How Often Should I Eat Bananas?

Close-up of a peeled banana
Bananas are a sound source of potassium. (Image: Medioimages/Photodisc/Photodisc/Getty Images)

Like most fruits, bananas contain no fat or cholesterol and provide essential vitamins and minerals. Bananas have a higher calorie and sugar content than many other fruits, however, so consume them in moderation to avoid exceeding your calorie needs.

Daily Fruit Intake

USDA’s MyPlate.gov recommends that women ages 19 to 30 and men ages 19 and over get 2 cups of fruit per day, and women ages 31 and over 1 ½ cups per day. One banana provides about 1 cup of fruit, according to MyPlate.gov. Therefore, the USDA's fruit intake recommendation allows room for no more than two bananas per day for men and one and a half bananas per day for women.

Moderation

Eating bananas as often as every day will not likely have adverse effects unless you consume so many that you exceed your calorie needs. However, if bananas provide your only source of fruit, you may miss out on some important nutrients. Bananas contain less folate, vitamin A and vitamin C than many other fruits, such as citrus fruits and melons. No single fruit can provide all the nutrients needed for good health. The Harvard School of Public Health recommends consuming a variety of fruits and vegetables, rather than a large quantity of any one fruit or vegetable. Avoid consuming too many bananas in order to leave room in your diet for other nutritious foods. The Harvard School of Public Health recommends eating at least nine servings, or about 4 ½ cups, of fruits and vegetables per day, not including potatoes.

Nutrients

One medium banana contains about 110 calories and 30 g of carbohydrates, including 19 g of sugar and 3 g of dietary fiber. Fiber promotes healthy digestion and provides a lasting feeling of fullness. One medium banana also provides 450 mg of potassium, 1 g of protein, 2 percent of your recommended daily intake of vitamin A and iron, and 15 percent of your recommended daily intake of vitamin C.

Health Benefits

Bananas have more potassium per serving than most other fruits. Potassium can help minimize the effect of sodium on blood pressure. A healthy diet that contains plenty of potassium-rich foods, such as bananas, can help control blood pressure, slow bone loss and reduce the risk of kidney stones, according to USDA’s MyPlate.gov. Also, diets rich in fruits, such as bananas, can help control blood sugar and appetite and reduce the risk of eye problems, digestive problems, heart disease, stroke and some cancers, according to the Harvard School of Public Health.

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