitamin A and iron, and twice the other vitamins and minerals.. It is also rich in potassium and is one of the best value foods around So maybe its time to change that well-known phrase so that we say, ‘A BANANA a day keeps the doctor away!’

    PASS IT ON TO YOUR FRIENDS…
    PS: Bananas must be the reason monkeys are so happy all the time! I will add one here; want a quick shine on our shoes?? Take the INSIDE of the banana skin, and rub directly on the shoe…polish with dry cloth. Amazing fruit !!!

  7. Thank you for the great tips on bananas!

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