FTC Disclosure: If you make a purchase through a link on this site, I may receive a small commission on the transaction - at no added cost to you. Thank you!
Even if no one ever told me about the health benefits of bananas, I would love them. They are absolute staples in our house, and when the bananas run out, it sends a signal to me saying, "time to grocery shop."
Even our dogs know the name for bananas and will come running over when they hear the snap of peel breaking when I open one.
I like my bananas just ripe and my husband likes them very ripe and spotted brown. For me, the almost sour flavor of a nearly green banana is so much better than the very sweet flavor of the very ripe. It works perfectly in our house though; I eat them at the beginning of the week and he eats them at the end of the week (when they're bad).
Bananas are packed with dietary fiber, which helps clear your digestive tract and prevents degenerative diseases. One medium banana has about a quarter of your daily needs for dietary fiber!
They have about 1/3 of your daily nutritional needs for vitamin C as well as about 1/4 of your potassium needs and 40% of your vitamin B6 requirements, and are high in manganese. It's pretty insane that one tiny piece of fruit can contain such a large percentage of some crucial vitamins.
Technically, if you ate three bananas in a day, you wouldn't need any other vitamin C to satisfy the recommended daily allowance. Of course, you're always better off eating a varied diet so you can take advantage of the other nutrients in other vitamin C-rich foods.
This is probably going to come as a shock to some people... there is actually some protein in a single banana, about 1.3 grams. When someone asks you to list good sources of protein, very few stop to consider that fruits, vegetables, and grains all have varying amounts of protein as well.
I'm not exactly sure where or when the poor banana developed this stigma of being fattening and highly caloric. It's funny, most of the time people drastically underestimate how many calories a food contains, and therefore, how many they eat. Bananas have the opposite effect; if you ask the average person how many calories are in a banana, their guess will be anywhere from double to quadruple the true amount.
A regular, medium sized banana has about 100 calories and under 1 gram of fat!
My only guess as to why there's such a misconception about bananas being fattening is because they don't have nutritional stickers on each banana, and the only time we see what we think are pure bananas with nutritional information is on banana chips. Banana chips are typically deep fried, and are therefore as fatty (and devoid of nutritional value) as anything else you deep fry.
Bananas can make you feel better?
One of the more interesting health benefits of bananas is that they contain tryptophan, the same protein that used to make you feel full after eating Thanksgiving dinner. The tryptophan in bananas will help enhance your mood, so if you're feeling down, trying snacking on a banana.
Evidently the vitamin B6 in bananas can also help calm your mood because it balances your blood sugar levels and calms the nervous system. Fruits and vegetables high in potassium, like bananas, can also help reduce our metabolic rate and lower stress in the body.
People also report using bananas as homeopathic cures for skin ailments like mosquito bites and warts. What they do is rub the inside of a banana peel on the affected area and cover it to keep the banana from rubbing off.
All in all, there are many health benefits of bananas, and they're perfect for people of all ages. They even work as a wonderful first food for new babies when they are about 4-6 months old.