Banana is one of the most beneficial and nutrient-rich fruits known to us. It is one of the favourite fruits among people to add in their breakfast bowl. The unripe banana is green on outer covering with lots of starch which get converted into carbohydrate after ripening. Due to the outer covering, it is one of the most easily and neatly eaten fruit and can also be carried along easily. It contains many nutrients and the right amount of calories as well to give you a good start of your day. When it comes to carbs the unripe bananas lag behind. Exactly how many carbs in a banana are there, or even how many calories in a banana are present, this post will cover it all. You will also learn about the many benefits of banana, how to include bananas in your diet, and what are the precautions you need to take while consuming them.
Fun Fact: Bananas are grown in nearly 130 countries in an area of (approximately) 10 million hectares with the total production of bananas in the world being a massive 103 million tonnes! Bananas account for 68% of this number and the remaining are plantains.
There’s no wonder that the demand for this fruit is so huge. Bananas are a part of almost all households in every part of the world, owing to their health benefits.
Bananas provide you with energy and also make you feel satiated, that is why they are the first choice of athletes as well. Bananas also help in digestion and so are suitable for the stomach.
- Suggested Read – How many carbs & calories are present in Quinoa?
How many calories in a banana?
When it comes to including them in our diet, we need to know about how many calories in a banana are we consuming. Any medium sized average banana may contain 100 calories.
All the bananas are not made the exact same. Nutritionally all are like, but banana calories differ on the basis of their size. Here I am presenting you the calories chart in differently sized bananas. (1)
- Extra small (less than 6 inches, 81 grams): 72 calories
- Small (6-7 inches, 101 grams): 90 calories
- Medium (7-8 inches, 115 grams): 105 calories
- Large (8-9 inches, 136 grams): 121 calories
- Extra large (9 inches, 152 grams): 135 calories
- Sliced (1 cup, 150 grams): 134 calories
- Mashed (1 cup, 225 grams): 200 calories
How many carbs in a banana?
When you’re on a special diet regime such as a low carb diet or a ketogenic diet, where you need to take note of the carbs you consume, knowing how many carbs in a banana are there is a must if you are going to consume it in your diet. Like calories, carbs in banana also differ on the basis of size as:
- Extra small (less than 6 inches, 81 grams): 19 carbs
- Small (6-7 inches, 101 grams): 23 carbs
- Medium (7-8 inches, 115 grams): 27 carbs
- Large (8-9 inches, 136 grams): 31 carbs
- Extra large (9 inches, 152 grams): 35 carbs
- Sliced (1 cup, 150 grams): 34.2 carbs
- Mashed (1 cup, 225 grams): 51.3 carbs
What are the various nutrients in a banana?
Banana not only contains carbs but is also rich in fibres. These fibres make you feel full earlier and for a longer duration. These fibre content and starch satisfies your satiety and controls your cravings.
It contains the right amount of carb which can raise blood glucose levels faster than any other fruit. So for people with diabetes, banana should be taken cautiously. And those who have a low glycaemic index, use bananas to maintain the glucose levels. (2)
For such people who are on low carb diet should first refer to the number of carbs you need per day. Take banana only as per your daily requirement of carbs. For example, if you need 80 carbs a day, you can have two to three medium-sized banana in the whole day.
Carbs will give you enough energy while fibres will slow down gastric emptying and thus helps you reduce your food intake indirectly making you shed some extra weight.
Some other useful nutrients found in a banana are: (3)
- Vitamin B6: 22% of RDI (Recommended Daily Intake)
- Vitamin C: 17% of RDI
- Manganese: 16% of RDI
- Potassium: 12% of RDI
- Magnesium: 8% of RDI
- Folate: 6% of RDI
- Copper: 5% of RDI
- Vitamin B2: 5% of RDI
Benefits of banana
Banana is filled will lot of nutrients and so is very beneficial for your health. For those living a healthy life and for those too who are doing extraneous exercise banana is an excellent supplement for both. Here are some benefits of banana that you must be aware of:
Banana is an excellent source of carbohydrate and thus very potent in providing energy. You must be thinking how is carbs content related to energy boosting. So let me introduce you to the science behind the concept. What happens is our body need the energy to do any work or even to survive.
This energy comes from carbohydrate, protein or fat components of our food. Now coming to carbohydrate part, when we take carbs they get converted into glucose in the bloodstream.
These glucose act as the energy source, our body cells uptake glucose and save them into energy packets. These energy packets are called ATP’s which take part in various body mechanisms and act as fuel. So this is how carbs boost our energy. (4)
Smoothens digestive process
Banana contains a right amount of fibres and starch as well. These fibres slower down the rate of glucose release from carbs into the bloodstream. Thus maintains the blood sugar level in normal range. Also, primary fibrous content is made of pectin.
This pectin is water soluble; this is what makes the bananas softer when they ripe. This fibre slows down the absorption of fibres in the stomach and delays gastric emptying which makes you feel fuller for a more extended period.
When chyme (partly digested food) moves to the small intestine, these fibres get absorbed and help in treating leaky gut. This also helps in increasing the growth of favourable bacteria in the gut and thus facilitating the overall digestive process.
Maintains electrolyte balance
Bananas are rich in potassium. This mineral is helpful in maintaining the fluid levels in and out of the tissues and regulates nutrient and electrolyte balance in the body. Potassium prevents the formation of kidney stones which in turn maintains the right amount of potassium in the blood.
Potassium also helps in the muscular contraction and lowers the action of sodium on blood pressure thus keeps the blood pressure in normal range.
Physical and mental fitness
Bananas are proved to boost fitness in athletes. According to a study done at Cornell University on athletes who performed 90 minutes running followed by cycling till exhaustion.
These athletes were given a placebo, a banana blend or solid banana was proved useful in increasing performance of athletes. (5)
According to another study quoted in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition when bananas were given to gymnasts in the age group of 12-14 years appeared to be more focused than those who were not given any supplement. (6)
Some other benefits of banana include:
- Blood pressure management
- Used in the prevention of asthma and cancer
- Prevents kidney stones
These all point as mentioned above proves that banana is no less than a perfect fruit for those who need instant energy to work better.
Recipes to include banana in your diet
You can make many delicious recipes by using banana. This will help you add a banana in your diet and gaining the required amount of carbs for an energy packed day. Here are some of them:
- Special banana nut bread: It is a kind of muffin added with banana and your favourite nut in it. Bake it till a golden brown hue
- Mango banana waffle: It is a healthy recipe which is made by using waffles and stuffed with sliced banana and mangoes. Spread some caramel and enjoy it to your taste
- Banana cheesecake: This is the best recipe to use ripen banana. Bake a lovely crusty cheesecake and top it with sliced banana
- Banana bread: The smell of freshly baked bread with mashed banana on the top can never be beaten with any other dish. It’s tasty and filling too
- Banana and berry smoothie: Take one banana and some berries, add a spoon of honey and blend the mixture. Garnish it with some nuts to give it a crunchy touch
Banana is obviously a tasty and nutritious fruit. But you need to know the potential side effects too. It has lots of benefits but some medical conditions and drugs can react adversely to it.
- Potential side effect: When taken in moderate amount there is no harmful effect, but when taken in excess it can cause many possible side effects like headaches, sleepiness
- Migraine: Those people who have a migraine should restrain from this fruit. As banana is known to stimulate a migraine in such cases due to tyramine compound present in it
- Allergy: People who are allergic to latex are known to bring allergic symptoms like rashes, itching, oedema and redness.
- Kidney disorders: Those people who have improper kidney functioning should avoid banana as it can lead to hyperkalemia and may potentiate harmful effects
- Drugs reactions: Those who are on hypertensive medications mainly beta blocker should avoid banana as both of them are known to contain potassium enhancement effect and can cause an irregular heartbeat
Final thoughts on how many calories in a banana and how many carbs in a banana are present
Banana is a fruit which is used in the ripe form. Its raw form is rich in starch while the mature form is rich in carbohydrate. A regular average banana can provide you approximately 100 calories and 30 carbs.
If you are on a diet plan, it is a good substitute for carb content. It has many benefits starting from boosting energy, improved digestion, mental and physical fitness to good heart health.
Banana is a fruit that satisfies your satiety and helps you lose weight too by keeping a check on your cravings due to its fibre content. It is rich in potassium so excessive intake can also cause electrolyte imbalance. So you can start your day with one medium banana or with any of your favourite recipe. Keep in mind all the benefit and harmful effects too.