- Calories: 112
- Fat: 0 grams
- Protein: 1 gram
- Carbohydrates: 29 grams
- Fiber: 3 grams
- Vitamin C: 12% of the Daily Value (DV)
- Riboflavin: 7% of the DV
- Folate: 6% of the DV
- Niacin: 5% of the DV
- Copper: 11% of DV
- Potassium: 10% of DV
- Magnesium: 8% of DV
Benefits of bananas
Reporting from Healthline, here are 5 benefits of bananas according to science.
1. Bananas can support digestive health
Dietary fiber has been linked to many health benefits, including better digestion. One medium banana provides about 3 grams of fiber. Resistant starch, the type of fiber found in unripe bananas, is a prebiotic. Prebiotics pass through digestion and end up in the large intestine, where they become food for the beneficial bacteria in the gut. What’s more, pectin, the fiber found in both ripe and unripe bananas, can help prevent constipation and soften stools.
2. Bananas can help weight loss
There are no studies that directly test the effects of bananas on weight loss. However, this one fruit does have some ingredients that can make it a friendly food for a diet. First, bananas have relatively few calories. The average banana has over 100 calories, but is nutritious and filling. In addition, eating more fiber from vegetables and fruits has been repeatedly linked to weight loss.
3. Bananas can support heart health
Potassium is a mineral that is important for heart health, especially in controlling blood pressure. Bananas are a good source of potassium, with a medium banana (126 grams) providing 10% of the DV. Foods rich in potassium can help lower blood pressure. What’s more, according to research, people who eat a lot of potassium have up to a 27% lower risk of heart disease.
4. Bananas can improve kidney health
Potassium is essential for healthy kidney function and blood pressure regulation. As a good food source of potassium, bananas can be very beneficial for maintaining kidney health. One study involving more than 5,000 people with early-stage chronic kidney disease has linked potassium to lower blood pressure and slower progression of kidney disease.
5. Bananas can increase insulin sensitivity when raw Insulin
Resistance is a significant risk factor for several chronic diseases, including type 2 diabetes. Several studies have revealed that consuming resistant starch regularly, for example by eating raw bananas, can increase insulin sensitivity. This can make the body more responsive to this blood sugar regulating hormone. However, more research is needed to analyze how the resistant starch in bananas can affect insulin sensitivity.