How many calories in a banana? Banana calories are fairly low – only about 85 calories for a small banana (6 inches long) up to 135 calories in an large banana (9 inches long).
Plus, luckily for us, since bananas are so tasty, banana health benefits are pretty high.
And because of their tastiness, convenience and availability, bananas are statistically the most popular fruit in the world. The reasons for banana’s unchallenged popularity are simple.
Included among bananas benefits is the fact that they're wonderfully sweet and creamy with a naturally rich firm flesh. And bananas come prepackaged in their very own little easily unzip-able yellow jackets. Plus, there's a generous supply available to eat all year long.
So, what could possibly be a drawback from the health benefits of bananas?
Bananas are one of the highest glycemic fruits on the glycemic index. Which means, eaten alone, they can raise your blood sugar. But this can easily be overcome by always eating bananas combined with some protein, a little fat or possibly some other lower glycemic fruits.
Banana Benefits and Health Benefits
Since bananas are a favorite fruit for everyone, from babies to the elderly, they can be part of your daily recommended 5 to 9 fresh fruits and vegetables. Bananas benefits include:
- They're a very rich source of potassium, which helps protect against heart disease.
- And they're also a good source of vitamins B6 and C, fiber and magnesium.
- Low in calories – about 25 calories per ounce (3 oz. x 25 = 75 calories).
- And they're very easy to digest and contain NO fat or sodium.
- Plus, bananas are great natural sources of instant energy.
- They're available all year long and are very convenient to use.
- Since they're so sweet, bananas also serve as a natural sugar substitute.
- They're a great snack after exercise and help replace lost vitamins and minerals.
- And bananas have serotonin and norepinephrine, making them a natural good mood food.
How to Choose and Use Bananas
Bananas are one of the most unique of all fruits. This is because, unlike most other fruit, bananas don't grow on trees. They're 10 to 25 foot giant herb plants related to lilies and orchids.
Choose bananas that are green tipped for ripening at home. Completely yellow bananas are ready to eat. As bananas ripen, they get more and more brown speckles and become sweeter. Very ripe brown speckled bananas are best for baking in whole grain breads or muffins.
Store bananas at room temperature until they're ripe and then refrigerate. The peeling of the fruit will darken in the fridge but the banana inside will stay firm and sweet. To ripen a banana faster, put it in a brown paper bag overnight, preferably with a ripe banana or other ripe fruit.
You can use bananas in cereal, mixed with yogurt and other fruit or in a delicious fruit salad recipe. You can also peel and freeze bananas to use in fruit smoothies or protein shakes.
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Note: The information contained on this website is not intended to be prescriptive. Any attempt to diagnose or treat an illness should come under the direction of a physician who is familiar with nutritional therapy.