Banana: what are the properties, types and benefits?

Banana is a tropical fruit of Asian origin, widely used in the preparation of vitamins and cakes. It has different species and its consumption can bring several health benefits. Check out more about this fruit:

What types of bananas?

There are different types of bananas, some more common in markets and fairs than others. The main consumed in Brazil are:

Silver banana

The silver banana is one of the most consumed in the country and is a good choice for composing recipes, since it has consistent pulp. Its taste is not very sweet and slightly acidic.

One of the main advantages of this banana is its duration, as it can be consumed up to 4 days after ripe.

Regarding calories, together with the banana-apple it has the lowest caloric content, about 89kcal per 100g.

Banana nanica

Despite its name, the dwarf banana is not the smallest type of banana in existence. The nomenclature refers to its fruit tree, which is small.

It is also known as water banana, and is the richest in potassium and magnesium.

Thus, it is ideal to replace potassium, especially for people who use diuretics – substances that increase the volume of urine produced – or who perform physical activities, in which there is a loss of the mineral.

Its pulp is sweet and soft.

Banana Apple

One of the least caloric types, the banana-apple has about 87kcal for every 100g consumed.

With its flavor that combines sweet and sour, the fruit resembles the taste and aroma of an apple, hence the name.

It is the easiest digestible variety and has the highest manganese and phosphorus content among bananas.

Banana Gold

The gold type is the smallest Brazilian variety, having about 10cm. In some regions, it is also known as banana-finger-of-girl.

Its main characteristic, in addition to its size, is the sweet and fragrant pulp, being a great option for those who like to eat the fruit in natura.

It is one of the most caloric types, since 100g of the fruit has about 158kcal.

Plantain

Widely used in culinary preparations, the plantain is the largest type of fruit, reaching up to 26cm in length.

Its pulp is dense and less sweet than the others.

When consumed in natura, it can be more difficult to digest, so it is recommended to use it in recipes.

Along with the gold banana, it is one of the most caloric varieties, with approximately 122kcal per 100g.

One of its characteristics is to have more starches than sugar in its composition.

What are the properties of bananas?

The banana has several nutritional properties, as it is a source of vitamins and minerals. Among them are:

Vitamins

Vitamins are compounds that act in different areas of the body and help in the quality of physical and mental health. The main vitamins and their functions found in bananas are:

  • Vitamin A – good eye health;
  • Vitamin B – proper functioning of the nervous system;
  • Vitamin C – maintenance of the immune system and prevention of premature aging;
  • Vitamin D – reduced risk of diabetes;
  • Vitamin E – balance of cholesterol levels;
  • Vitamin K – aid in blood clotting.

These substances must be ingested through a balanced diet, guaranteeing the recommended daily amounts. Thus, they are fundamental for the good performance of the body’s activities.

Minerals

Minerals are substances responsible for the correct functioning of the body’s metabolism.

Raw bananas, in general, have:

Mineral Quantity (100g)
Calcium 5mg
Ferro 0,26mg
Match 22mg
Magnesium 27mg
Potassium 358mg
Sodium 1mg
Zinc 0,15mg

Present in greater quantities in the fruit, potassium acts, among other things, in the control of blood pressure.

Calcium, together with phosphorus, helps to strengthen bones and teeth and acts on blood clotting.

Magnesium, combined with sodium, acts on muscle contraction. Iron, on the other hand, helps prevent diseases such as anemia .

Together with vitamins, these minerals help to maintain the good health of the body.

Which banana releases the intestine?

The banana is rich in fiber, a vegetable compound that assists in the digestion process. Therefore, it acts on the functioning of the digestive system.

In general, fruits are good sources of fiber, and bananas are included in this. But there are two different types of fibers: insoluble and soluble.

The insoluble ones help to increase the formation of the focal bolus and, thus, facilitate intestinal transit. Soluble ones, on the other hand, can cause constipation.

To facilitate intestinal transit, the consumption of dwarf banana is indicated, as it is a source of insoluble fibers. And the more mature, the higher the concentration of fibers.

Banana-apple and banana-silver are rich in soluble fibers. Thus, they are recommended for cases of diarrhea . But it is worth remembering that, in general, this constipation is usually mild and occurs in children or babies. Adults tend not to be so sensitive.

Is it bad to eat bananas on an empty stomach?

No. There is no evidence that fasting banana consumption can cause any health problems.

However, people who have problems with excess magnesium in the body or heart problems should pay special attention.

The fruit has a certain amount of magnesium and, when consumed on an empty stomach, it can cause rapid absorption of the nutrient, resulting in excess of the mineral in the body.

Thus, in excess, it can cause a problem called Hypermagnesemia (high amount of magnesium in the body), which causes muscle weakness, slow breathing and low pressure.

In addition, magnesium participates in the muscle contraction of the heart and, when ingested in very large amounts, can change the heart rate.

What fruit can replace a banana?

Much consumed due to its large amount of potassium, bananas are not the only option for absorption of the nutrient. There are other foods that provide quantities of the mineral.

Two options that can be used as substitutes are: avocado and plum.

Avocado is a green-skinned fruit that has about 206mg of potassium per 100g. Plum, on the other hand, is a nutritious fruit with a dark red color. It has approximately 134mg of the mineral every 100g.


Despite being widely consumed, bananas have properties that are often unknown to some people. Did you already know all the nutrients that the fruit has? Tell us!

The Healthy Minute brings other information about fruits and food ! Check out!

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