Who Else Wants To Know How Many Calories In A Banana?
In this article, I will share… how many calories in a banana, nutritional information, a delicious banana bread protein shake recipe, and a few other interesting facts like, how effective bananas are at preventing cramps. Or, are there more calories in a banana that is ripper and sweeter than a bitter banana.
At around 23 cents a piece, the banana may be one of the cheapest, most affordable, healthy natural foods you can buy! That’s why over 100 billion bananas are consumed every year, making them the 4th largest agricultural product in the world. Below are just a few of the nutritional benefits along wirh how many calories in a banana…
- The banana is full of vitamins, minerals, dietary fiber and phytonutrients
- Very low calorie snack, there are only about 110 calories in a banana
- Because bananas are easy to digest and seldom cause allergic reactions, they are good for a baby’s first solid food
- A banana is fat, cholesterol and sodium free
- The banana provides an excellent source of vitamin B6
- Bananas are a terrific heart-healthy food
How Many Calories in a Banana
Banana Nutrition Facts
While there aren’t many calories in a banana, they’re still packed with plenty of nutrition.
Percent Daily Value in one banana:
- vitamin C: 15%
- vitamin B6: 20%
- manganese: 16%
- dietary fiber: 13%
- potassium: 13%
- magnesium: 8%
- riboflavin (B2): 5%
- niacin (B3): 4%
- folate: 6%
- vitamin A: 1%
- iron: 2%
Even though the banana is touted as a high potassium food, there isn’t all that much in there when compared to other foods. Its Percent Daily Value is 13% or about 465mg. This means that one serving only provides 13% of the potassium you need each day. You can get about the same amount of potassium from 3oz of cooked tuna. If you are looking for a higher concentration of potassium, you will find that dried apricots do much better, nearly twice as much. The potato is another great option as a spud packs 1,081mg of potassium into one cup. So though promoted to be rich in potassium, bananas aren’t the powerhouse you were led to believe.
Believe it or not there is a Banana Diet. Because of the low number of calories in a banana, and it’s nutrition someone put together a banana diet. Back in 2008, a Japanese pharmacist created the Morning Banana Diet to help her husband lose weight. It took off in Japan. It became so popular that there was a shortage of bananas in the country for a while.
It was a pretty basic diet…
- Eat bananas for breakfast
- Drink water
- Eat a normal lunch
- Enjoy a normal dinner
- Sip water any time you like
- Make sure you finish supper before 8pm
Pretty simple, though you could substitute any healthy low calorie food and have the same results. Be on the lookout for my Broccoflower Diet.
Even though there aren’t many calories in a banana, I wouldn’t recommend it as a weight loss diet food because of the high carbohydrate content.
Old School Banana Infomercial
Beyond How Many Calories In A Banana
It’s tough to pinpoint the exact origin, but there’s evidence to suggest that the banana’s origins date back to 2000 B.C. Malaysia. From there, it spread to the Philippines and India, where in 327 B.C., Alexander the Great’s army recorded them being grown. Arabian traders introduced bananas to Africa, and then the Portuguese took them to the Americas.
The bananas that were growing in Africa were much smaller than the ones you buy today. They were about the size of a man’s finger. This is where the name banana comes from, finger in Arabic. A finger is also the name given to an individual banana. A bundle of bananas is called a hand. The Spaniards, who saw a similarity to the plane tree that grows in Spain, gave the plantain its Spanish name, platano.
Selecting Your Banana
When it comes to selecting the perfect banana, there are a few things you’ll want to keep in mind.
It should be firm and bright, but not hard. Bananas are very fragile, so it’s important that they not show any signs of bruising or damage. If the bananas have a grey tint and a dull appearance, these have been refrigerated, preventing them from ripening properly.
If they need to ripen, leave them to do so at room temperature. If you place them in the refrigerator, this will stop the ripening process. Taking them back out again won’t allow them to ripen. But once they are ripe, the refrigerator is the best place to keep them fresh. The peel may turn brown but the inside will remain fresh. For a better tasting banana, let it sit at room temperature before eating.
If you need to hasten the ripening process, you can place bananas in a paper bag or wrap them in newspaper, adding an apple to accelerate the process.
Once bananas are ripe, they can be refrigerated for up to two weeks. To take advantage of very ripe bargain bananas, simply peel them, cut them into chunks, and wrap them in plastic. Tuck them into the freezer and use as needed for smoothies, or defrost and mash them for baking or making fruit sauces.
The Ripening Banana
What happens is that protopectin gets converted into soluble pectin. Starch in the banana converts into sugars of which 20% is glucose, 14% is fructose and the remaining 66% is sucrose. The ratio of starches to sugars gradually shifts with the change in colour. By the time a banana is fully ripened, 91 percent of the carbs come from sugar, while only 8% come from starches.
Though this doesn’t affect the calories in a banana, it does change the glycemic index. A green banana is relatively low on the glycemic index at 30, but as the starches transform this cause the banana to climb the glycemic index ladder. A fully ripened banana will have a GI in the 60’s.
Interesting Banana Facts
- A cluster of bananas is called a hand. Each banana in the hand is referred to as a finger.
- The brown spots a banana starts to show as it ripens are sugar spots.
- Americans eat more bananas than any other fruit, even more than apples and oranges combined. Over the course of a year, that comes out to more than 9000 calories of bananas or 26 pounds worth.
- The banana doesn’t grow on trees, but a herb. The banana grows from the herb’s above ground root system. This is the world’s largest herb.
- There are over 1000 different varieties of bananas in the world, but only a couple are considered palatable.
- Practically every commercial banana is a perfect clone. A single plant in Southeast Asia is the origin.
- Today’s banana wasn’t the first clone. The Gros Michel was the variety of choice for decades; it tasted better and didn’t go bad as fast making it easier to ship. Being cloned a fungus nearly wiped the species out.
- Ugandans eat the most bananas in the world at about 500 lbs per person per year.
- Since the banana plant is an herb, the banana itself is actually a berry.
- Banana Republic is a term for states run by large banana companies who would support dictators who would in-turn protect the banana companies.
- Though the banana peel is edible, just like an egg shell, it doesn’t taste very good unless it’s cooked.
- Eating a banana will raise your energy level by 20 percent for two hours straight, according to Tufts University researchers.
- Bananas have been given to athletes because they supply both instant and lasting energy due to their combination of natural sugar and complex carbohydrates.
- Bananas are produced in more than 123 countries throughout the world.
- Even though people report eating bananas helps alleviate muscle cramps, there isn’t any evidence of this.
- Bananas came to the Americas in the 15th century, but weren’t regularly imported to the United States until later, following their showcase at the 1876 Philadelphia Centennial Exhibition.
- As a kid, Lucille Ball was fired from a drugstore for forgetting to put bananas in a banana split.
- It’s awfully hard to extract juice from bananas, even though they’re roughly 80% water. Their molecular structure is just not very squeezable. The currently available banana juice is blended banana, not from a squeezed banana.
As mentioned before, there aren’t many calories in a banana but, because of the high carb count in bananas, you are best to eat your bananas post workout. Here’s a killer recipe to help you pack on that lean muscle mass. Be sure to drink this muscle building recipe as soon as you finish your workout.
Banana Bread Protein Shake Recipe
Ingredients Makes 1 Shake
- 2 scoops Vanilla Whey Protein
- 1 Banana
- 1/2 Cup cooked Oatmeal, cook in water
- 1/2 Cup Bran Flakes
- 1&1/4 cups Water
Directions Blend and Enjoy!
- Calories: 380
- Protein: 56g
- Carbohydrates: 34g
- Fat: 2g