Bananas are nature’s version of candy: They’re so naturally sweet that they make anything you pair them with taste like dessert, albeit a much healthier version of it.
When you consider the versatility, portability, affordability, and tastiness of the humble banana, it’s not exactly shocking to see that global production of the tropical fruit is at an all-time high. In fact, bananas are the most exported fresh fruit in the world, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.
But are bananas good for you?
Even with its unwavering popularity, some still avoid bananas because they’re higher in carbs and sugar than many other fruits. But here’s the thing: Your body needs carbs to fuel your body, and unlike processed sweet treats, a banana’s naturally occurring sugars are accompanied by many vitamins and minerals that are important for cyclists. Plus, bananas are also rich in fiber, which slows your digestion of sugar, not to mention helps keep you feeling full.
So, are bananas healthy? You bet.
BANANA NUTRITION FACTS: 105 calories, 1 g protein, <1 g fat, 26 g carbs (3 g fiber), 14 g sugar in 1 medium
10 science-backed health benefits of bananas
Bananas are packed with potassium
One medium banana contains 422 milligrams of potassium, or about 12 percent of your daily value of the mineral, according to the National Institutes of Health.
Your body needs plenty of potassium to operate normally. This electrolyte helps your muscles contract, nerves function, move nutrients into cells (and waste out of them), regulate your heartbeat, and regulate sodium in your body. So when you don’t get enough potassium, your blood pressure and kidney stone risk can increase, you may feel weak and tired, or even experience muscle cramps. (Here are other foods high in potassium.)