Bananas Nutritional Facts and Things You Didn't Know

Bananas

source Flickr
source Flickr

Banana Nutritional Facts

Banana nutritional facts prove they are probably the most perfect fruit for people and many animals. Bananas are actually berries from a botanical perspective, as they grow from a single ovary, plus they don’t actually grow on trees, but are a large herb. Approximately 98% of the bananas in the world come from third world countries. New statistics show India is the largest producer of bananas, with Brazil and Ecuador coming in second and third in 2011. Interestingly enough, bananas grow in Iceland. This is possible because Iceland has so much geothermic energy due to all the volcanoes, which act like greenhouses, plus homes are also heated with this energy.

Bluenecked Tansger Bird

source Flickr
source Flickr

Orangatan of Sumatra

source gather
source gather

Bananas are Radioactive

In addition, bananas are radioactive but it isn't harmful, as we are exposed daily to low levels of radiation. The reason they are radioactive is primarily due to their potassium. Other foods that are radioactive include potatoes, nuts (particularly Brazil nuts), and kidney beans. Animals that eat bananas can see in the ultraviolet range of the spectrum, so they immediately know which banana to choose to eat before.

There are many animals that eat bananas and, of course, monkeys are the first ones most people think of first, but that includes very small monkey up to gorillas. Some wild birds, squirrels, sloughs and dogs also like bananas. Generally speaking many animals of the rainforest eat bananas regularly.

Hungry Monkey

source openwalls
source openwalls

Jacksonville "Top Banana City"

Dole has named Jacksonville, Florida the “Top Banana City” for 2011. Dole is the largest producers of bananas, and it is a favorite fruit, being found in 96% of American homes. Doles’ PR campaign lets people know you don’t just eat bananas for breakfast and lunch, but there are many great things you can do will bananas on a grill.

Bananas Foster On My Weber Grill

Africa Banana Beer

source Flickr
source Flickr

African Banana Beer

In Africa, they like banana beer and this is the process for making the beer:

  • Peel ripe bananas and juice
  • Mix with sorghum or millet flour and ferment to create an orange alcoholic drink

There is also a Wells Banana Bread Beer, brewed in London, with an alcoholic content of 5.2%.

Banana History

Bananas were first grown in the third century B.C. in the Indo-Malaysian region. They didn't arrive in Europe until the 10th century.

A cluster of bananas is officially called a “hand” and each banana is called a “finger, which probably means the word banana is derived from an Arabic word “banana” which means finger or fingertips.

The Ultimate Dessert

source Flicker
source Flicker

Nutrition Information about Bananas

If a banana is about 8” long, the calories in bananas are about 105.

The nutrient facts are as follows:

  • Protein 1.29 g
  • Carbohydrates 26.95
  • Fiber 3.1 g
  • Sugars 14.43 g
  • Total fat 0.39 g
  • Calcium 6.0 mg
  • Iron 0.31 mg
  • Magnesium 32 mg
  • Phosphorus 25 mg
  • Potassium 422 mg
  • Sodium 1 mg
  • Zinc .18 mg
  • Vitamin C 10.3 mg
  • Folate 24 mcg
  • Vitamin A 76 IU
  • Vitamin E 0.12 mg
  • Vitamin K 0.6 mcg
  • Phytosterols 19 mg
  • Beta Carotene 31 mcg
  • Lutein and Zeaxanthin 26 mcg

What Bananas Can do for You

  1. Banana is one of the favorite fruits for many people because it can lift depression and Europeans often call it a happy fruit. Bananas contain folic acid that can help the brain produce 5-HT, which helps dispel irritable emotions and pessimism.
  2. It is a good fruit to help girls lose weight, since it is rich in nutrition and low in calories.
  3. Since bananas are packed with vitamins, they can help prevent heart disease and lower high blood pressure.
  4. Due to the fiber-pectin contained in bananas will also help treat constipation.
  5. The peel of a banana contains material which can inhibit the growth and proliferation of the fungus and bacteria; therefore, it will help relieve athletics foot and other diseases.
  6. They are also an effective treatment for insomnia or emotional stress due to the protein and amino acids which calm the nerves. Try eating one close to bedtime.

Banana Pudding

source recipe coner
source recipe coner

Delicious Banana Pudding

Ingredients:

  • 3 boxes, 1 large, 2 small vanilla pudding
  • 4 cups of milk
  • 8 oz. sour cream
  • 8 oz. Cool Whip (or a little more)
  • 1 box vanilla wafers
  • 6-7 bananas

Directions for this easy recipe:

Mix pudding and milk. Beat 2 minutes. Add sour cream and Cool whip. Use a 9”x13”pan. Layer vanilla wafers, bananas (sliced small) and half of the pudding. Repeat layers. Garnish with 1/2 cup crushed vanilla wafers on top.

Banana Bread

My Photo
My Photo

Banana Bread

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 c butter (margarine) 1/2 c broken nuts (pecans or walnuts)
  • 1 1/2 c sugar 3 eggs
  • 1 cup smashed banana 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 2 cups flour 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda 1 tsp. lemon juice
  • 1/2 c. buttermilk

Directions:

  1. Add soda to buttermilk in small container, then stir buttermilk before adding to mixture.
  2. Cream butter and sugar till fluffy; add eggs one at a time, beating after each. (The recipe actually says sieved bananas but I just mash them up.)
  3. Add banana,
  4. Add sifted dry ingredients.
  5. Then add buttermilk and lemon.
  6. Add nuts.
  7. Bake in 2” 7” greased loaf pans at 350° for 40 minutes.


I find it takes longer most of the time, so I use a toothpick in the center which should come out clean if the bread is done.

Summary

Bananas are obviously one of the healthiest choices of food you can eat. The many positive effects of bananas is due to the high nutrition. They are reasonably priced and most people like them. Children are usually very good about eating bananas also. There are numerous wonderful recipes for bananas as well.

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Comments 74 comments

saddlerider1 profile image

saddlerider1 5 years ago

I go bananas over bananas no matter how there served up. All the ways you show here are fine with me. My Icon of all Icons. The KING ELVIS loved his fried toasted banana and peanut butter sandwiches, I loved them to.

Give me banana bread, banana splits, bananas over my morning cereals. Bananas alone, I keep them always in my kitchen, when I run out I run out for more or I go bananas. Great Hub rated UP, useful and awesome...


CMerritt profile image

CMerritt 5 years ago from Pendleton, Indiana

what saddlerider1 just said..........I think he says it all...I am right there with him.

Great Hub! Interesting and useful...


giselenmendez profile image

giselenmendez 5 years ago from Berlin, Germany

Whoa! I didn't know bananas were radioactive! It's been quite a useful reading, aaaand I think I will try to bake banana bread one of these days :)


writerlee profile image

writerlee 5 years ago

Awesome! I was literally sipping on a banana/almond smoothie while reading this hub. Very interesting. Thanks!


SubRon7 profile image

SubRon7 5 years ago from eastern North Dakota

Very interesting hub, Pamela, and I do have something to share. I'm not really crazy about bananas (That banana split sure looked good, though.) Anyway I used to eat them just for the potassium (422mg, wow!) but I never ate a lot, until about a year ago, at a physical, my doctor said my potassium was really high and he asked if I ate bananas. I said yes, and he said to quit. This really surprised me but I did quit and have noticed no ill effects. I'll be interested to know what my potassium level is next physical.


anglnwu profile image

anglnwu 5 years ago

Made me look at bananas in a whole new light since it is not one of my favorite fruits. I'm quite a convert by now, with your interesting facts. Didn't know it's a berry and that they made beer out of it. Enjoyed it and rated up.


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 5 years ago from United States Author

saddlerider, I keep bananas in the house all the time also. I appreciate your enthusiastic comments.

CMerrit, Thanks so much for your comments.

giselemendez, The banana bread is delicious and we love to eat it warm out of the oven. Thanks for your comment.

writerlee, That funny! Thanks for your comment.

SubRon, My mother is just the opposite and has to eat bananas and drink orange juice to keep her potassium. People with kidney problems can't eat bananas because of the potassium but your doctor would have told you if that was the case. Thank you so much for your comment.

Anginwu, I'm glad you enjoyed the hub. I appreciate your comments.


drbj profile image

drbj 5 years ago from south Florida

I can't believe, Pamela, how banana-challenged I was before reading your educational banana-flavored hub. Thank you for bringing me out of the dark into a banana-lit world. Rated up, m'dear.


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 5 years ago from United States Author

drbj, It was my pleasure to enlighten you on bananas and I certainly appreciate your comments.


CMCastro profile image

CMCastro 5 years ago from Baltimore,MD USA

Now I know why I crave bananas all the time, because they make me feel good. I decided never to take antidepressants again a few years ago, due to nasty side effects and intolerance to the sluggishness. When I buy bananas I always have wondered why there are always an odd number of seven in a bunch- one for every day. It is also the least expensive fruit you can buy in the store as well. The only problem with the little tiny bananas that they sell (they are so cute) is that you can't eat just one. So I will stick to the average size ones.

I do have one question. When is the best time to eat a banana in regards to its ripeness? I prefer to eat them when they are bright yellow as soon as the green goes away, and I have been told that a yellow banana is not ripe at all, and I prefer not to eat a banana that has turned brown from speckles.


HealthyHanna profile image

HealthyHanna 5 years ago from Utah

I like bananas with dark choc for breakfast. Like CMCastro, I like mine before the dark specks show up. The Banana Foster sounds interesting, but I'm not sure....

Anyway thanks for the recipes.


HennieN profile image

HennieN 5 years ago from South Africa

Seems like the possibilities with bananas is endless. Great hub.


The Frog Prince profile image

The Frog Prince 5 years ago from Arlington, TX

That was a lot to digest in one sitting. BURP! Excuse me please, bananas give me gas. LOL

The Frog


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 5 years ago from United States Author

CMCastro, I think the time to eat bananas is when they turn yellow, as the brown spots indicate that they are old and if they are to green the mayor not completely ripe. I'm glad you enjoyed the hub and I appreciate your comments.

Hanna, My son eats a banana and drinks chocolate milk every morning and he's an adult. It sounds like a healthy breakfast to me. Thank you for your comments

Hennie, I'm glad you enjoyed the hub and I appreciate your comments.

Frog Prince, I guess that might have something to do with that laxative effect but they're still good for you. Thank you for your comments.


Cardisa profile image

Cardisa 5 years ago from Jamaica

Very good banana hub! I like bananas. I am curious about the banana beer. There are so many recipes for bananas, I especially like the banana chocolate mousse, very tasty.


always exploring profile image

always exploring 5 years ago from Southern Illinois

HAHA, Reading these comments cracks me up, but really i do eat a banana everyday. I love them and it's good to know of all the benefits. Thank you.

Cheers


SusieQ42 profile image

SusieQ42 5 years ago from Lakeland, FL

I was allergic to milk when I was a baby so the doctor told my mother go feed me mashed bananas! Very nice Hub, Pam.


Truckstop Sally profile image

Truckstop Sally 5 years ago

Love the bananas foster on the grill picture! I would love to make it at home some day! My two boys eat bananas every day -- to prevent leg cramps. They both play football -- and are out in the sun for hours and hours. The coaches say best food!!


prasetio30 profile image

prasetio30 5 years ago from malang-indonesia

I love banana. Though I had wrote hub about banana, but this hub more educated and contain delicious recipes. I always enjoy all your hubs, including this one. I never doubt about banana and this fruit so useful for us. But African banana beers is new for me. Well done, Pam. You got my vote. Have a nice day. Cheers..

Prasetio


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 5 years ago from United States Author

Cardisa, I agree there are a lot of great recipes for bananas. Banana chocolate mousse sounds delicious. I appreciate your comments.

always exploring,I eat a banana every day also. Thanks so much for your comments.

SusieQ32, That sounds like a healthy choice for baby they can dream milk and I remember my children love bananas when they were little. I appreciate your comments.

Sally,I'm glad you brought that up as bananas are important to prevent cramps and I appreciate your comments.

prasetio, I had never heard of the African banana beer either. I'm glad you enjoyed the hub and as always I appreciate comments very much. Have a nice weekend.


smcopywrite profile image

smcopywrite 5 years ago from all over the web

lot of people like bananas and knowing there are so many more ways than how they naturally come to enjoy them make them even more popular. there are a lot of foods that are healthy, but also expensive. bananas are healthy without the expensive and great for everyone in all age groups. nice hub and information.


sarovai profile image

sarovai 5 years ago

I like banana. With the facts you mentioned in this hub, make me to like this fruit doubly. The fact about radiation ,I came to know through this hub. Thank u for sharing.


breakfastpop profile image

breakfastpop 5 years ago

Sara Lee used to make the best banana cake on the planet. My mouth waters when I think about it.


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 5 years ago from United States Author

smcopywrite, You are exactly right. It is nice to buy a fruit you like at a reasonable price. Thanks for your comments.

sarovai, I'm glad you liked the hub and I appreciate your comments.

BPop, Too bad they stopped. I have made banana cake but not for a while. It sounds good. Thanks for the comment.


Movie Master profile image

Movie Master 5 years ago from United Kingdom

Hi Pamela, I love bananas and knew they were good for you, but didn't realise they have such a lot going for them. The banana bread sounds so good, need to give that a go! many thanks for sharing a great hub.


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 5 years ago from United States Author

movie master, I hope you enjoy the bread. Thank you for your comments.


akirchner profile image

akirchner 5 years ago from Central Oregon

What great interesting facts about bananas~! Who knew there were this many things I didn't know about them but fascinating!

I've always thought I was allergic to them because as a kid, when I ate them and even into young adulthood, my ears itched something fierce - inside. But I kept eating them and I eventually grew out of it~ Love banana anything but my favorite is banana popsicles!


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 5 years ago from United States Author

Audry, I'm glad to hear you are no longer allergic and I appreciate your comments.


Cari Jean profile image

Cari Jean 5 years ago from Bismarck, ND

When I was pregnant with my daughter, I craved bananas. We wonder if that's why our daughter had higher than normal potassium levels when she was born! I don't eat them as much as I used to but after reading this article I should start again. I like to add bananas to strawberry smoothies and also to oatmeal. I also LOVe banana bread!


Happyboomernurse profile image

Happyboomernurse 5 years ago from South Carolina

Great hub about bananas with lots of interesting facts I didn't know before. I love to make banana smoothies using low fat milk and ice cubes. Very refreshing on these scorching days we've been having this summer, and much healthier than ice cream. Voted up across the board.


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 5 years ago from United States Author

Cari, I love strawberry banana smoothies also. That is interesting about your daughter and the potassium. I suppose between prenatal vitamins and bananas she might have gotten a little more than she required. I appreciate your comments.

Happyboomernurse, That's true that its healthier than ice cream and refreshing. Thanks for your comments.


vocalcoach profile image

vocalcoach 5 years ago from Nashville Tn.

Bananas have been called the perfect food. And you did a perfect job here with all of the wonderful information and delicious recipes. I must try your banana cream pie!

Thanks for a hub I will bookmark and rate up right across the board. :)


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 5 years ago from United States Author

Vocal Coach, I'm glad you enjoyed the hub and thank you for your comments.


caramellatte profile image

caramellatte 5 years ago

Cool hub! I like bananas!:)


Rebecca E. profile image

Rebecca E. 5 years ago from Canada

i found the fact that bananas are radioactive to be very interesting, that's cool, thanks for this hub.


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 5 years ago from United States Author

caramellatte, Thanks so much for your comments.

Rebecca, I'm glad you enjoyed the hub and I appreciate your comments.


Coolmon2009 profile image

Coolmon2009 5 years ago from Texas, USA

I learned a few things about bananas i didn't know and I never thought about making beer from bananas. Interesting article.


drpastorcarlotta profile image

drpastorcarlotta 5 years ago from BREAKOUT MINISTRIES, INC. KC

I love bananas!!! This is an informational Hub on bananas, I have learned much from your Hubs!! Thank you! I voted-UP!!! God Bless you!


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 5 years ago from United States Author

Coolmon, I'm glad you enjoyed the article and I appreciate your comments.

drpastorcarlotta, Thank you so much for your comments. They are much appreciated. God Bless you.


GusTheRedneck profile image

GusTheRedneck 5 years ago from USA

Howdy Pamela - This is a fun article to read and is full of useful food information about bananas. That business about bananas being radioactive is a bit overdone, for the amount of potassium-40 in them is exceedingly low. It "apes" the usual percentage of K-40 in overall potassium - less than 20 or so "disintegrations per minute" in a typical banana - and the type of radiation from K-40 is pretty weak, too. No need to scare the peels off of folks, right?

Voted this article UP and Interesting.

Gus :-)))


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 5 years ago from United States Author

Gus, I knew the radiation was low as I said it wasn't harmful but I didn't have the number, so thank you for adding that and the potassium numbers to the information. Thanks so much for your comments.


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 5 years ago from South Africa

Bananas growing in Iceland? Dogs like to eat them? I can only say to myself: “Now there! One is never too old to learn something new.”

I know bananas are a natural anti-depressant, but I/we did not know this right after my dad had passed away, when my mother developed a craving for bananas. She ate about ten per day, if not more. We all thought her body only needed potassium. Fortunately we always yield to our cravings for healthy food.

I often use banana as sandwich spread, or instead of a sausage in a ‘hotdog’. Most delicious: Slice one in a bowl, top it with grated chocolate and heat it in the microwave oven. Mmmm!

Thanks for sharing your recipes and all the amazing info about bananas.


krazikat profile image

krazikat 5 years ago from Pacific Northwest

When I tried a raw diet for 30 days, bananas were my staple food. They are also great when mixed with spinach in a green smoothie...might sound weird but try it! Great stuff!


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 5 years ago from United States Author

Martie, Your microwave recipe sounds yummy! That is so interesting about your mother eating so many. Our bodies do tell us what we need if we would only listen. I appreciate your comments.

krazikat, I would probably like that as I like spinach. I was a vegan for about 6 weeks but now I am mostly a vegetarian. I love bananas though. Thanks for your comments. I wonder how you felt when you were on the raw diet for those 30 days. The vegan diet was almost raw and I felt better.


krazikat profile image

krazikat 5 years ago from Pacific Northwest

I am also mostly veg, I just recently started eating fish again...and honestly I felt amazing on the raw diet...I slept less and woke up energized...skin had a glow to it...basically I just felt clean. I still make sure I eat some amount of raw food everyday, but it is not the same. I am going to try another 30 days in September...


RTalloni profile image

RTalloni 5 years ago from the short journey

No doubt, bananas rule! And who knew they are berries? Very interesting to learn more about this friend that I begin every day with! :)

Voted up, Pamela99. Jacksonville must have had a great time learning about grilled bananas!


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 5 years ago from United States Author

RTalloni, I'm glad you enjoyed the hub and appreciate your comments.


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 5 years ago from Houston, Texas

Terrific hub about bananas and the nutrition they offer. Up and useful votes.


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 5 years ago from United States Author

Peggy, Thank you so much for your comments.


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 5 years ago from United States Author

Peggy, Thank you so much for your comments. I appreciate your vote as well.


Hello, hello, profile image

Hello, hello, 5 years ago from London, UK

Thank you for such an extensive information.


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 5 years ago from United States Author

Hello, I appreciate your comments.


Cloverleaf profile image

Cloverleaf 5 years ago from Calgary, AB, Canada

Mmm, sounds yummy, Pamela. I love cooking bananas on the campfire: leaving them in the skin I first split them open and pop in a couple of chunks of my favourite chocolate. Then I wrap them up in foil and put them on the campfire for about 10 minutes. Grab a spoon and you're good to go!

I look forward to reading some more of your hubs,

Cheers,

Cloverleaf.


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 5 years ago from United States Author

Cloverleaf, I have never tried that and it sounds wonderful! Thanks for your comments.


jamterrell profile image

jamterrell 5 years ago

I am glad to see this page. Very informative.


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 5 years ago from United States Author

jamterrel, I'm glad you enjoyed the page I appreciate your comments.


moneycop profile image

moneycop 5 years ago from JABALPUR

mmmmmmmmmm my fav. banana......and my mom use 2 make the dish of banana..specially the vegetable i like most..Is it injurious to our health in old age ...if take in excess?


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 5 years ago from United States Author

moneycop, I don't know what you would consider excess. Bananas are very good for you and I have never read that they would be injurious to you unless you had a serious kidney disease. Thanks for your comments.


moneycop profile image

moneycop 5 years ago from JABALPUR

oh ok..thank you....i have no kidney diseASE....


acaetnna profile image

acaetnna 5 years ago from Guildford

A brilliant informative hub. Definitely bookmarking this one.


CMHypno profile image

CMHypno 4 years ago from Other Side of the Sun

I have a banana every morning with my breakfast - they are definitely my favourite fruit. Thanks for all the great banana information!


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 4 years ago from United States Author

CMHypno, I'm glad you enjoyed the hub. Thanks for your comments.


stars439 profile image

stars439 4 years ago from Louisiana, The Magnolia and Pelican State.

So very sorry for your loses precious heart. Your hub is beautiful, informative, educational, and even shares recipes for us. Thank you very much , and God Bless You, and everyone you cherish.


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 4 years ago from United States Author

stars, You are so sweet and I very much appreciate your comments. God Bless you and yours also.


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 4 years ago from United States Author

loued, This is one of the first hubs I wrote a couple of years ago, so I updated the statics and linked the radioactive properties that are due to the potassium content to a good web page. Thank you for your comments.


Pharme630 3 years ago

Hello! kfdfcde interesting kfdfcde site! I'm really like it! Very, very kfdfcde good!


Eiddwen profile image

Eiddwen 3 years ago from Wales

Wonderful Pamela and of course voted up and shared. Your obvious hard work has certainly paid off here.

Eddy.


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 3 years ago from United States Author

Pharme, I am glad you enjoyed the article. Thank you.

Eddy, I'm glad you like the article and I appreciate your comments.


pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 3 years ago from sunny Florida

Hi Pamela

Please pass the banana pudding...o, dear, I guess that negates teh value of the banana somewhat.

I really do love love them...plain...but sitting in a bath of ice cream and whipped topping, i.e., a banana split is a wonder to behold. O, I have not had one in years and years....why do I torture myself so!!!???

One thing I have found is that I neglect eating them I get charlie horses. So I try to have them often.

I found out some new things about these yummy treats. Thanks for sharing, Pam.

Pinned and shared. :) ps


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 3 years ago from United States Author

Patricia, That do have such good nutirents. My mother has to eat them and drink orange juice to keep her potassium level up. I love all those delicous banana treats also. Too bad they have calories! Thank you so much for your comments and the pin. God bless.


compu-smart profile image

compu-smart 3 years ago from London UK

Hi Pamela, There is lots of educational and entertaining stuff about bananas here.

My former doc used to tell me to eat a banana everyday. She said this on a couple of occasions but I never asked her why!?

Thinking back, I had wondered why she never told me to eat an apple a day because an apple a day keeps the doctor away right! and maybe she wanted to see more of her patient$ hence the banana comments.!


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 3 years ago from United States Author

compu-smart, Maybe she did have an ulterior motive, but I do think bananas have more potassium and other vitamins than apples. Anyway, it is impossible to second guess her. :) Thanks for your comments.


compu-smart profile image

compu-smart 3 years ago from London UK

Thanks Pamela for that, I guess the real bottom liner for me is to eat both! :)


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 3 years ago from United States Author

compu-smart, I guess you have it figured out! Thanks for your comments.

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