by Will Grumke September 12, 2018 4 min read
Have you ever wondered whether bananas were a good source of protein?
Well, in this article ... we’ll explain the protein content of bananas as well as their other macros. We’ll also look at what vitamins and minerals can be found in bananas too.
The following chart from the USDA portrays the average amount of protein for each banana size.
In addition to this, the USDA clarifies that there are 2.45 grams of protein per cup of mashed bananas, and 1.64 grams of protein in a cup of sliced bananas.
For every 100 grams of banana you consume, there is only about 1 gram of protein ... or roughly 1% of a banana’s weight is protein.
If you’re going to eat something sweet, you may as well eat something with a little nutrition in it.
Like most fruits, bananas contain micronutrients like vitamins and minerals. These make them healthier than most processed foods and sweets you could be eating instead.
Here are some of the nutrients you can find in a banana.
Potassium – Every 100 grams of banana contains about 358 mg of potassium. Potassium is an electrolyte that your body needs to help your nerves function properly. Potassium is also important because it helps your muscles contract the way they’re supposed to. Potassium keeps your heart beating at a regular pace and it helps all of the cells in your body get the nutrition they need.
Magnesium – Every 100 grams of banana has 27 mg of magnesium. Magnesium is also used to maintain proper nerve and muscle function, but it’s also used to support a healthy immune system. You need magnesium to maintain bone density and strength as well as to maintain a regular heartbeat. In fact, magnesium is used in 300 some-odd different bodily processes.
Phosphorus – Every 100 grams of banana has 22 mg of phosphorus. Your body needs a lot of phosphorus. Experts say that people are 1% phosphorus by bodyweight. Phosphorus is used mostly to maintain bone and tooth health, but it also plays a role in how the body uses carbs and fats. It’s also needed to turn the protein you consume into chemical compounds your body can actually use to build and maintain muscle mass.
Vitamin C – Every 100 grams of banana contains 8.7 mg of Vitamin C. Vitamin C is what’s known as an antioxidant. You need it to maintain the health of your skin, bones, and tendons. Vitamin C also helps you absorb iron. Most people recommend that you increase your vitamin C intake to boost your immune system and help you fight off disease.
Calcium – Every 100 grams of banana contains 5 mg of calcium. Calcium is the only mineral your bodyhas more of than phosphorus. The vast majority of your calcium is stored in your teeth and bones. The rest of your calcium (less than 1%) is found in your muscles, blood, and cells generally. Calcium is vital to a healthy and functioning skeletal system.
This is what the essential acid profile of 100 games of banana looks like:
Most of a banana protein comes from aspartic acid and glutamic acid. So, although a banana does not have very much protein in it, at least it’s technically a complete protein. You’d just have to eat a lot of bananas to enjoy the benefits of that complete protein.
Although there isn’t a lot of protein in bananas, they still taste good and are better for your than a lot of other foods.
Let’s look at the rest of a banana’s nutritional content.
The other two macronutrients you have to look at are fat and carbs.
Bananas are pretty low in fat. There are only .33 grams of fat for every 100 grams of banana. That’s even less fat than protein.
The banana’s carbohydrate count is a different story, however.
Every 100 grams of banana contains roughly 22.84 grams of carbs. The good news is that 2.6 grams of those carbs come in the form of fiber while 12.23 grams of them come in the form of sugar.
So bananas are made of mostly carbs and a little over half of them come in the form of sugar, but it could be worse. Every 100 grams of banana contains only 89 calories. In other words, if you’re looking for something to satisfy your sweet tooth, you could do much worse than a banana. All things considered, bananas are pretty healthy even if they’re mostly carbs and sugar.
At least you’re not getting all of the extra calories that come from a cookie or a candy bar.
You’re even getting some good vitamins and minerals when you eat a banana.
If you’re looking for something sweet that also has some vitamins and minerals, you could do a lot worse than a banana. But if you’re looking for some extra protein, you could do a lot better as well.
1st Phorm has the best protein supplements and BCAA mixes your body could want. If you’re looking to increase your protein intake to gain and maintain muscle mass, you’ll be hard pressed to find a better resource than 1st Phorm.
Come and check out our protein supplements to see which one is best for you.
NASM Certified Personal Trainer, NASM Certified Nutrition Coach, NASM Certified Fitness Nutrition Specialist, NASM Certified Weight Loss Specialist, NASM Certified Behavioral Change Specialist, NASM VCS Virtual Coaching Specialist, CrossFit Level 1 Trainer