Are Bananas Good For You? – 10 Little Known Banana Facts

Are Bananas Good For You? - 10 Little Known Banana Facts


Are bananas good for you? YES, they most certainly are, and below are 10 little known facts about the banana that will get you rushing to the fruit bowl in a jiffy.

They naturally come conveniently packaged, and are at their most nutrient dense when eaten raw and straight out of their skin. Bananas are wonderfully versatile and taste delicious fresh, dried, cooked, or made into different sweet and savory dishes.


The Ripeness Spectrum

As you’ve probably noticed, banana’s come in different degrees of ripeness. On one end of the spectrum you have an unripened, firm green banana, and on the other end they can be very ripe and yellow with brown spots. These two are poles apart nutritionally and sugar content wise, and as they both have different pro’s and con’s it’s important to know the difference.



Ripe bananas are higher GI but have more antioxidants


  • Easier to digest due to the fact that the bananas starches have turned into simple sugars.
  • The more they ripen, the higher they become in antioxidants (a good thing).
  • They are not suitable for diabetics as the riper the banana, the higher the GI. (GI is short for glycemic index, which is a number associated with the amount of sugar/carbohydrates in food. The system rates on a scale of 1-100 and anything under 50 is considered low GI. Really ripe bananas come in at around 60, unripe around 30 and the average banana 51).
  • The ripe banana is not as good for weight loss due to its higher GI.

Read here my list of low GIycemic foods that are suitable for diabetics, and those trying to lose belly fat specifically. I recommend you read this if you would like long term health and weight control.



Unripe bananas are low in sugar

  • Their low resistant starch content makes them low GI and good for diabetics or anyone on a low sugar diet.
  • Probiotic bacteria – unripe bananas contain a healthy bacterium that is very good for the colon.
  • Unripe bananas help you to absorb other nutrients more effectively, especially calcium.
  • In conclusion to this, unless you have specific needs you should generally go for the medium ripened yellow banana, as it will have some of the nutritional benefits of both worlds.


Bananas will give you a burst of energy



1 medium banana contains around 90 calories and will give you both a mental and physical boost, this is due to its low GI sustained energy release making it a perfect pudding, between meal snack, or pre/post workout snack.



Bananas are a great source of both insoluble and soluble fiber which will give you that feeling of fullness. This makes them great to eat at breakfast, either on your cereal or sliced onto wholegrain toast with peanut butter, and will fill you up until lunchtime.



Bananas are a nutritional powerhouse of vitamin B6, maganese, vitamin C, potassium, magnesium and folate – they are also packed with fiber which helps keep your system ‘cleaned out‘.



4. GOOD FOR DIGESTIONbananas are a good start to the day

Because of their pectin content, bananas are great for easing stomach problems such as diarrhea. They help to soothe an upset stomach and replace any potassium and electrolytes that may be lost due to a bout of sickness or a bug.



Probably the thing bananas are most famous for is their high potassium content, and with good reason as 1 banana contains at least 20% of your RDA. This nutrient is needed for heart health as it regulates both the heartbeat and blood pressure.

Potassium is also great for keeping the brain sharp and alert.



As bananas are high in iron they are a good choice for those suffering from anemia. As with all food products, many of the nutrients have a higher availability in the body when they are in their natural whole form, making them more readily absorbed.



This is much more the case in more unripe bananas due to their fiber called pectin, and their resistant starch content. Both of these help to moderate blood sugar levels – making them an excellent choice for diabetics and anybody with blood sugar issues.


8. GUT FRIENDLY Bananas are gut friendly

The pectin and resistant starch in an unripe banana has a prebiotic effect, meaning it increases healthy gut bacteria thus reducing bloating and easing IBS and other digestive disorders.



Like all other fruits and vegetables bananas contain antioxidants. In fact, a banana contains the potent antioxidants dopamine and catechins, both of which offer a reduced chance of heart disease and other degenerative diseases.



Due to their high levels of tryptophan which converts to serotonin in the body,  bananas can make you happy and alleviate depression. Serotonin is the ‘happy hormone‘ that we all need adequate levels of to feel good. 

Also, bananas may work on another level because they keep your gut healthy, and there has been lots of research and new evidence come to light about how a healthy gut equates to a healthy mind. It has been found that those with a healthy gut microbiome are much less likely to suffer from anxiety and depression than those who don’t. 


If you’re interested in finding out more about fantastic and easy ways to boost health, vitality and anti aging them please check out my review here on this potent green super food. It’s a game changer!


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Stefanie Taylor
I have studied nutrition for many years, and have since discovered that a plant based diet has been the most beneficial to my health and body. I have more energy and zest for life than I have ever had and this website is dedicated to helping others who wish to know more, and start out on this lifestyle.

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12 Comments on "Are Bananas Good For You? – 10 Little Known Banana Facts"

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I didn’t know there were any pro’s to eating unripe bananas! My grandpa is a diabetic so it’s good to know that he can still benefit from eating them. My favorite banana meal is to put a banana in a piece of whole wheat bread and cover it with peanut butter and jelly – like a hot dog. It’s good if you’re in a hurry.


Hi Valerie, yes unripe bananas are great for diabetics so tell your Grandpa. Or maybe get him to double check with his doctor first if he has any concerns. You are a woman after my own heart as I love peanut butter and jelly sandwiches too, though we call jelly jam here in the UK haha


Bananas are the perfect snack on the go. They come with their own of packaging, are easy to eat and a good energy hit.
They are a family favourite, and did you now that bananas are a natural beta blocker? Great to help with anxiety.


Hi Vince, yes I’m a big banana fan too! I probably eat at least one a day, maybe more if I’m training. No I didn’t know about them being a beta blocker so that’s another thing to add to the list hey! Thanks for the information.

Helen Doyle
Stephanie, I love bananas and generally towards the unripe end of the scale. Here is a recipe for you that is so good. When the bananas are getting to the unripe/ripe border chop them into pieces and freeze them. When you want ice-cream take out a bag and pop the banana into your food processor. Process until bananas have the texture of ice-cream. A work colleague of mine had a severe heart attack when very young. His wife did a lot of research and found this recipe. So he could eat ‘ice-cream’ at no peril to himself. I haven’t been… Read more »
Hi Helen, I am very glad you have traveled around the UK, it is especially lovely in the summertime so I hope that is when you went :-). Thank you for your comment on my post, I was shocked myself at the benefits of the humble banana whilst researching this post. Now as for the banana ice-cream, it’s funny you should mention that as I do already make a similar version of that, except I also throw in a handful of frozen blueberries and a dash of coconut milk. It really is delicious and I’m pretty addicted to it but… Read more »
Simon Thomas

In Chinese medicine bananas are used to clear heat from the stomach like in heartburn. And they say if you feel heat when you are eating them then you are getting the best effects all round.

Hi Simon, thanks for commenting and yes, in my research I did come across this information about how they are used in Chinese me. It always amazes me how different foods and plants can heal every part of the body. I work for a medical herbalist and she uses a lot of Chinese herbs, as well as all the other herbs, and every day I hear people praising her for how she has helped them heal themselves from all sorts of things, and many times this has happened after the traditional doctors have told the patient they cannot help them… Read more »

I love them and they are a regular part of our diet, nice article. I grew up eating green bananas and your article is a reminder for me to get back to it. Thanks


Great article, Bananas are no double very nutritious and healthy for people of every age group, from weaning babies to old people. It is really helpful to know all these facts of bananas, as always, your articles are so so informative and helpful. Thank you so much for sharing all these useful reads with us.