Banana Nutrition Health Benefits
Banana has a good nutritional value and one serving of banana carries 70 calories. It is also a good source of
potassium, fiber and other phytochemicals. One may ask, "Does banana nutrition help weight loss?" or "What nutrition
health benefits are there?". In the following section, we are going to review what the banana nutrition health benefits
based on scientific studies.

Banana nutrition may benefit people at risk of certain cancers. In a study, family history, past history of illness and
dietary information of 279 patients suffered from colorectal cancer were studied, a protective effect provided by
banana and papaya on colorectal cancer was served. Dietary fiber was found to decrease the colorectal cancer risk.

Cardiovascular Protection
Banana is a good source of potassium. Potassium maintains normal blood pressure and heart function. One serving of
banana contains 467 mg of potassium, this makes people to believe that one banana a day may help to prevent
hypertension or even atherosclerosis. A number of studies have demonstrated this banana nutrition benefit.

Potassium may further promote bone health. As potassium may prevent the calcium loss in urine, which is caused by
high salt diets.

In a study of male rats on a diet containing lard (50 g/kg) and cholesterol (5 g/kg), freeze-dried banana pulp showed a
marked cholesterol-lowering effect when incorporated into a diet at the level of 300 or 500 g/kg, while the hot-air dried
banana pulp did not show the effect. [8]

In a study, chemical compositions and glycemic indices of four varieties of banana were determined. Silk, Gros Michel,
Pisang Awak and Mysore contained high percentages of starch (14%), sucrose (38%), free glucose (29%) and
fructose (58%) as a percentage of the total available carbohydrate content respectively. Total dietary fiber contents of
four varieties ranged from 2.7 to 5.3%. Glycemic indices were about 65 and can be categorized as low against white
bread as the standard. A single banana of the four varieties elicited a low glycemic load. Researchers in the study
suggest that consumption of a banana from any of these varieties may be a snack for healthy or diabetic patients who
are under dietary management or pharmacological drugs to regulate blood glucose responses in between meals. [10]

It has been thought that the banana pectin (a soluble polymer) can help normalize bowel movement and ease
constipation. However, intake of banana may benefit people suffered from diarrhea. A study also indicate this banana
nutrition benefits. In a study, 31 patients with diarrhea and receiving enteral feedings were randomized to receive
either banana flakes or medical treatment for diarrhea. The researchers found that the banana flake group had less
diarrhea clinically, with 57% of the subjects diarrhea free on their last study day as opposed to 24% of the medically
treated subjects. [4]

Stomach Ulcer
Banana has been used as an antacid to protect stomach against ulcers and ulcer damage. A mixture of banana and
milk may decrease acid secretion. It is believed that banana allows a thicker mucus barrier against stomach acids and
contains protease inhibitors. Protease inhibitors help eliminate bacteria causing the stomach ulcers.

More about Bananas

Banana is the common name for herbaceous plants of the genus Musa and for the fruit they produce. Bananas come
in a variety of sizes and colors when ripe, including yellow, purple, and red. Bananas are native to tropical South and
Southeast Asia. Now, bananas are grown in many countries, primarily for their fruit, and to a lesser extent to make
fiber, banana wine and as ornamental plants. The banana plants are normally tall and fairly sturdy and are often
mistaken for trees, but their main or upright stem is actually a pseudostem that grows about 22 ft. tall. Each
pseudostem can produce a single bunch of bananas. After fruiting, the pseudostem dies, but offshoots may develop
from the base of the plant. Southeast Asian farmers first domesticated bananas. Recent archaeological evidence
suggests that banana cultivation there goes back to at least 5000 BCE, and possibly to 8000 BCE. In the 15th and
16th century, Portuguese colonists started banana plantations in the Atlantic Islands, Brazil, and western Africa. The
vast majority of the world's bananas today are cultivated for family use or for profits. Now, widely cultivated bananas
are bananas Musa acuminata and Musa balbisiana. Cultivated bananas are parthenocarpic, which makes them sterile
and unable to produce viable seeds. To obtain maximum shelf life, harvest comes before the fruit is mature. The fruit
requires careful handling, rapid transport to ports, cooling, and refrigerated shipping. []

Banana Flower and Pseudostem
Banana flower (BF) and pseudostem (PS) are byproducts of banana cultivation and are known to have health
beneficial effects. Banana flower and PS were found to be rich in dietary fiber (65.6 ± 1.32 and 28.8 ± 0.98,
respectively). [9]

Banana Supplements
Since bananas are available in market, are there banana supplements? Yes, there are. Supplements such as
TresOmega® Strawberry-Banana Flax Oil, Barleans Omega Swirl Flax Oil Supplement Strawberry Banana, 100%
Casein Protein Banana, Integrated Supplements Whey Protein Isolate Strawberry Banana, Iso Zero Carb Pineapple
Orange Banana, Lean1 Banana, PediaSure Banana Shake etc. are available in market. Users are required to mix the
powder with milk or water to drink.

Banana Republic
Banana Republic is a company modern, refined clothing for men and women, plus shoes and accessories. Its products
have no nutritional values.

Banana Plantation - Skin Problems
Sensitization to pesticides among banana plantation workers is a frequent occupational health problem. Pesticide
patch test trays should be used in assessing skin diseases in highly exposed workers. [11]

Banana Lectin
BanLec is a jacalin-related lectin isolated from the fruit of bananas, Musa acuminata. This lectin binds to high mannose
carbohydrate structures, including those found on viruses containing glycosylated envelope proteins such as human
immunodeficiency virus type-1 (HIV-1). Banana BanLec inhibits HIV-1 infection by binding to the glycosylated viral
envelope and blocking cellular entry. The relative anti-HIV activity of BanLec compared favorably to other anti-HIV
lectins, such as snowdrop lectin and Griffithsin, and to T-20 and maraviroc, two anti-HIV drugs currently in clinical use.

[1] Bananas, The worldÂ’s healthiest foods, Online publication. Sept 20, 2005. [2] FDA Consumer magazine, Online
Publication, Issue May-June 2005 Issue, Sept 20, 2005  [4] Emery EA et al, Banana flakes control diarrhea in enterally
fed patients. Nutr Clin Pract. 1997 Apr;12(2):72-5. [5] Lohsoonthorn P and Danvivat D Colorectal cancer risk factors: a
case-control study in Bangkok. Asia Pac J Public Health. 1995;8(2):118-22. [6] Sun J et al, Antioxidant and
antiproliferative activities of common fruits. J Agric Food Chem. 2002 Dec 4;50(25):7449-54. [7] Blades BL et al,  
Bananas and plantains as a source of provitamin A. Asia Pac J Clin Nutr. 2003 Nov;12(Suppl):S36. [8] Horigome T et
al, Hypocholesterolaemic effect of banana (Musa sapientum L. var. Cavendishii) pulp in the rat fed on a cholesterol-
containing diet. Br J Nutr. 1992 Jul;68(1):231-44. [9] Bhaskar JJ, et al, Banana (Musa sp. var elakki bale) Flower and
Pseudostem: Dietary Fiber and Associated Antioxidant Capacity. J Agric Food Chem. 2011 Nov 28. [10] Hettiaratchi
UP, et al, Chemical compositions and glycemic responses to banana varieties. Int J Food Sci Nutr. 2011 Jun;62(4):307-
9. [11] Penagos H, et al, Pesticide patch test series for the assessment of allergic contact dermatitis among banana
plantation workers in panama Dermatitis. 2004 Sep;15(3):137-45. [12] Swanson MD, et al, A lectin isolated from
bananas is a potent inhibitor of HIV replication. J Biol Chem. 2010 Mar 19;285(12):8646-55.
Discuss with your doctor before taking any alternative medicine. This article is for
reference only, it is not a medical advice. All rights reserved. Do not copy this article to
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Banana nutrition, calories, health benefits, supplements
November 30, 2011
Banana Nutrition
Banana is one of the most popular fresh fruits in the United States. Banana has a peel that comes off
easily, banana ripens after it has been picked, there is a generous supply all year, and banana is no
expensive. Banana is a rich source of potassium, dietary fiber, manganese, Vitamins B6 and C.
Banana is also a good source of carbohydrates and potassium.  Bananas may also contain
fructooligosaccharide. Thus, banana benefits may be many.

There are several varieties of banana, Cavendish banana is the yellow banana you see in grocery
stores. However, you may also find Plantains, Finger Bananas and Red Bananas in the stores. Select
banana that is firm and free of bruises. Best eating quality occurs when the solid yellow skin color is
speckled with brown. Storing banana in refrigerator may lead to brown peel, but the fruit does not
Banana Nutrition and Banana Calories
Banana nutrition is excellent, many people have banana as their foods. But, it has 21 g of sugar in
one serving. Anyway, a summary of its nutrients and calories of serving size of 1/2 cup, sliced (75g)
of banana is presented in the table at right handside.
Amounts Per Serving
% Daily Value
Calories from Fat
Total Fat
0g            0%
Saturated Fat
0g            0%
0mg         0%
0mg         0%
400mg    11%
Total Carbohydrate
17g          6%
Dietary Fiber
9g            8%
Vitamin A
Vitamin C
As mentioned before, banana may contain fructooligosaccharide. Fructololigosaccharide is prebiotic because it nourishes probiotic (beneficial)
bacteria in the colon. These beneficial bacteria produce vitamins and digestive enzymes. These digestive enzymes improve our ability to absorb
nutrients including calcium and the compounds that may protect us against pathogens. In addition, banana may lessen the gastrointestinal transit
time, which may decrease the risk of colon cancer. [1] On the other hand, a recent issue of FDA consumer magazine recommends bananas as a
potassium-rich food because potassium counteracts some of sodium's effect on blood pressure. [2]

Banana is also found to be a rich source of provitamin A carotenoids. Researchers studied the carotenoid content of frozen samples of the edible
flesh of 12 banana varieties. They found huge variations of the carotenoid content and (retinol activity equivalents) among the varieties: total
carotene levels ranged from 150 to 2176microg and (retinol activity equivalents)/100g from 8 to 130. [7]