Are you trying to cut as many calories from your diet as you can?
There are millions of Americans trying to do this at the moment, and they’re taking all kinds of different approaches to it. From choosing water over other beverage options to steering clear of certain sauces and dressings, they’ve made it their mission to avoid taking in too many calories each day.
With this in mind, you might be asking yourself the question, “How many calories in a banana?”, if you enjoy eating bananas on a regular basis. It’s a valid concern for all the banana lovers out there.
But the good news is that you don’t have to worry too much about taking in an excessive amount of calories when you eat bananas. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, there are only about 105 calories in a medium-sized banana.
This is one of the many health benefits that come along with eating bananas. Here are seven others.
Provides Your Body With a Bunch of Essential Nutrients
As we just mentioned, you’re not going to take in many calories when you work your way through a banana. Even if you eat an extra-large banana, the answer to the question, “How many calories in a banana?”, is still only going to be about 135.
But what bananas lack in calories, they more than make up for when it comes to nutrients. You’ll find so many different essential nutrients jampacked into a banana and give your body immediate access to all of them.
In a medium-sized banana, you will often find your fair share of:
- Potassium (about 9% of the recommended daily intake)
- Vitamin C (about 11% of the recommended daily intake)
- Vitamin B6 (about 33% of the recommended daily intake)
- Copper (about 10% of the recommended daily intake)
- Manganese (about 14% of the recommended daily intake)
You’ll also find about 3.1 grams of fiber. That’s a sizable amount when you consider that the average American adult is supposed to get about 25 grams of fiber in their daily diet.
There are also a few things—outside of calories—that you won’t find in bananas. Bananas only contain about 1.3 grams of protein and about 0.4 grams of fat, which is next to nothing in the grand scheme of things.
Helps Improve Your Heart Health
Heart disease is, as you may know, the leading cause of death in the country right now. More than 600,000 people die every year due to heart disease. It accounts for about 25% of all deaths.
You may be able to improve your heart health and avoid dealing with heart disease down the line by incorporating bananas into your diet. Bananas are high in potassium, and some studies have suggested that potassium plays a vital role in controlling blood pressure and reducing the strain put on a person’s heart.
Despite the importance of potassium, the vast majority of Americans aren’t taking in enough of it day in and day out. In fact, it appears as though just 2% of people get the recommended amount of potassium.
If you suspect that you aren’t getting enough potassium, eating bananas can help turn this trend around. You can start getting enough potassium in your diet, and it might make your heart a lot healthier over time.
Gives Your Digestive Health a Boost
Eating more bananas may improve more than just your heart health. It may also work wonders for those who suffer from digestive health issues.
Bananas have two kinds of dietary fiber in them. They contain pectin and resistant starch. And the resistant starch in bananas, in particular, might be very beneficial for your digestive system.
Resistant starch doesn’t go through the normal digestion process when it enters your body. Instead, it sidesteps digestion and makes its way into your large intestine where it provides sustenance for the good bacteria that are located in your gut.
Pectin might also benefit your body in a big way. There are some researchers who believe that pectin might help to protect people against the threat of colon cancer. Studies on this specific claim are ongoing, but there is some evidence to suggest a connection between pectin and colon cancer.
Makes It Easier for You to Lose Weight
At any given time, about 50% of all Americans are trying to lose weight. Are you one of them right now?
If so, you might be able to shed some extra pounds by working bananas into your diet. While there are no scientific studies that have shown a definitive connection between eating more bananas and losing weight, bananas may be able to help you on your weight-loss journey.
Even though bananas don’t have many calories in them, the fiber in them will often make people feel full when they’re done eating one. Some studies have also revealed that the resistant starch in bananas may decrease a person’s appetite.
If nothing else, bananas are a much healthier alternative to many other snack foods. It can’t hurt to eat more of them as opposed to turning to junk food when you’re hungry.
Regulates Your Blood Sugar Levels
Are your blood sugar levels always out of whack?
If this is being caused by diabetes, simply eating bananas isn’t going to help the situation (although you don’t necessarily need to avoid them). You should speak with your doctor about coming up with a more effective treatment for dealing with problems with your blood sugar levels.
But generally speaking, the fiber in bananas can help people to manage their blood sugar levels and keep them in the normal range. Studies have shown that both pectin and resistant starch can slow down how quickly your stomach empties once you eat, which can moderate your blood sugar levels.
Try taking down a banana after a meal to see if it changes the way that you feel. A banana could very well allow you to avoid sudden spikes and dips in your blood sugar levels when you eat it at the right time.
Reduces Your Chances of Developing Kidney Disease
Earlier, we touched on how taking in more potassium can prove to be great for your heart health. But potassium might be able to do more than make your heart healthier. It may also help your body to keep your kidneys healthy.
Chronic kidney disease is something that affects almost 40 million Americans. Many of these people end up with chronic kidney disease as a direct result of having high blood pressure. And as we mentioned when we talked about how bananas can improve a person’s heart health, the potassium in bananas may stop high blood pressure from becoming a problem for people.
This could, in turn, stop chronic kidney disease from developing in some people. People wouldn’t have to worry about suffering from it if they’re able to use potassium to prevent high blood pressure in the first place.
Multiple studies have shown that those people who eat about four to six bananas per week might be about 50% less likely to be diagnosed with chronic kidney disease. That should make eating more bananas a no-brainer for many people.
Stops Muscle Cramps and Soreness From Slowing You Down
It’s not uncommon at all to see athletes scarfing down bananas immediately after a big game or a big race. Many runners have turned to bananas time and time again as part of their post-race meals.
Have you ever wondered why that is? Well, it’s because bananas are thought to help athletes avoid having to deal with painful muscle cramps and muscle soreness in the aftermath of athletic competitions. The thought is that the nutrients in bananas may stop cramping and soreness from setting in.
Despite the popularity of bananas among athletes, there actually isn’t a whole lot of evidence out there to suggest that bananas can prevent muscle cramps and soreness. But many athletes swear by them and credit bananas with helping their bodies to recover following games or races.
If you enjoy working out or participating in sports, consider giving bananas a try before and after you exercise or play. You could very well find that they are every bit as beneficial as athletes say they are.
How Many Calories in a Banana? Not Enough for You to Be Concerned
Trying to cut calories from your diet is a great idea. As most experts will tell you, “too many calories” is one of the top reasons why so many Americans are unhealthy and overweight.
But you don’t have to give up bananas in an effort to cut calories. The answer to the question, “How many calories in a banana?”, isn’t something you need to be concerned about since there are so few calories in them.
Instead, you should focus on all of the other things in bananas, like potassium, fiber, and other nutrients. They may be able to make you a much healthier person than you are now when you start eating more bananas.
Want to learn about some of the other advantages of eating bananas? Read this blog to get information on the more surprising benefits of adding bananas to the mix.