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Number Of Calories In A Banana

Updated on March 14, 2015

How Many Calories In A Banana

Dietary calories are units of energy a food or drink provides your body. With banana, as with all other fruits, the number of calories depends on its size.

A small banana, weighing 101 g has 90 calories.
A medium banana, weighing 118 g has 105 calories.
A large banana, weighing 136 g has 120 calories.

Banana looks starchy and tastes sweet, so diet conscious people presume it has more calories, carbohydrate and sugar than other fruits, but this is not true. Compared with a medium apple with 95 calories, 25 g of carbohydrate, and 19 g of sugar, or 1 cup of blueberries with 84 calories, 21 g of carbohydrate, and 15 g of sugar, a small banana has only 90 calories, 23 g of carbohydrate and 12 g of sugar.

Yet banana continues to be seen as having a higher glycemic index that causes the blood sugar and insulin to spike quickly when eaten. This is certainly not true, when you compare the glycemic index of banana with the glycemic index of other fruits. Generally, fruits with 55 or lower glycemic index are considered low glycemic fruits, and guess what, a medium banana has a glycemic index of 51. This puts a banana into the low glycemic index category.

Therefore, eating a small banana a day, barring any restriction from your doctor, would do you no harm. And as you will soon find, banana provides several important nutrients and minerals your body needs to keep it healthy and functioning properly.

Along With Calories Banana Has Vitamin B-6

Vitamin B-6 dissolves in water, and since your body cannot store it, excess vitamin B-6 leaves the body through urine. For this reason your body needs a continuous supply of vitamin B6, either through food or supplements. You need vitamin B-6 to:

1. Make antibodies to protect your body from diseases
2. Maintain proper functioning of your nerves
3. Make hemoglobin that carries oxygen to all parts of your body
4. Maintain your blood sugar (glucose) at normal level
5. Break down proteins as energy for your cells

While vitamin B-6 is important for your health, keep in mind that too much of it can cause difficulty coordinating your movement. You may also have a feeling of numbness, or sensory changes, that may affect your sight, hearing, tasting or feeling.

A deficiency of vitamin B 6, on the other hand, can make you confused, depressed, irritable, and have mouth and tongue sores. It's important to strike the right balance.

Along With Calories A Banana Has Vitamin C

Vitamin C is important for growth and repairs to your skin, ligaments and blood vessels. It helps to heal your wounds and make scar tissues. It also repairs and maintains your cartilage, bones and teeth.

Vitamin C helps to prevent damage to your cells by cancer causing free radicals. Since your body cannot make vitamin C, it is brought in through supplements and the food you eat.

A deficiency of vitamin C would make you anemic, reduce your ability to fight infection, and heal your wounds. You cannot protect yourself from nose bleeding, gingivitis, decreased metabolism, or avoid weight gain, rough and dry skin, swollen and painful joints, and weakening of your tooth enamel.


Along With Calories A Banana Has Dietary Fiber

Dietary fibers come in two types: soluble and insoluble fibers, each affects the body in different ways. Soluble fiber dissolve in water, turns to jell when eaten, and slows down digestion. It is found in banana and some vegetables, as well as in oat bran, barley, beans, nuts and seeds. You need soluble fiber to lower your cholesterol level and your risk for heart disease.

Insoluble fiber is found in wheat bran, vegetables and whole grains. You need insoluble fiber to speed up the movement of food in your digestive tract, and help prevent constipation and the development of hemorrhoids.

Along With Calories A Banana Has Potassium

Potassium is an important dietary mineral. It helps communication between your nerves and muscles, transport nutrients to your cells, and removes cellular waste. It neutralizes the harmful effects of sodium on your blood pressure. You also need potassium to:

1. Maintain normal body growth
2. Break down and use carbohydrates
3. Build proteins and muscles
4. Control the electrical activities of your heart
5. Control the acid-base balance in your body

A deficiency of potassium in your body, caused by taking diuretics, prolonged vomiting or diarrhea, or taking too many laxative can cause you to have hypokalemia. This can cause weak muscles, and abnormal heart rhythm.

Too much potassium, on the other hand, would cause you to have hyperkalemia, which can cause an abnormal and dangerous heart rhythm. Maintaining the right level of potassium in your body is vital to keeping your body functioning properly.

Along With Calories A Banana Has Vitamin A

Vitamin A is fat soluble. It comes in two forms. Preformed vitamin A comes from animal products like meat and fish. Pro-vitamin A is found in plant based-foods like banana. The most common pro-vitamin A is beta carotene. You need vitamin A:

1. To make and maintain healthy skin, soft tissue and mucus membranes
2. To make and maintain your teeth and bones
3. Vitamin A produces the retinal in your eyes, and promotes good vision
4. Beta carotene protects your cells from cancer causing free radicals

Too much vitamin A can be poisonous and make you sick. It can also cause birth deffects. A deficiency of Vitamin A would increase your risk of infectious diseases and bad vision.


Along With Calories A Banana Has Iron

Iron is a mineral needed by your body to make hemoglobin, a protein in the red blood cell that carries oxygen from the lungs to all parts of your body. Iron is also involved in making myoglobin that helps muscles store and use oxygen. Iron is found in every cell of your body.

Although your body stores some iron for when iron level is low, if it cannot absorb sufficient iron for an extended period, you would develop a condition called iron deficiency anemia, which would cause you to have:

1. Decreased energy and shortness of breath
2. Headache and dizziness
3. Abnormal weight loss

To help improve your body's absorption of iron, mix some lean meat, fish or chicken with beans or leafy greens at a meal. Food rich in vitamin C also helps your body absorb iron.

While it is unlikely that you would absorb too much iron from food and drinks, those with the genetic disorder hemochromatosis would experience interference with their body's ability to control how much iron is absorbed. They should keep an eye on their iron level, as it may rise above or fall below the normal level frequently.

Along With Calories A Banana Has Magnasium

Magnesium is an essential mineral that your body cannot make on its own, and must be brought in through foods, drinks and supplements. Magnesium is needed in more than 300 biochemical reactions in your body including:

1. Maintaining normal nerves and muscles functions
2. Keeping your heart beat steady.
3. Maintaining your immune system healthy
4. Helping to keep your bone strong
5. Helping to regulate your blood glucose levels
6. Helping to produce cellular energy, and making proteins in your body
7. Helping to prevent high blood pressure, heart attack and diabetes

It is unlikely that you would have an overdose of magnesium from your diet because excess magnesium is removed through the urine, but you could from supplements, so be mindful of that. A magnesium deficiency would cause you to:

1. Become hyperexcited and fatigue
2. Have tingling and muscles weakness
3. Become frequently sleepy
4. Become confused and experience hallucination

Along With Calories A Banana Has Protein

Proteins are the building blocks of life. They are made by chains of amino acids. Without proteins your body cannot repair or make new cells, and it will die as a result. Babies and teenagers need proteins for growth and cognitive development.

You get the bulk of your proteins from the foods you eat, which are broken down into amino acids during digestion. Amino acids are of 3 types:

1. Those that your body cannot make are the essential amino acids
2. Nonessential amino acids are made from essential amino acids
3. Conditional amino acids are made when you are ill or under stress

Proteins from animals such as meat, fish, poultry, milk are called complete proteins because each has all the amino acids your body needs to remain healthy. Incomplete proteins are from plant-based foods like soy, beans, legumes, nut butters and some grains. You need to combine a number of these at a meal to have all the amino acids your body needs for repairs, growth and development.

Along With Calories A Banana Has Carbohydrate

Carbohydrates are delivered to your body in the form of sugars, starches and fibers. They are grouped into simple and complex carbohydrates. Simple carbohydrates are found in fruits, milk, dairy, certain vegetables, table sugar and candy. The sugars in these foods are quickly digested and absorbed by the body.

Complex carbohydrates are in the form of starches and fibers, with 3 or more sugars and complex chemical structures. They are found in legumes, beans, lentil, starchy vegetables, whole-grain breads, pasta and cereals. If you guessed that complex carbohydrates are relatively slow to digest and absorb, you are right. But they are healthier.

Your body needs carbohydrates to make cellular energy for your tissues and organs, particularly for your brain and nervous system. It does this with the enzyme amalase that helps break down carbohydrates into glucose, which the body uses as energy.

Too much carbohydrates, especially simple carbohydrates, would increase the amount of calories in your body. The excess calories are converted to fat that causes weight gain, which is a gateway to high blood pressure, heart attack, type 2 diabetes and others.

A deficiency in carbohydrates would cause malnutrition, and all the diseases associated with malnutrition. You would also suffer from:

1. Fatigue and weakness
2. Have trouble fighting off diseases, and healing your wounds
3. Weakening of your immune system
4. Increased desire for fatty foods, and the risk of obesity

Before you read this article if you thought banana gives you only calories, I hope I have succeeded in providing you enough reasons to agree that banana offers much more than calories.


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