Nutritional Information for Bananas
A versatile fruit that can be used as a replacement for many sweet and creamy treats. Bananas are super inexpensive compared to other fruits and can be found at nearly every grocery store. Only 3% of Americans meet their daily fruit intake recommendations. Fruit is bursting with antioxidants and “phyto” (plant) nutrients. Plus, it’s delicious and nature’s best “Fast Food.”
Benefits of Bananas
Cancer Prevention Benefits
Although no clinical research on bananas is directly linked to cancer prevention or survival nutrients found in bananas are still healthful. The fiber in bananas has a prebiotic effect, meaning it helps to promote the growth of healthy gut bacteria. Research continues to show that healthy gut bacteria plays a role in the prevention of a number of chronic diseases, like type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and some cancers.
In vitro studies find compounds in bananas, protocatechualdehyde, to induce apoptosis (programmed cell death useful to kill cancer cells) in human colon cancer cells.
Men's Health Benefits
Bananas are naturally low in fat and high in fiber. Study participants with high cholesterol eating up to 4 bananas daily for 12 weeks were found to have a reduction in blood sugar. So even diabetics do not need to necessarily avoid bananas. There also does not seem to be a limit on how much fruit men should eat so long as it’s the “whole” fruit.
Ways to Use Bananas
Apples are a great way to naturally sweeten a variety of dishes. Some great examples include:
- Add to oatmeal, chia puddings, peanut-butter sandwiches, whole-grain cereals, or smoothies.
- Purée a frozen banana to replace ice cream.
- Use as a replacement for eggs in cookies, brownies, or sweet breads (½ mashed banana for every egg).
- When baking, replace butter with mashed banana (½ cup mashed banana for ½ cup butter).
Resources for Bananas
American Institute for Cancer Research: www.aicr.org
Nutrition Facts: www.NutritionFacts.org
Physicians Committee: www.pcrm.org
- Cressey R, Kumsaiyai W, Mangklabruks A. Daily consumption of banana marginally improves blood glucose and lipid profile in hypercholesterolemic subjects and increases serum adiponectin in type 2 diabetic patients. Indian J Exp Biol. 2014;52(12):1173-81.
- Lee JR, Lee MH, Eo HJ, et al. The contribution of activating transcription factor 3 to apoptosis of human colorectal cancer cells by protocatechualdehyde, a naturally occurring phenolic compound. Arch Biochem Biophys. 2014;564:203-10.
- USDA Nutrient Database. Bananas