Like potatoes (that I talked about last week), bananas unfortunately have a bad rep. One of the main issues is that they contain “too many calories” or that they are “too high in sugar”. Let’s just see, shall we?
Did you know that bananas are botanically a berry?? I know I didn’t! Don’t you just love science? I do :)
They are in fact one of the world’s most popular fruits! And interestingly enough they will have different nutrients at different stages of ripeness. When they are green (or unripe), they have been shown to help with some digestive problems like diarrhea and may help lower cholesterol and blood pressure. And when they are more yellow/ripe, they seem to have more nutrients and have been shown to help increase your white blood cells!
A medium sized, ripe banana, has about 100-120 calories, 0g fat, 3 g fibre, 13% of your potassium for the day and 15% of your vitamin C. Because of this, bananas have always been shown to help with your heart. On the flip side, they do carry a whopping 19 g of naturally occurring sugars. Now, this doesn’t mean that they are bad for you, it just means that you probably could do with eating just one and a medium to small sized at that! This is usually where they can get a bad name for themselves, but overall the health benefits do seem to outweigh the negatives.
Here are some more interesting facts about bananas!
- There are almost 1000 different varieties of bananas!
- Botanically there really is no difference between a banana and a plantain. Banana is the sweeter version and plantain is the starchy version
- A bunch of bananas is called a hand and a single banana is a finger!
- Did you know that the peel is edible?! It’s actually packed with nutrients like vitamins B6, B12, potassium and magnesium!! (Note: please wash the peel first before eating it, as it may contain pesticides)
Do you eat bananas?
I work as a Dietitian and definitely walk the talk. I love to cook and help people get back to being healthy again.