The Vitamins, Minerals and Amino Acids in Bananas

Bananas are made up of carbs and are loaded with a variety of vitamins and minerals.
Image Credit: Miljan Živković/iStock/GettyImages

Bananas are one of the top three most popular fresh fruit eaten in the United States, according to the USDA. They're inexpensive, convenient and widely available year-round.

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Plus, they're filled with vitamins, minerals and amino acids. Take a closer look at the nutrient values based on a medium-sized banana ranging from 7 to 7.88 inches long (118 grams). This size banana contains about 105 calories, according to the USDA.

What Are Bananas Made Of?

Like all other foods we eat, bananas are made up of macronutrients and micronutrients.

Bananas are made up of mostly carbs. In fact, 93 percent of the calories in bananas come from carbs, while 4 percent come from protein and the remaining 3 percent from fat, per the USDA.

Minerals in Bananas

The most prevalent minerals found in bananas are manganese, copper and potassium. One banana contains the following:

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  • Manganese: 0.3 mg or 14% of your Daily Value (DV)
  • Copper: 0.1 mg or 10% DV
  • Potassium: 422.4 mg or 9% DV
  • Magnesium: 32 mg, or 8% DV
  • Selenium: 1.2 mcg or 2% DV
  • Phosphorus: 26 mg or 2% DV
  • Iron: 0.3 mg or 2% DV

Vitamins in Bananas

Bananas contain many vitamins in substantial as well as trace amounts. Those found in substantial quantities include vitamins C and B6. One banana contains:

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  • Vitamin B6: 0.4 mg or 25% DV
  • Vitamin C: 10.3 mg or 11% DV
  • Vitamin B5: 0.4 mg or 8% DV
  • Riboflavin (B2): 0.1 mg or 7% DV
  • Folate (B9): 23.6 mcg or 6% DV
  • Niacin (B3): 0.8 mg or 5% DV
  • Thiamin (B1): 3% DV
  • Choline: 11.6 mg or 2% DV

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Amino Acids in Bananas

Amino acids are fundamental building blocks in the human body, used in the production of proteins and essential in cellular metabolism. There are 20 total amino acids but the body is only able to synthesize 11 of those on its own, which means we have to get the remaining nine amino acids from food, per the U.S. National Library of Medicine.

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The nine essential amino acids that must be obtained from food are histidine, isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, threonine, tryptophan and valine. Bananas contain all nine of these essential amino acids, but in small and varying amounts.

According to the USDA, the most prevalent amino acids in bananas include:

  • Histidine
  • Phenylalanine
  • Cystine
  • Tryptophan

A deficiency in any amino acid can result in the degradation of the body's proteins and muscles.

Tip

The most common type of banana found in supermarkets is the Cavendish banana. This species is noticeably ripe when the peel turns bright yellow and remains firm. As the fruit over-ripens, the skin turns brown and becomes soft.

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