By Tim Nordberg, Recent Arizona State University Nutrition Student
Everyone knows that bananas are a delicious way to start the day and that they contain a lot of healthy nutrients. As you already know, too, bananas are a fruit. But botanically they are actually a berry. They are grown in 107 countries worldwide, and Americans consume more bananas than apples and oranges combined annually.
This is what your average banana contains:
- Potassium: 9% of the RDI.
- Vitamin B6: 33% of the RDI.
- Vitamin C: 11% of the RDI.
- Magnesium: 8% of the RDI.
- Copper: 10% of the RDI.
- Manganese: 14% of the RDI.
- Net carbs: 24 grams.
- Fiber: 3.1 grams.
- Protein: 1.3 grams.
- Fat: 0.4 grams.
Other than these important vitamins, minerals, and nutrients, bananas contain pectin. Pectin may help keep your blood sugar levels in check. It has been found, also, to reduce appetite by slowing down the emptying of the stomach. Bananas help your digestive health by supplying a healthy amount of dietary fiber, too! The average banana contains roughly 3 grams of fiber.
Like most of us know: bananas contain a good amount of potassium, which helps with control of blood pressure and is good for your heart.
I have noticed that when I start my day with a banana, I usually stay full for quite a while. Bananas also have great flavor and are sweet, so they are a great way to get your kids to eat some fruit in the morning!
Banana ripeness preferences differ from person to person, so if you’ve got a picky little one, let them decide for themselves how ripe they like their bananas. Some people like them when they are very green and others like them almost completely brown. I like mine somewhere in the middle!
There are so many ways to add bananas to your diet. Here are a few of my favorites:
- Cut bananas into rounds, dip in melted chocolate and freeze for quick snacks
- Make pancake batter with mashed bananas and oatmeal
- Add sliced banana and strawberries to a crepe
- Add sliced banana to your cereal
- Sprinkle banana slices over pancakes
For more information about bananas and our favorite banana recipes, visit Fill Your Plate.
Will Bananas Be Extinct in Ten Years? (2015, August 13). Retrieved April, 2017, from http://www.snopes.com/food/warnings/bananas.asp
Ware, M. (n.d.). Bananas: Health benefits, facts, research. Retrieved April, 2017, from http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/271157.php
11 Evidence-Based Health Benefits of Bananas . (2016, August 17). Retrieved April, 2017, from https://authoritynutrition.com/11-proven-benefits-of-bananas/