Bananas | Whole Food Nutrition
Bananas are the most consumed fruit in the United States, followed by strawberries and grapes.
- Banana is a member of the botanical family Musaceae which also includes plantain.
- The banana plant is grown in tropical climates and is one of the most important fruit crops of the world.
- Bananas are an excellent source of vitamin B6, and a good source of vitamin C, manganese, potassium, and fiber.
- Vitamin B6 encourages red blood cell formation, nervous system function, and immune function.
- Vitamin C is an antioxidant that promotes formation of collagen and connective tissue and wound healing.
- Manganese aids in carbohydrate, protein, and cholesterol metabolism.
- Potassium supports heart and nervous system function, muscle contraction, and blood pressure regulation.
- Fiber helps to maintain bowel health and prevent constipation.
How to Purchase, Prepare, and Store
- Bananas are available year-round at grocers.
- Bananas can be found in a variety of ripeness. Green bananas are the least ripe. As they ripen, the outer peel turns yellow and then becomes brown once overripe.
- Overripe bananas can be eaten and are often used in baked good recipes.
- To prepare a banana, remove the outer peel and eat or add to recipes.
- Bananas can be frozen with their outer peel removed and used in smoothie recipes.
- Store bananas at room temperature. To ripen green bananas, place them in a paper bag with an apple.
- Consume bananas fresh or fried. Bananas can be added to breads, cakes, cookies, muffins, or other desert recipes. They can be used raw in pies or puddings.
Banana Nutrition Facts
1 medium banana, raw
- Calories: 105
- Protein: 1.2 g
- Fat: 0.3 g
- Carbohydrate: 26.9 g
- Fiber: 3.07 g
- Calcium: 5.9 mg
- Iron: 0.3 mg
- Magnesium: 31.9 mg
- Phosphorus: 26 mg
- Folate: 23.6 µg
- Vitamin A: 3.54 µg