Bananas: the nation’s favourite fruit
As a nation, we consume 5 billion bananas a year - that’s almost 100 each. Every year. Unsurprisingly, they also consistently top the charts as the most eaten fruit in Britain. They’re loved by both health enthusiasts for their nutritional properties and by foodies for their sweet versatility. We think it’s pretty safe to say that we’re all bananas for… well, bananas.
What better excuse then, to dedicate an article to this beloved BERRY (that’s right, the banana is technically a berry, whilst a strawberry isn’t - Google it, it’s mad) and its many great qualities.
First up, let’s take a look at a breakdown of the banana’s nutritional properties.
Amount per 100 grams Percentage of recommended daily intake
Total Fat 0.3 g 0%
Saturated fat 0.1 g 0%
Polyunsaturated fat 0.1 g
Monounsaturated fat 0 g
Cholesterol 0 mg 0%
Sodium 1 mg 0%
Potassium 358 mg 10%
Total Carbohydrate 23 g 7%
Dietary fiber 2.6 g 10%
Sugar 12 g
Protein 1.1 g 2%
Vitamin A 1%
Vitamin C 14%
Vitamin D 0%
Vitamin B-6 20%
Ok, so what does that all mean?
So, firstly, one banana weighs roughly 160grams and amounts to 110 calories. It’s got next to no cholesterol, fat or sodium - all great qualities. It also contains roughly 30g of carbs. This is a stat that could scare some people off - if you’re trying to limit your carb intake, then maybe munching on multiple bananas might not be ideal. However, if you’re looking to follow a balanced diet then you’re on the right track. The carbohydrates in the banana offer a great energy boost (making them perfect as a breakfast option or a mid afternoon pick-me-up snack) and the 3 grams of fibre will do wonders to your digestive system. Lastly, its high potassium levels (16% of recommended intake) means that is has all sorts of good qualities. Which brings us onto the next section...
What are the health benefits of bananas?
Eating bananas can help with a variety of health issues, including:
Low sodium intake and getting enough potassium in your diet two of the main ways to regulate blood pressure. Bananas contain both high potassium levels and low amounts of sodium. Perfect.
Similar to your blood pressure, the low sodium, high potassium combination does wonders to your heart. Couple that with the fibres, vitamin C and B6 and you have a fruit that is great for heart health.
Unripe bananas contain are a great source of prebiotics - fibres that help support gut bacteria, and in turn beneficial for your overall digestive health.
Memory and mood
Some studies show that the amino acid tryptophan present in the fruit could play a role in improving your memory and boosting your mood.
Preserving memory and boosting mood
Bananas also contain tryptophan, an amino acid that studies suggest plays a role in preserving memory and boosting your mood.
When is the best time to eat a banana?
If we’re talking time of day, 50% of all bananas are eaten at breakfast. But there’s no right or wrong time of day to eat a banana.
What we were referring to is the ripeness of a banana - as the fruit matures, it’s nutritional properties change. So without further ado, here’s a diagram we’ve borrowed from HPN Australia:
Banana and almond breakfast smoothie recipe
Lastly, we thought we’d leave you with a link to a delicious banana breakfast smoothie, courtesy of our in-house nutritionist @runnerbeans.
Link is here