6 Awesome Health Benefits Of Bananas

Before we start discussing the health benefits of bananas, here is some nutritional information for a serving of banana (source - these numbers can be slightly different when obtained from a different source):

Serving size = 1 medium sufficiently ripe banana [about 7″ long and 126 grams (0.28 pounds) in weight]

Total Fat = 0 g; Cholesterol = 0 g; Calories = 110

Potassium = 400 mg (10% of daily recommended value)

Dietary Fiber = 4 g (16% of daily recommended value)

Sugar = 14.8 g; Protein = 1 g (2% of daily recommended value)

Vitamin C = 16% of daily recommended value

Vitamin B6 = 20% of daily recommended value

With this nutritional information in the background let’s work through the incredible health benefits of this commonplace fruit. I will try and list only substantiated facts with references wherever possible. I am particularly concerned about this because there have been some unsubstantiated claims (rumors) about extraordinary banana benefits floating around the internet (here is an example).

  1. Bananas are good for your heart and nerves: Bananas contain a high dose of potassium - an essential ingredient to keep your heart and nervous system in good shape. Potassium is essential for proper muscle contraction and hence plays an important role in muscle-influenced activities including: the normal rhythmic pumping of the heart, digestion, muscular movements, etc., Some studies have also linked low potassium intake to high blood pressure and increased risk of stroke. Most Americans don’t get enough potassium in their diet (recommended dose is about 4 g per day) - blame it on our fast food culture. Including a banana (or two) in your diet everyday would take you a step closer towards getting your daily recommended dose of potassium (references: American Heart Association, University of Maryland Medical Center, Colorado State University).
  2. Bananas are good for your kidneys and bones: Benefits to the kidneys and the bones are again due to the high potassium content of bananas. A normal intake of potassium suppresses calcium excretion in the urine and minimizes the risk of kidney stones. Also, for the same reason (suppressing of calcium excretion), it minimizes the loss of calcium from the body and thereby reduces the risk of osteoporosis (references: University of Maryland Medical Center, University of Kansas Medical Center).
  3. Bananas can act as mood enhancers or mild sedatives: Bananas contain tryptophan (although it’s not one of the major sources, a medium still contains about 10.6 mg of tryptophan). Tryptophan is one of the 20 amino acids which are building blocks of proteins (btw, an incredible number of articles on the internet call tryptophan as a “mood-enhancing protein” and that is technically not correct). Tryptophan helps the body to produce serotonin - which has a calming effect on the brain (creates a stable mood) and acts as a mild sedative. It should be noted that the only way our our body gets it’s dose of tryptophan is through our diet - it does not produce tryptophan naturally; bananas is one of the easiest ways to get it (references: Nutritiondata.com, Chemistry Daily, Stanford Linear Accelerator Center, NIH MedLinePlus).
  4. Bananas are good for your blood: Bananas are one of the highest sources of naturally available vitamin B6: Vitamin B6 plays an important role in converting tryptophan to serotonin (read #3 above), and also helps the body to make hemoglobin - a crucial ingredient of your blood. Vitamin B6 is also essential for antibody production and to maintain a healthy immune response. It also helps to convert carbohydrates to glucose and thereby maintains proper blood sugar levels. A medium banana can take care of 1/5th of your daily recommended intake of vitamin B6 and is one of the easiest (and cheapest) ways to increase your dietary intake of the vitamin (references: NIH Office of Dietary Supplements).
  5. Bananas are good for kids: Let me quote this from NIH’s Medical Encyclopedia -

    Bananas are part of the BRAT diet, a diet many physicians and nurses recommend for children recovering from gastrointestinal problems, particularly diarrhea. BRAT stands for the different components that make up the diet: Bananas, Rice cereal, Applesauce, Toast. These are binding foods that make the stools harder.

  6. Bananas are good source of dietary fiber: A single serving (one medium-sized banana) contains 16% of the daily recommended dietary fiber intake for a normal adult - that’s substantial for a single serving of any food. Fiber improves laxation (smooth bowel movements). Fiber-rich diets have also been linked to lower risk of coronary heart disease and of type 2 diabetes. Also, view this information in light of the following facts (references: Health.gov, NIH PubMed - abstract is sufficient):

    Current recommendations suggest that adults consume 20-35 grams of dietary fiber per day. Children over age 2 should consume an amount equal to or greater than their age plus 5 grams per day. Yet the average American eats only 14-15 grams of dietary fiber a day. source: Harvard School of Public Health

Availability is the best part: Bananas are very affordable at about 35~40 cents per pound (on an average - in the US) and are generally available in almost all grocery stores; you don’t need to cook them or wash them (unless you want to eat the outer skin) and that makes them ideal as quick lunch substitutes. Consider bananas as an awesome and affordable dietary supplement.

Got sugar concerns?: People worry a lot about the carbohydrates (especially the sugar part) in bananas. To that end, here are a few quotes from a couple reliable sources:

A banana has a glycemic index of 52 and 24 grams of available carbohydrate. This gives a glycemic load of 12. In comparison, an apple having a glycemic index of 38 and 15 grams of available carbohydrate has a glycemic load of 6 … Although an apple may be a little better choice for a snack, eating a banana isn’t all that bad either because foods with glycemic loads in the low teens and below are the ones that should be selected as part of a balanced diet. (source: USDA.gov)

Despite being erroneously called “fattening” and too high in sugar, a small banana only contains about 100 calories, which is not much more than a medium apple. Nor should it raise your blood glucose level too high. (source: American Diabetes Association)

Like always, stuff should be done in moderation and it should be noted that all the above health benefits are “general observations” - and there must be, for sure, exceptions to general observations. If you have specific health conditions related to any nutritional constituents of bananas, make sure you consult your doctor before you go bananas on bananas.

If you have additional information (or even folklore :) ) about bananas, feel free to share it with us through your comments.

70 Comment(s)

  1. Very thorough and informative!

    I always keep bananas on hand for easy snacking or recipes. It’s amazing how much you can do with bananas: breads, desserts, shakes, ice cream, snacks…

    I like to use them as one of my natural sweeteners, as I do not eat cooked or processed foods.

    Great research!

    -Caroline
    http://www.rawlifestyle.wordpress.com

    Caroline Jeannot | Jul 2, 2007 | Reply

  2. Oh man I love bananas! Nice to see some really good reasons to keep going back for this wonderful fruit.

    We have a huge variety of bananas in India. Unlike in the west, we prefer to eat them when they are ripe and sweet.

    Thanks for the info!

    Nikhil Nayak | Jul 19, 2007 | Reply

  3. On the B.R.A.T. diet, how much of each food are you to eat each day?

    dayle reynolds | Oct 26, 2007 | Reply

  4. Huh? Bananas sure get a lot of good press, but are they really as good as everyone thinks?

    Bananas raise are high enough in sugar and starch to contribute to high glucose levels, especially since they are often consumed without other fats and proteins, which could at least slow the absorption of glucose. Not good. Therefore they also raise insulin levels, also not healthy or conducive to weight control, regardless of the low calrloic content (high chronic insulin levels & constant carbohydrate intake drives fat storage and prevents burnign body fat for energy).

    I know bananas get a lot of attention for the potassium content, but there isn’t a nutrient in bananas, even potassium, that can’t be eaily obtained from unprocessed non-starchy and low sugar produce items, such as avocados, leafy green veggies, etc. There is simply just too much sugar and starch in bananas compared to the micronutrients to considered a regular part of a healthy diet that keeps blood glucose at normal, even levels.

    Additionally, the vast majority of commercial bananas have traveled a very, very long way to market, making them an oil-guzzling crop. So bananas additionally are a very unsustainable fruit crop compared to local, seasonal produce. And there is a history of nasty economic and political influence in the international banana trade, hence the term “banana republic”.

    It’s time for people to get over their love affair with bananas.

    Anna | Jan 11, 2008 | Reply

  5. This is for “Anna.” Use some common sense, that banter you posted would better suit someone who eats ONLY bananas. Bananas as part of an OVERALL healthy diet are extremely beneficial. All fruits are sources for high levels of NATURAL sugar, which is why you’re suppose to eat other things too (vegetables, perhaps).

    It’s time for people to think less like Anna there and more like the advanced life form we claim to be.

    CommonSense | Jan 17, 2008 | Reply

  6. This response is for Anna. I was diagnosed with pre-diabetes 2.5 years ago. As a rule, bananas do help in maintaining glucose levels and maintains a healthy body. How do I know??? I eat them among other foods with moderation. Infact, you can possibly live on banana’s.

    Along with moderate intake of variety of foods and plenty of exercise, will provide the body with the nutrients it needs. So, with this mind, EAT, EAT, EAT banana’s!!!

    happy | Jan 23, 2008 | Reply

  7. It may be time for people to get over their love affair with bananas, but it ain’t gonna happen. My favorite breakfast for the last sixty years or so has been sliced bananas and peanut butter on toast — great tasting and great energy to start the day. Yes, bananas are here to stay.

    oldbiker1 | Feb 19, 2008 | Reply

  8. I enjoyed reading all good stuff about bananas, I love it because its the only fruit can be eaten just after buying, no need washing if in case of hunger… Was worried about the sugar level, now I feel no need to, because everything is well explained on this site, thanks to all good ppl around for help..

    maashu | Mar 23, 2008 | Reply

  9. Good info, I “like” bananas but I can’t handle eating them more than a few times a week unless its with other foods such as cereal, and like the oldbiker, I too like them with peanut butter on bread or toast.

    Only this past year did I find another great use for them, they make for a good wine. Which is what actually brought me to this site, searching for a sugar content conversion on them. :)

    Dean | Apr 14, 2008 | Reply

  10. i eat average six bananas a day ether in a protien shake or just as they are is that too many , good or bad?

    dawg | May 12, 2008 | Reply

  11. I too have got a problem with constipation but the only thing that renormalizes my bowel movement is a banana. We have a family history of diabetes and bananas have always done the trick!I am sorry Anna! the love affair with the fruit goes on!

    Flint Madziya | May 20, 2008 | Reply

  12. In defense of Anna

    Just because she’s showing the other side of the banana issue shouldn’t make her the scapegoat for all banana lovers.

    Thanks for bringing up the negative side of bananas for a more balanced and in-depth look at this fruit! I would like to see some references to support your claims though…

    Sarah

    Sarah | Jul 18, 2008 | Reply

  13. Anna doesn’t know how to find “real” information. Fruit has minimal fructose (a banana only 5 grams, an apple 7) as compared to processed foods and other crap like soda that has upwards of 70 grams!

    No one should fear eating a banana! That is ridiculous, just get rid of grains and refined sugars! Quit listening to propaganda, anna.

    rick | Aug 6, 2008 | Reply

  14. some good stuff about banana.
    I have started eating banana alot. I eat like 2 on average but sometimes 3 or 4. I was wondering if its too much. Can someone please tell me with some references so i know forsure.

    Thanks..

    Shani | Aug 7, 2008 | Reply

  15. I like what i just read about this awesome fruit banana. I have been taking 6 banana’s as a breakfast(empty stomatch) since past six years.

    My people say too much of banana is bad, but i m yet to find any bad things which has happen in my body.

    I also read that banana help to develop sexual harmones. is it for real??

    vikki-nepal | Aug 16, 2008 | Reply

  16. I consume, on average, 14 bananas a day, having done so for the last 25 years. The only concern I have ever heard from a doctor was that I had a abnormally high T-wave on my EKG. (As far I know, a high T-wave indicates that the heart is able to take a rest between beats.) Don’t think there is such a thing as too many bananas. Am I wrong?

    George | Aug 17, 2008 | Reply

  17. Very helpful! The Philippines is one of the biggest producers of bananas which makes this nutritional source just in our backyard. But still many are not aware the power of banana.

    jun yancha | Sep 12, 2008 | Reply

  18. I am a type 2 diabetic living in Florida. I just harvested my first bunch of bananas and when they ripen I intend to see how they affect my glucose. Will post later

    Pat | Sep 24, 2008 | Reply

  19. I normally have a bit of insomnia that wakes me from about 3-4am in the early morning. However, I have found if I eat a banana right before I go to bed I do not wake up anymore.

    Malia | Oct 15, 2008 | Reply

  20. I eat a small banana per day. They’re tasty, low in fat/cal, filling, cheap to buy, travel well, good for my heart, bowels, and moods, and a natural snack at that. I’d choose a banana over an apple any day:)

    Nan | Nov 3, 2008 | Reply

  21. Bananas improve skin complexion too!!

    I started consuming bananas about two weeks ago, found that they really help to improve my skin complexion. Read an article claiming “Banana skin” can helps skin itchiness. Having this problem (fungus) on my arms, so try using “Banana skin” to rub on the affected skin and leave it for another 1-2 minutes then rinse. After afew days, found they really help, and some other scars that left previously have been lighten. Now I use them to rub on my face before I cleanse. It works too! My face complexion looks more moisten and clearer.
    BANANAS not only good as diet supplement, also a good source for skin complexion!

    Suephrinla Lim | Nov 6, 2008 | Reply

  22. hi i am 44 years old, and had a breast cancer,and just had my operation 3 weeks ago, now i love eating banana 1pc. every morning. is it good for my health? since i’m on medication for my monthly chemotherapy?
    i really apprciate i found this site and read all the good things about banana.

    josefina park | Dec 17, 2008 | Reply

  23. Anna claims,

    “the vast majority of commercial bananas have traveled a very, very long way to market, making them an oil-guzzling crop.”

    You clearly have not really studied logistics or energy consumption in food production. The idea that ocean transported foods consume vast amounts of oil is just plain silly; ocean shipping is the most energy efficient means of delivering a product, the oil consumed is vastly less than that used by trucks.

    Anna continues:

    “So bananas additionally are a very unsustainable fruit crop compared to local, seasonal produce.”

    Again, another ridiculous claim without any substantiation whatsoever. This crazy idea that locally grown food is more economically and environmentally sound has absolutely no basis in fact whatsoever. These wild claims are never accompanied by studies that show total relative costs involved.

    I know it’s a big, big myth amongst the eco-crowd and the goofy “peak oil” doom and gloom theorists, but it remains nothing more than that: a myth. All such talk is always purely theoretical with no rigorous examination. Locally grown has its own heavy costs in land-use, frequently makes use of cruel and exploitative “migratory” labor (which consumes more fuel than a cargo ship full of bananas), produces social dislocation, on and on and on.

    If the land is very close to an urban center, it can probably be more economically used for other purposes. If it’s far from an urban center, requiring trucks to get the product to market, it can consume more energy than a cargo ship.

    Anna continues:

    “And there is a history of nasty economic and political influence in the international banana trade, hence the term “banana republic”.”

    Oh jeezus. One might as well not eat potatoes because the ancient Incas practiced human sacrifice. Or boycott universities because many professors are left-wing and left-wing ideologues have been the most blood thirsty mass-murderers of the last century.

    This is just silly.

    Richard | Dec 18, 2008 | Reply

  24. Bananas are one of my favorite fruits because they’re so easy to eat and so easy to take on the go! I love mine with peanut butter….mmmm. Also, I get low blood sugar at work towards the end of the day and bananas help a lot. Good article!

    Marjie | Jan 7, 2009 | Reply

  25. This type of diet is no longer recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics for children with diarrhea. It is too low in nutrients. Please remove this recommendation.

    Wendy, Pediatric Nurse Practitioner

    Bananas are good for kids: Let me quote this from NIH’s Medical Encyclopedia -

    “Bananas are part of the BRAT diet, a diet many physicians and nurses recommend for children recovering from gastrointestinal problems, particularly diarrhea. BRAT stands for the different components that make up the diet: Bananas, Rice cereal, Applesauce, Toast. These are binding foods that make the stools harder.”

    wendy mosiman | Jan 30, 2009 | Reply

  26. My favorite way to eat bananas is with organic raw almond butter….mmmmmmmmmm so good, and healthy! I also use them in my post workout shakes.

    Tish | Feb 6, 2009 | Reply

  27. Hi,

    Great article!

    Now, I understood why I was made to eat bananas everyday without fail since my childhood.

    Apart from the health benefits, I have also heard that bananas are good when used on face. It seems they have anti-aging properties and are used in facial masks.

    You can add that aspect to the article too.

    InfoCreators | Feb 7, 2009 | Reply

  28. I am on different medications that cause diarhea every morning. I started eating a banana right before going to bed and my bowel situation is now totally controlled. I don’t know what is in a banana that stabalizes the bowel but it has made my mornings much easier and as a result, I’m much happier.

    carolynne | Feb 11, 2009 | Reply

  29. Banana peels can be used on minor burns to help heal and prevent blistering. You peel the banana and apply the inside of the skin to the affected area.The result, no redness or anything.

    Alex | Mar 25, 2009 | Reply

  30. I have been an avid fan of the banana for the past six years during my high school career in track and cross-country. Bananas are the perfect food for those that are physically active and for those that might not be. Because of bananas high amount of potassium, they are key is muscle recovery and getting over muscle soreness, not to mention their portability to and from track meets! Anytime I get done with a hard practice I always eat a couple bananas and drink lots of water and stretch before I go to bed, and guess what….NO SORENESS in the legs! This allows me to recovery quicker and start getting in the miles again. And in respose to Anna, and how she claims bananas can mess with your weight? I think she out to check out this website:http://www.ehow.com/about_4571229_bodybuilding-bananas.html . The author of this article is Kevin Rail, a certified personal trainer and wellness coach in Utah, and from his reviews he is honest and tells it like it is!

    Mason | May 23, 2009 | Reply

  31. I’ve begun making smoothies in the morning with 2 bananas, 10 strawberries, 1/2 cup of 2% milk, and two small containers of fat free strawberry banana yogurt. I drink half in the morning and the other half at night after I exercise.

    I did a search on the health benefits of bananas to see if my new regime, although delicious, was doing me much good healh wise. I found this page very informative, but also very hilarious. Anna seems to have bashed bananas on the wrong page!

    Stephanie H. | Jun 16, 2009 | Reply

  32. I didn’t know you could get that emotional over bananas. Anna, if you ate more of them, you might calm down some. We loved them when we were apes.

    I didn’t know looking up nutritional information about bananas could be so amusing.

    Stella Spectacular | Aug 6, 2009 | Reply

  33. Bananas can be made into ice cream! Peel bananas, chop into pieces and then freeze in a ziplock bag overnight. The next day, throw a handful of frozen banana slices into a food processor (no need to add anything but bananas.) The result? A creamy frozen treat. If you don’t believe me, try it for yourself. Toss some crushed almonds on top and you have a healthy carb/protein/(good) fat snack.

    Katie | Aug 7, 2009 | Reply

  34. …good news is that I just love bananas. the best ever tasted by me are ‘nenthran pazham’ particularly the ones organically cultivated in kerala, India….banana chips are a fabulous snack and imagine eating hot banana fritters in a rainy afternoon..mmm….heavenly!!

    rems | Aug 13, 2009 | Reply

  35. Thank you for your support. I love bananas and will until the day I die.

    If you like them too then you and I are cool =).

    If not then I can’t say I would like to talk to you.

    Alex Masak | Aug 19, 2009 | Reply

  36. Hi all,

    My son who is 6 years old has lots of warts on his fingers and a few on his hands. A friend of mine suggested that he eat a banana every day and tape the inside of the banana skin to the warts each night before bed. I have been doing this nightly for the past 5 days and she said I will need to do it for 3 weeks.
    Has anybody else done this - and did it work.
    I’d really love to hear back. Thanks

    Joanne | Aug 28, 2009 | Reply

  37. If you don’t have any underlying health concerns, it will not negatively affect you. In fact, food we really enjoy (if not addicted to them), are the ones YOUR body is naturally asking for and thrive on. So keep enjoying the good stuff.

    PG | Aug 30, 2009 | Reply

  38. Everyone loves bananas. As a banana grower, I googled this a bit and actually found that Asians are not fans of bananas and think them too heavy. I grown creamy and sweet extra heavy ones, some weeks I eat 5kg of banana. I love coconut too also a heavy superfood too. I weigh 95kg and have a heavy Polynesians body. Maybe I should cut the coco and nanas…..but god I love eating them.

    Frank | Sep 10, 2009 | Reply

  39. My 12 yr old son has an ileostomy (similar to a colostomy) — I have him eat a banana before playing sports and this helps the output in his bag dramatically! He takes 6 tablets of imodium everyday…but would need more if it weren’t for bananas.

    SO…if you can cut down on ANY medicine because of bananas…I say EAT EAT EAT BANANAS!!

    Denise | Sep 30, 2009 | Reply

  40. They are certainly a great food for everyone, especially those who are unwell and invalids.

    Commercialy in NZ 3 types are normally available. I prefer a certain level of ripeness and 1 type in particular.

    Just starting on a coconut, banana, silverbeet and parsley curry soup, eating it with rice. Man is it good.

    Many nationalities eat most of their plantain banana cooked. In those countries the range of tropical fruits is such that a nana, is kinda ordinary, and used more as a staple, like sweet potato (another amazing superfood) rice, grains and pasta.

    A deep purple sweet potato has just be bred from heirloom variety of maori potato, here in NZ, and will soon be available. Supposedly very high in antioxidants much like blueberries, and grapes.

    When buying raw eating nana I look for a deep yellow color, compared to the other hands.

    Frank | Sep 30, 2009 | Reply

  41. PS Chinese rather than asians, consume small quantities of banana.

    Originating from Malaysia going east across the pacific to the americas.

    I used to buy meals served on nana leaf. Vietnamese and Thai like the flower raw or steamed.

    Westerners need to start cooking nanas too, a new dimension from rice, spuds or pasta.

    They actual go well with an astonishing variety of other foods, but not so much with meats(white), like apricots, pineapple, apple and Kiwifruit.

    Dessert time is for rambutan, durian, pawpaw, and mango.

    Frank | Sep 30, 2009 | Reply

  42. Lister - your email add isn’t included in your post. Here’s the quick answer to your question anyway - I think that you’re getting *some* decent nutrients from your bananas and coconuts, but frankly two bananas and a coconut in one go is a bit too much sugar in one go, even though it’s natural sugar. you’d be better off spreading your fruit consumption throughout the day.

    People are being HORRIBLE to Anna! I don’t agree with her but see her point, even if it is very overstated. People harp on slightly too militantly about the benefits of fruit even though some are pretty sugary. To be fair, these are natural sugars which genuinely are much better for you than processed sugars (especially when eaten as part of a solid piece of fruit, not fruit juice), but it depends how you’re integrating fruit into your diet. If you’re replacing processed-sugar-filled foods with fresh fruit, that’s a great move. If you’re adding something like apple juice on top of your already unhealthy high-calorie diet, thinking that it’ll benefit you nutritionally and therefore cancel out some of the bad stuff (yes, plenty of people DO think like this), that’s just flat out wrong - the miniscule nutritional benefits won’t outweigh the negative impact of extra calories from fructose.

    Bananas aren’t as bad as things like apple juice though - they are meduim-to-high GI, but so long as you don’t ram 5 in your face at once, every day, you’ll be fine. (Unless you’re Janet, in which case I’m not so sure…) And even if you do you’ll be better off than people who ram sweets and chocolate into their faces every day. Bananas are healthier than most of the stuff most people eat. And less calorie dense.

    As for ecological issues - Anna, you might have a point, but mass production drastically lowers prodcution and transport costs per item to the point that I’d be willing to bet that bananas shipped by the millions are actually a better ecological choice than carefully prepared organic fruit from a small local niche farm. I’d like to see the figures if they exist. Non-intensive organic farming, despite its lovely friendly media image, is pretty damn inefficient and therefore wasteful in terms of resources.

    You’re probably right about the politics though. That’s the main thing to be said for the organic movement - it’s generally politically sensible. But it’s pretty fuzzy-headed about ecological issues and makes large baseless claims a little too frequently. Which is a shame, because this gives immoral multinational corporations intellectual ammo to fight back with. Good intentions don’t count for much when you can’t get your facts straight.

    Aaaaaand back to the point after my mega rant ;) I personally love bananas. Eat about 2 a day on average. Potassium, bit of tryptophan, fibre… mmm-mm. Best to eat them one at a time when your body actually needs some fast-ish fuel. Like first thing in the morning with cereal/oats/toast, or when you’ve just done a workout. They are the one fruit I’d absolutely hate to go without.

    Oh and try adding them (pureed) when cooking a curry sauce! Seriously! The sweetness really complements all the rich spicy flavours. Had a curry in a restaurant that had bananas in - best curry ever.

    JimmyJJ | Oct 1, 2009 | Reply

  43. re banana sugar: the sugar content rises sharply at full ripening. That is, if you prefer to eat them not so ripe, the sugar content will be much less than fully ripe. Fruit sugars are fine. Go ape!

    Sometimes I eat 7 or 8 bananas at once, but these are very small ones. If Listers coconut is a canned coco drink I’d be more worried about preservatives and added sugar than fresh bananas and coconut.

    Frank | Oct 1, 2009 | Reply

  44. I´ve been living in Costa Rica (one of the original ‘banana republics’) for the last 30 years. And yes, bananas are still important here, but no, people aren’t victimized anymore as some might imagine by transnational corporations. Many bananas in Costa Rica today are produced here by farmers’ cooperatives and then sold to international export companies.

    I don’t think that the banana is called a superfood for nothing. A frozen banana makes an excellent addition to any smoothie or alone with some vanilla, a super milkshake. Simple, economical, delicious, you can’t really go wrong or ask for much more from such a humble fruit. And of course, here there are many more varieties, sizes, shapes and even colors, including near and distant relatives. Bananas are to Latin America what potatoes are to North America or Europe.

    Most of the comments I’ve read here are well intentioned and many are documented, which shows that people care about what they have to say. And even if we don’t always agree, that’s good!

    Michael | Oct 2, 2009 | Reply

  45. Thanks for that insomnia advice Malia, i suffer from the same issue, i love bananas a lot (i even have some right here on my desk at work. I should try it before bed and see if it helps.

    Teddy | Oct 23, 2009 | Reply

  46. All I can say is I LOVE BANANAS!! I have a couple every day and I feel great!

    David | Nov 11, 2009 | Reply

  47. i was allergic to bananas for many years and then one day a few weeks ago i purchased a bag from a fruit shop, took it home for my kids and had an unusual crave to eat one. to my amazement i spontaneously ate one and had NO negative reaction. i have been eating at least three a day eversince and am really enjoying them. This is a real miracle. This experience has led me to research the benefits and to this extent have found this page and the range of comments really useful.

    Carol | Jan 6, 2010 | Reply

  48. Best. Breakfast. Ever. I eat it every day. Glad to see I’m not the only one. :)

    Emlah | Jan 7, 2010 | Reply

  49. You are an idiot. The benefits of daily consumption of bananas have been documented and still is being documented. The sugars contained are all natural. Doctors will tell you it is a very good heart fruit.

    Uga Simpson | Feb 4, 2010 | Reply

  50. Wikepedia is known not to be factual Velocet. (All colleges will tell u this!) Better look elsewhere for accurate info.

    angela | Feb 15, 2010 | Reply

  51. Bananas are a healthy fruit. I am a type-1 diabetic (auto-immune disease). I eat bananas fairly often and find that compared to processed starches my insulin requirements are less for bananas even if the carbohydrate value is the same. For example 1 banana is approximately 15 grams (depending on size and ripeness)and half a slice of bread is about the same depending on what type of bread. For the banana I take 2 units of insulin whereas for the bread I take 4 units. Anna is correct about high insulin levels affecting weight control. Less insulin is better for you and high insulin rates cause weight gain, which then in turn leads to a need for More insulin. Vicious cycle there. They key to everything is moderation. If I was stuck only eating one fruit ever again, it’d probably be bananas.

    Sommer | Feb 16, 2010 | Reply

  52. I read the e-rumour you provided a link for and one claim was that the inside of banana peels cures warts. A few years ago a doctor had tried to freeze warts off my fingers but it didn’t work. In desperation I taped banana peels to my fingers and went to bed. Perhaps my negative experience comes from finger tips being one of the most sensitive parts of your body (GP told me). The agony of the banana peel taped on my fingers for a prolonged time was something else and there was no way I could sleep so I gave up. The huge wart hurt the most. It turned the huge wart on my pinkie a little sloshy but it was still very much there. The warts had to be cut out in the end, lol.

    Heather | Feb 18, 2010 | Reply

  53. Did it work for you? It was agony for me. Three weeks? Ouchiwowa!!

    Heather | Feb 18, 2010 | Reply

  54. I like bananas. They also taste good with cereal in milk.

    mike | Feb 27, 2010 | Reply

  55. i like banana sooo much… they say or in some research.. that banana makes a person feel or make happy… is that true…? i dont know the whole explanationabout itso maybe somebody will share that information withn us banana loverzzz.. thanks…

    liyah | Mar 7, 2010 | Reply

  56. My Dad is suffering from Heart Disease I always restrict him from eating Bananas however now that I know bananas are good for health & heart I would advice him to have one everyday.

    This article is very informative. Thanks

    Nitin Gupta | Mar 15, 2010 | Reply

  57. Great post, I just had a banana and it was deeeeelicious. My friend just had one too! Very informative, I will be eating bananas for the rest of my life.

    Equally as valuable were the comments (I didn’t read ALL of them). Peanut butter, sliced bananas, and toast seems like an awesome idea.

    Boo @ Anna!

    Antonio | Mar 18, 2010 | Reply

  58. So many websites claim that eating bananas is a good way to boost tryptophan, and I don’t understand why. The amount of tryptophan they contain is virtually inconsequential. The USDA food database claims that an extra-large banana (9″ long) contains only 14mg of tryptophan. It contains the same amounts of cysteine and tyrosine. Tyrosine competes with tryptophan, therefore setting you back to zero if you’re specifically trying to raise tryptophan levels. Bananas are not the solution if you want to raise your level of serotonin. And furthermore, many cases of depression occur because of too much serotonin and not enough of the catecholamines (dopamine, epinephrine, and norepinephrine). Don’t mess around with this stuff unless you’ve had your levels tested, you could do more harm than good.

    Bowman | Mar 30, 2010 | Reply

  59. I really like banana and I don’t think one extremely small banana wouldn’t cause my blood sugar to go up that much type 2 diabetes1

    Alvin Glover Sr. | May 21, 2010 | Reply

  60. i used to have chest burn in the morning, probably due to acidity, but as i started eating a banana with little milk at bedtimme i have found no discomfort in the chest in the morning. Banana helps to reduce acidity of stomach, oesophagus tooo is it, anybody experiencing this.

    deep | Jun 3, 2010 | Reply

  61. Everytime I feel tired, stressed, nervous, heart racing, and not able to think clearly. I eat 2 bananas right away and then like a pill my symptons vanish in less than 20 mins. Couldn’t ask for anything better than that. So I would say bananas are miracle food. Peace.

    Bee | Jun 9, 2010 | Reply

  62. Don’t mess with Banannas??

    I say do not mess with doctor psychs & meds

    Cindy Mulvey | Jun 26, 2010 | Reply

  63. Velocet said: “modern bananas are usually 1 YEAR OLD having been stored in ethyline gas chambers to chemically stunt them from ripening”

    He/she has their facts a little confused. Bananas (and some other fruits) are picked unripened so that they will last longer in shipment. Ethylene gas is used before market arrival to hasten ripening. Ethylene is produced naturally by bananas and other fruits, and is a key ingredient in the natural ripening process.

    Bananarama | Jul 13, 2010 | Reply

  64. Great article on the facts of bananas!!! I LOVE bananas, and try to eat one every day, or at least 5 times per week. Mostly in breakfast smoothies, they’re great! I also love baking with them!

    Some other comments up there really need to get their facts straight before making rude statements…

    I say: Go Bananas! Don’t bash ‘em, MASH ‘em! ;)

    Ps to the author: maybe it’s a good idea to un-approve the comments with rudeness and cursing… They’re immature and unfortunately look horrible on such a well written article..

    Nikki | Jul 13, 2010 | Reply

  65. Not all Asians, Frank. Which article was that from? Bananas are so readily available here in SEA, n most households would have them as a mainstay on the kitchen counter.
    In fact, it’s used in quite a few favorite dishes. We even like them fried, called goreng pisang.

    Kara | Aug 7, 2010 | Reply

  66. This was a great article and very informational. Thank you! The banana goes on, I love that!

    bananafan | Sep 4, 2010 | Reply

  67. My daughter is 2 and half years old. She doesn’t eat anything for breakfast.So i give her 2-3 Banana’s everyday in the morning in puree form making her sit in front of her rhymes. This keeps her energeti till afternoon. Tell me is ok,, good or bad to give just Banana’s or am i giving her too muh of it.Through out the day i give her a balaned diet.

    Sunita | Sep 9, 2010 | Reply

  68. Kerala’s big banana is a different banana.Boil it and eat it early in the morning and see the difference.

    sudhakaran | Sep 19, 2010 | Reply

  69. anything that is taken to much is toxic for the body so for banana lovers eat your banana in moderation

    vrf | Sep 25, 2010 | Reply

  70. Great timeless & informative article. I love banana. It’s a must fruit in my house. I can’t recall when there was not a single banana in the house. Banana during breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Fantastic fruit.

    Marco H | Oct 4, 2010 | Reply

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