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How Many Calories In A Banana? Nutrition Facts and Health Benefits. Photo KnowInsiders

Bananas are a widely available, affordable and versatile fruit. You can just eat one on the go, add some peanut butter, or use it in a smoothie for a boost of energy and a creamier texture.

How many calories are in various sizes of bananas?

A medium banana contains 105 calories, on average.

However, different sizes of bananas contain varying numbers of calories.

Below are the calorie contents of standard banana sizes:

Extra small (shorter than 6 inches, 81 grams): 72 calories

Small (6–7 inches, 101 grams): 90 calories

Medium (7–8 inches, 118 grams): 105 calories

Large (8–9 inches, 136 grams): 121 calories

Extra large (9 inches or longer, 152 grams): 135 calories

Sliced (1 cup, 150 grams): 134 calories

Mashed (1 cup, 225 grams): 200 calories

If you’re unsure about the size of your banana, you can estimate that an average banana contains about 100 calories.

About 93% of a banana’s calories come from carbs, 4% from protein, and 3% from fat.

How many carbs are in a banana?

Photo Fitness
Photo Fitness

Bananas are almost exclusively composed of water and carbs.

People who watch their carb intake are interested in knowing the carb content of their food.

Here is the carb content of standard banana sizes:

Extra small (shorter than 6 inches, 81 grams): 19 grams

Small (6–7 inches, 101 grams): 23 grams

Medium (7–8 inches, 118 grams): 27 grams

Large (8–9 inches, 136 grams): 31 grams

Extra large (9 inches or longer, 152 grams): 35 grams

Sliced (1 cup, 150 grams): 34 grams

Mashed (1 cup, 225 grams): 51 grams

A banana also contains 2–4 grams of fiber, depending on its size. You can subtract 2–4 grams if you are looking for the “net” carb content (net carbs = total carbs – fiber).

Additionally, a banana’s ripeness may affect its carb content.

READ MORE: 9 Nutrition Tips for the Elderly

Banana fiber

The difference, from the sugars’ point of view, is the amount of soluble fiber and resistant starch in the fruit – per banana calorie, they contain an impressive amount of fiber. This teams with the sugars that give Chiquita bananas their great taste to ensure they are provided slowly and steadily to the body, so your energy levels stay nicely stable. These helpful benefits of fiber also help to explain why bananas are only low to medium on the Glycemic Index (the scale of the Index goes from 1-100 where pure glucose has the highest score of all foods at 100). The sustained energy boost from those delicious banana calories is one of the key reasons why endurance athletes love them.

Banana vitamins and minerals

Bananas are one of the best fruits for health because they have good levels of some vital vitamins and minerals. They are a famously good source of potassium, which contributes to the normal functioning of the nervous system and muscle function. Potassium also helps with maintaining normal blood pressure

A banana, as a healthy snack, will also provide you with 22% of the recommended daily amount of vitamin B6. This helpful and very busy vitamin has lots of functions in the body – it’s needed for neuron transmission in the brain and helps to ensure your digestive enzymes are working properly, keeps your skin healthy and helps to produce red blood cells.

Bananas also contain magnesium, vitamin C (an important antioxidant) and B9 (also known as folate). As a handy, robust and easy-to-carry package, these benefits prove that bananas are one of the most healthy fruits around and the ideal healthy low-calorie snack.

Bananas, the healthy snack

Bananas alone cannot help you to lose weight, but a balanced diet that contains bananas can help you to reach your goal of four to five vegetable or fruit servings per day. They also help keep you feeling full, so you’re less likely to reach for the candy. So, when you’re craving something sweet and delicious but are looking for a really healthy snack to buy, why not reach for a banana in your local store? Those tasty banana calories can be really good for you!

Health Benefits

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Photo KnowInsiders

Bananas are a popular fruit with lots of benefits to offer beyond that post-run hit of potassium. Here are some ways bananas may improve your health.

Improves Diabetes Management

Green bananas are high in resistant starch, which acts like fiber during digestion. Due to their health benefits, green bananas are often ground into a pulp or flour to be used in functional food products and scientific studies.

A review of several studies found green banana flour effective in improving insulin sensitivity, promoting weight loss, and reducing some of the liver and kidney issues associated with diabetes—all helpful effects for long-term management of the disease.

READ MORE: What is Diabetes: Symptoms and best treatment

Promotes Regularity

Bananas are a good source of prebiotics, the fermentable fibers that help feed "good bacteria," or probiotics, in the gut.5 Prebiotics aid digestion by promoting the growth of bacteria that help digest food. Pairing bananas with foods that contain live cultures (such as yogurt) is a great way to support gut health, digestion, and regularity.

Furthermore, studies evaluating the effects of green bananas show benefits for both constipation and diarrhea treatment in children.4 Eating bananas is a simple way to get the digestive system on the right track.

Are they good to eat before exercising?

Bananas provide an easily digestible source of carbohydrates, the preferential fuel during exercise. They're light on your stomach, which won't weigh you down during your workouts. Alternatively, pair a banana with a protein source like peanut butter to refuel your glycogen stores post-workout. As a bonus, bananas can replace the potassium lost in sweat during prolonged exercise.

Aids Weight Loss

Photo:  Power of Positivity
Photo Power of Positivity

The banana has a bad reputation for its high starch content, but it is a low-calorie food with plenty of filling fiber to support weight loss goals. With about 3 grams of fiber for every 100 calories, bananas are a great way to feel satisfied without overeating.

Studies show an association between increased fiber intake, calorie reduction, and weight loss. A pooled analysis estimates adding 14 grams of fiber to the diet (or reducing calories by 10%) per day can lead to weight loss of 4.4 pounds over 4 months.6 Bananas as a snack or breakfast choice can help you attain and maintain a healthy weight.

A crucial component of any weight loss is understanding that no single food has the power to make you gain or lose weight.

The balance of what you eat throughout the day, along with how active you are, will have the greatest impact on your weight loss, especially in the long term.

Some foods, such as those that are high in fiber or high in protein, will make you feel full longer, with a smaller number of calories. Thus, when you consume fewer calories by incorporating more fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean protein into your diet, these dietary habits will favor your weight loss.

A medium banana offers about 105 calories, which provides fruits’ natural sugar, as well as 3 grams of fiber (A quick rule of thumb is that one serving of carbohydrates should provide at least 3 grams of fiber). As you probably know, bananas are also a good source of vitamins, such as potassium. Like most fruits, bananas are not a source of fat or protein, just carbohydrates.

When compared with other fruits, like berries, bananas are higher in energy (calories), which gives them a bad reputation of not being “good” for weight loss. However, as the recommendation for a balanced diet includes 3 to 5 servings of fruit every day, bananas can certainly be incorporated into a healthy diet, even if the goal is to lose weight.

Bananas are filling, nutritious, and can be paired with a variety of other foods for a more complete snack. They also make a good dessert.

Lowers Blood Pressure

Bananas are a good source of potassium, with a medium banana covering about 9% of the daily value for most adults. The blood pressure-lowering ability of potassium is well established, especially when it is paired with the DASH diet or a low-sodium eating plan.

Eating bananas regularly contributes toward daily potassium requirements to keep blood pressure down and prevent further complications, like strokes and kidney disease. Do your whole body a favor by choosing a banana in place of a salty snack.

May Assist Wound Healing

The antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties in banana peels have made them popular in folk medicine for wound treatment. The inside of banana peels are placed on mosquito bites or minor wounds to provide some relief and protection for healing.

Although this effect may not be fully supported by modern medicine, when eaten, bananas certainly offer wound-healing nutrients, like vitamin C and other antioxidants. One medium banana provides about 11% of your daily needs. Vitamin C is a precursor to collagen, an essential component of skin integrity.

Bananas are filling, nutritious, and can be paired with a variety of other foods for a more complete snack. They also make a good dessert.

Storage and Food Safety

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Photo Popsugar

Bananas go from green to yellow to brown as they ripen. If you buy green bananas, you can let them ripen uncovered at room temperature. To speed up the ripening process, place green bananas in a paper bag or place them near other ripe fruits. Don't store bananas in plastic bags, as this will trap humidity, causing them to rot.

Once bananas reach your desired degree of yellow hue, just peel and eat. If you can't get to them right away, store ripe bananas in the refrigerator to buy yourself an extra week. The peel may turn dark brown or black in the refrigerator, but this has no effect on the quality of the banana underneath.

How many can I eat and what should I eat them with?

About one per day can help you meet your needs for produce and pack some serious health benefits. We love them paired with a source of lean protein and healthy fat; try five fun recipes that we love:

Bananas and nuts or nut butter

A sliced banana and low-fat Greek yogurt

Banana breakfast parfaits and smoothies

Frozen banana pops dipped in chocolate

Banana-based ice cream

Are they too high calorie if I'm on a diet?

It's true that eating ANY food in excess of your own personal calorie needs can lead to weight gain, but bananas are an unlikely culprit. At 100 calories and less than half a gram of fat in each one, bananas are a nutritious choice that helps you meet your needs for daily veggies and fruit.

Fad alert: Is it safe to eat the peel?
Photo healthline
Photo healthline

While there are claims out there that banana peels can cure insomnia and depression and lower cholesterol, there is little (if any) scientific research to back them up. All the studies on the benefits of banana peels haven't involved humans just yet, so we don't actually know what effects they would have! That said, it's unlikely that eating a banana peel would hurt you – but it won't exactly taste very good either.

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