June 14, 2024

Care Nex

Stay Healthy, Live Happy

What Happens to Your Body When You Eat Bananas Every Day

5 min read

Bananas are a popular go-to snack. They’re delicious, convenient and accessible but have also been the subject of controversy from time to time. Are they worthy of praise for being a good source of potassium—or deserving of criticism for having too much sugar? Is it healthy to eat them daily? If so, how many?

In this article, we’ll explore the evidence surrounding the health benefits of bananas and determine whether or not they should be part of a healthy diet. To start, let’s look at the nutrition information for bananas.

Banana Nutrition

According to the USDA, one medium banana contains:

  • Calories: 105
  • Carbohydrates: 27 g
  • Fiber: 3 g
  • Sugars: 14 g
  • Protein: 1 g
  • Total Fat: 0 g
  • Sodium: 1.18 mg
  • Potassium: 422 mg
Caitlin Bensel

Pictured Recipe: Banana Oatmeal

Health Benefits of Bananas

Here are a few things you might experience when you eat a banana every day.

You May Increase Your Energy

Bananas are a good source of carbs—your body’s main fuel for energy production. According to a 2019 article published in the Journal of Food Science and Technology, bananas also contain B vitamins, such as vitamins B3, B6 and B12, which help enzymes in your body release energy from the carbs you’re eating to make it available to be used by your body.

Bananas can be part of a healthy meal or snack and are best utilized when paired with healthy fats and/or protein. This is because carbohydrates digest more quickly than protein or fat, so when eaten alone, they can send your blood sugar soaring—and subsequently crashing. Pairing a banana with a healthy fat or protein—such as a handful of almonds or a cup of Greek yogurt—will help prolong the energy the banana provides and keep your blood sugar more stable.

You May Maintain a Healthy Weight

When eaten as part of a balanced meal, bananas can help keep you satisfied longer. Feeling satisfied between meals reduces the likelihood that you’ll have cravings and exceed your daily caloric needs—which over time, can contribute to weight gain.

While there is no evidence that bananas directly contribute to weight loss, they are a convenient and readily available food option that can be easily incorporated into a nutritious eating pattern to lose weight.

In fact, 2023 research published in Frontiers in Nutrition showed that increasing your fiber by consuming more fruits and vegetables was associated with greater weight loss success. This is good news, considering a medium banana contributes 3 grams of fiber to your daily total—which brings us to our next benefit.

You May Increase Your Fiber Intake

According to the 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, more than 90% of women and 97% of men do not get the recommended daily amount of 28 to 34 g of fiber per day.

Enter the banana.

Medium-size bananas have about 3 g of fiber each. Fiber has many health benefits, including keeping you full longer.

Pectin, a specific type of fiber found in bananas, can help your body eliminate waste more effectively. As bananas ripen, they tend to lose some of their pectin content, so greener or slightly ripe bananas are a better source of fiber than overripe bananas, per a 2021 study published in the journal PLoS One.

Bananas also contain a type of dietary fiber called resistant starch, which acts as a prebiotic, giving your beneficial gut bacteria something to nosh on. And a healthy gut means lower inflammation, reduced disease risk and better overall health.

You May Improve Your Heart Health

Bananas are known for being a great source of potassium, with one medium banana coming in at 422 milligrams. That’s 9% of your daily recommended intake, per the FDA.

Potassium is found in all body tissues and is essential for normal cell function. It is important for a healthy heart as well. The DASH diet, a protocol commonly recommended for people diagnosed with—or at risk for—heart disease, recommends getting potassium from fruits and vegetables. Bananas are a great way to contribute to your daily potassium needs.

Getting enough potassium in your diet may also help lower blood pressure. High blood pressure is one of the leading causes of cardiovascular disease, so eating foods containing potassium each day is an important part of a healthy lifestyle. Fortunately, it’s easy to incorporate bananas into foods like smoothies and overnight oats—which can also contain other fruits and whole grains that can promote heart health as well.

You May Reduce Your Risk for Chronic Disease

A lesser-known fact about bananas is that they are rich in compounds that have antioxidant properties, according to 2022 research in the International Journal of Food Properties.

Interestingly, a 2019 article in the Journal of Food Science and Technology states that “bananas have a higher antioxidant capacity than some berries, herbs and vegetables” and, therefore, can aid in reducing the harmful effects of oxidative stress on the body.

Oxidative stress can cause inflammation and damage body tissues. If this continues as you age, it can lead to chronic inflammation—a known driver of diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, cancer and more.

Consuming fruits and vegetables high in antioxidants—like bananas—can help provide your body with the tools it needs to help keep inflammation at bay.

How Many Bananas Should You Eat per Day?

Now that you know bananas are nothing to fear, how many should you eat? While there’s no blanket rule, sticking to one to two bananas per day shouldn’t cause issues for most people. With that said, remember that they are relatively high in carbohydrates, so eating them along with protein or fat is also advisable to support stable energy levels.

People with chronic kidney disease should limit bananas and other foods that are high in potassium to protect their kidneys and heart from damage, according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK).

Eating too many bananas or other high-potassium foods can cause excess potassium in the body, also called hyperkalemia. This can cause serious health problems, including heart issues. While most people wouldn’t be able to stomach the number of bananas necessary to cause this to happen, it’s something to be mindful of.

Bananas are best consumed the same as other healthy foods: in moderation and as part of a healthy, balanced eating pattern.

The Bottom Line

Bananas are a nutritious, filling, convenient fruit and are also budget-friendly. They’re a good source of potassium, antioxidants and fiber, and can help reduce the risk of chronic disease, improve gut health and more. They’re great as part of a meal, in smoothies or as an on-the-go snack with a handful of nuts or a swipe of peanut butter.

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