Nutritional Information and Calories in a Banana

November 12, 2012

Nutritional Information and Calories in a Banana

Bananas contain many nutrients required to keep us healthy and yet the amount of calories in a banana is relatively low. This is one of the reasons many sportspeople are seen eating them, they are healthy, nutritious and give an energy boost because of the natural sugars they possess and generally they are not fattening. We say generally because bananas are so versatile that they can be cooked as well as eaten raw. If they are cooked in oil then the calories in a banana will increase because of the added oil.

Bananas can only be grown in tropical areas, if the temperature drops below 54 degrees Fahrenheit then banana trees will die. They do not thrive where the temperature is too hot either and very high temperatures of around 100 degrees Fahrenheit will kill banana trees. Although they are not very robust, and direct sunlight and winds are known to damage them banana trees can easily be grown. Professional growers find sheltered areas away from winds and direct sunlight can be filtered by netting to give the trees the protection they need to flourish.

Banana trees only take slightly over a year from planting to producing fruit and many growers plant the young shoot underground facing down. It is believed that this produces a hardier tree which can produce more fruit. The short time from planting until a tree can produce fruit may be one of the reasons why bananas are so popular, it is said that they are the third most popular fruit in the world, just behind the apple and orange.

The banana family is large, the types of bananas that can be grown are varied and the sizes can be from 3 or 4 inches up to almost 12 inches, obviously the amount of calories in a banana depends on its size. For example a smaller banana may have about 70 to 75 calories whereas a very large banana could contain 135 to 140 calories.

People consume bananas all over the world because they are tasty and easily available. The calories in a banana are only one aspect of this humble fruit. Not only is it fat free, it is also loaded with manganese, potassium and fibre. And for every 100 grams of banana there is 0.36 mg of vitamin B6, 20.4g of sugar and 10mg of vitamin C.

The exact amount of calories in a banana cannot actually be calculated without accurate scales and then the number of calories per gram can be worked out. Generally shoppers choose their own size of banana, from extra large to extra small and a few intermediate sizes. It’s all a matter of personal preference but being a natural product means that people do not always buy bananas by the pound or kilo. They are normally bought by the bunch; some people say a hand of bananas.

The small amount of calories in a banana, the skin to keep it fresh and other health benefits makes a banana a perfect addition for pack lunches, picnics and just as ready to eat snacks.

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