How can eating bananas benefit my health?

Marjorie Nolan Cohn
Nutrition & Dietetics
Bananas are a delicious, convenient addition to a healthy diet. They have about 110 calories per serving (or one medium-sized banana).

Nutrients in a banana, per serving:
  • Vitamin B6 -- .5 mg
  • Manganese -- .3 mg
  • Vitamin C -- 9 mg
  • Potassium -- 450 mg
  • Dietary Fiber -- 3g
  • Protein -- 1 g
  • Magnesium -- 34 mg
  • Folate -- 25.0 mcg
  • Riboflavin -- .1 mg
  • Niacin -- .8 mg
  • Vitamin A -- 81 IU
  • Iron -- .3 mg
Benefits of Bananas:
  • Safe and pure enough for baby's first solid food, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics
  • Bananas are a terrific, heart-healthy food when included in a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol. While many factors affect heart disease, diets low in saturated fat and cholesterol may reduce the risk of this disease.
  • Naturally fat-, cholesterol- and sodium-free
  • A good source of potassium, dietary fiber, manganese and vitamins B6 & C
Bananas are a rich and inexpensive source of potassium in the diet. Research suggests that a diet plentiful in potassium lowers blood pressure, especially in salt-sensitive individuals who respond more intensely to sodium’s blood pressure -- raising capabilities.

Potassium helps negate some of the blood pressure-raising effects of excessive dietary sodium as it causes the kidneys to excrete excess sodium from the body. Reducing sodium levels in the body helps lower blood pressure.

While the current recommendation is for healthy Americans to consume 4,700 milligrams of potassium daily, males are consuming only 3,200 milligrams daily, whereas females fall even shorter, consuming only 2,400 milligrams a day, on average.

A banana provides over 400 milligrams of delicious potassium!
Besides being a great source of potassium, bananas are great when used as a pre workout fuel. They have quick digesting carbohydrates and provide quick energy to the muscles. When eaten with in one hour of exercise, they can provide enough fuel for about an hour of exercise. They are highly portable and generally available year round. 

Continue Learning about Bananas

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.