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 consumeds 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:
- 23% of your daily requirement of potassium
- 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.
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!
Filed under: Nutrition on April 28th, 2009