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Do you know the most criticized and ignored fruit banana is actually a super-food for lot of its potential health benefits and that too so affordable and easily available by all. Just peel one and and you are it is ready to serve and eat.

Let us dive into more details to know does banana actually help in weight loss although banana has lot of potential health benefits. Read evidence based full article below.

To improve health, often people are advised to eat lot of fruits and vegetables. And here banana plays a vital role.

Let us know what nutrition values banana contain –

Chemical composition of banana fruit (as is basis per 100 g edible portion) -

Most of the carbs in ripe bananas are sugars — sucrose, glucose and fructose.

Then is it still possible to lose weight after consuming so much sugars?

Banana and weight loss

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Banana being high in fibre, curbs appetite, gives energy and satiety and reduces binge eating.

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Ripe bananas are good source of both soluble and insoluble fibres. Soluble fiber helps reduce appetite as it creates bulk to the diet. One way to lose belly fat is to lose weight. And given that soluble fiber is a powerful natural appetite suppressant, it can help you do that. By suppressing your appetite, you are more likely to reduce your calorie intake, which can help you lose weight. The recommended daily intake for adults is 25 g as per normal balanced diet for better health. Bananas are excellent source of fiber. A medium banana contains 3.07 grams (g) of fiber, and hence it is very easy to make up fibre requirement by eating banana along with other whole grains and vegetables. And as per various researches, high fibre intake has been helping in weight loss (1). Fiber may also help lower cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of heart disease.

Some studies have found that eating soluble fiber reduces the levels of hunger hormones produced by the body, including ghrelin (2).

Others have shown that soluble fiber increases the production of hormones that make you feel full, such as cholecystokinin, GLP-1 and Peptide YY.

And thus eat one banana when you are hungry and you are sorted, as you are feeling full.

Unripe banana has resistant starch, helps in losing weight and improves insulin sensitivity.

Also it is interesting to know that not just ripe banana is beneficial to us but also unripe green bananas also play a major role in our health. It contains resistant starch. Resistant starch is a carbohydrate that does not break down easily in the small intestine. Instead, it passes through to the large intestine, which means that it does not increase blood sugar levels. It then ferments in the large intestine, stimulating the growth of good bacteria in the gut. Eating more resistant starch may help people lose weight, as it acts in a similar way to dietary fiber. It may reduce a person’s appetite by making them feeling fuller for longer. Research suggests that resistant starch could also help improve insulin sensitivity (3). The benefits of being fibrous that it provides for gut health and can help with constipation and reduce the risk of colon cancer.

Pectin of banana and its relation to weight loss

In human digestion, pectin binds to cholesterol in the gastrointestinal tract and slows glucose absorption by trapping carbohydrates (4). Pectin is thus a soluble dietary fiber. Soluble fiber is a powerful natural appetite suppressant; it can help you do that. By suppressing your appetite, you are more likely to reduce your calorie intake, which can help you lose weight (5). Consumption of pectin has been shown to slightly (3-7%) reduce blood LDL cholesterol levels. The mechanism appears to be an increase of viscosity in the intestinal tract, leading to a reduced absorption of cholesterol from bile or food (6). In the large intestine and colon, microorganisms degrade pectin and liberate short-chain fatty acids that have positive influence on health (prebiotic effect).(7)

Pectins are unique and complicated types of fiber. Some of the components in Pectins are water-soluble, and others are not. As bananas ripen, their water-soluble Pectins increase, and this increase is one of the key reasons why bananas become softer in texture as they ripen. As their water-soluble Pectins increase, so does their relative concentration of fructose in comparison to other sugars. This increase in water-soluble Pectins and higher proportional fructose content helps normalize the rate of carbohydrate digestion and moderates the impact of banana consumption on our blood sugar.

Choline in bananas can help your body burn fat.

Bananas have 12 mg of choline (3% DV), a fat-blasting B vitamin that acts directly on the genes that cause fat storage in the abdomen. Choline supplementation could rapidly reduce body mass without any side effects on biochemical levels or static strength . Heavy drinkers have bloated bellies is due to alcohol that depletes Choline, causing weight gain around the liver. You can also find it in lean meats, seafood, and collard greens.

Banana, Blood sugar regulation and gut health – (Prebiotics and FOS)

Bananas contain small amounts of Inulin. Like resistant starch of unripe bananas, Inulin of ripe bananas has also got prebiotic effects. The prebiotic fiber in bananas has been shown to increase healthy gut bacteria and reduce bloating( 8 ). Basically, friendly gut bacteria won't directly cause you to lose weight. Instead, it maintains your gut and keeps it healthy and which in return help determine how much energy your body absorbs, and also how hungry or full you feel.

Surprisingly this digestion-friendly fruit, might have been casually dismissed as being too high in sugar to be digestion-friendly.

Similar to the importance of their water-soluble pectins is the digestive importance of Fructo-oligosaccharides (FOS) in bananas. FOS is unique fructose-containing carbohydrates that are typically not broken down by enzymes in our digestive tract. Instead, they move along through the digestive tract until they reach our lower intestine and get metabolized by bacteria. This process helps maintain the balance of "friendly" bacteria (for example, bifidobacteria)(9) in our lower intestine, and as a consequence, it also supports our overall digestive health. Banana, therefore, on one side prevent & treat constipation by having high fibre content & on the other hand it is a good food in diarrhea management because of pectin , a stool binder & fructo-oligosaccharides, the probiotics. There is reported improvement in metabolic syndrome & fasting blood sugars on regular consumption of banana over few months. (10)

Other health benefits of banana.

1. Banana has got good amount of magnesium.

Magnesium may be helpful for regulating blood sugar and insulin levels in people who are overweight or obese. “A 2013 study found that taking higher amounts of magnesium helps better insulin control and blood glucose levels. Hence like other fruits even banana can be given in diabetics. But to counter its calorific value and sugar content, club it with a protein food. Example like boiled egg and banana is a good meal, or a smoothie made of oats, banana and curd or milk can be considered a good meal which is having all vital macro and micronutrients. Protein in foods will reduce the glycemic index of banana (Glycemic index of banana falls between mild to moderate) and magnesium of banana will further regulate the blood sugar levels.

2. Banana in PCOS!!

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True! Fruit does contain carbohydrates and a diet too high in carbs isn’t good for women with PCOS (or most people for that matter). But the sugar in fruit isn’t the same as regular old table sugar. In fact, comparing the two is like, well, comparing apples to oranges. Plain sugar like the kind you put in your coffee or use to sweeten your oatmeal, is sucrose, a carbohydrate that is an easily digestible form. When you eat sugar, it quickly enters your bloodstream giving you a sharp rise in your blood sugar and insulin levels. Magnesium and soluble fibre of banana helps better control insulin and glucose blood levels. Hence like other fruits even banana can be given in PCOS and diabetics where insulin sensitivity is common. Cut half a big banana and consume it with curd or milk.

3. Banana and Heart health .

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Banana being good source of potassium controls blood pressure level in our body by maintaining blood volume. Bananas are high in potassium and low in sodium, the fruit is officially recognized by the FDA as being able to lower blood pressure and protect against heart attack and stroke.

Furthermore, bananas contain a decent amount of magnesium, which is also important for heart health.

4. Bananas help to build lean muscle and helps in workout.

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Do you feel sore or fatigue after workout? — You might not be getting enough magnesium in your diet then. A good source of magnesium, bananas can help with muscle contraction and relaxation as well as protein synthesis — which, in turn, increase lean muscle mass. More the lean mass, quick the muscle toning. Also bananas are a prime source of potassium. Potassium being electrolyte, helps your muscles recover from a workout, strengthens their development, and allows you to work out more (11).

5. Bananas give you smiles.

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Banana contain 6% of your daily value of vitamin B9, (also known as folate), a nutrient that may fight depression. In other words, it helps serotonin, the feel-good chemical, enter the brain faster. A study in the Indian Journal Of Psychiatry asserts that patients with depression have blood folate levels that are, on average, 25 percent lower than healthy folks' levels. Increasing folate intake boosts the effects of antidepressants. Bananas also have tryptophan (precursor of serotonin) and nor epinephrine, which reduces stress, insomnia and anxiety. Also magnesium in banana promotes good sleep and helps in stress reduction. This is also because of the tryptophan present in banana, says Bjork. "It’s a precursor for melatonin, which promotes relaxation and helps to regulate sleep." Peel one before bed. So after a long tiring hectic day, eat a banana, or mash it into a detox juice and you are set to feel refresh and can have a good sleep.

6. Bananas are loaded with antioxidants.

Dopamies, Vitamin C and Zinc of banana are powerful antioxidants which help to reduce oxidative stress of your body by destroying free radicals and keep your cell in good health and you feel rejuvenated.

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Peel one after a hectic day or as a mid day snack.

7. Banana in diarrhea!!

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Bananas are useful in infective diarrhoea and dysentery as it is neutral, and soothes the irritated intestines. There are foods that need to eat when you have diarrhea. BRAT stands for “bananas, rice, apples, toast.” These foods are bland, so they won't aggravate the digestive system. They're also binding, to help firm up stool and thus passage of stools are lowered. Kaolin in banana is the active compound for binding water. Kaolin mixture contains two active ingredients, light kaolin and sodium hydrogen carbonate. Light kaolin is an adsorbent substance. It is insoluble and is not absorbed into the bloodstream. Instead it acts locally in the intestines, where it adsorbs toxins and helps make the stools less liquid.

8. Banana reduces your bloating.

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You tend to feel less bloat after consuming banana. Regular intake of banana reduces bloating.

Banana is the most misjudged popular fruit which has got numerous health benefits. And yes, banana aid in weight loss. Bananas are nutrient dense and low calorie high fibrous food.

Among other things, they found to boost digestive and heart health due to their fiber and antioxidant content.

Ripe bananas are a great way to satisfy your sweet tooth. What’s more, both yellow and green bananas can keep you healthy and feeling full.

References :

1. Department of food science and nutrition, university of minnesota, 1334 eckles avenue, st. Paul, mn 55344, usa, nutrients 2013, 5(4), 1417-1435;

2. Eur j endocrinol. 2009 jul;161(1):65-72.doi: 10.1530/eje-09-0018. Epub 2009 apr 15

3. Am j clin nutr. 2009 nov;90(5):1236-43. Doi: 10.3945/ajcn.2009.28095. Epub 2009 sep 23.

4. Advances in nutrition, volume 4, issue 6, november 2013, pages 587–601, published:06 november 2013

5. j hum kinet. 2014 mar 27; 40: 77–82.published online 2014 apr 9. Doi: 10.2478/hukin-2014-0009, pmcid: pmc4096089.pmid: 25031675;effect of choline supplementation on rapid weight loss and biochemical variables among female taekwondo and judo athletes: gehan elsawy,1 osama abdelrahman,2 and amr hamza3

6. toivonen, r. K.; emani, r.; munukka, e.; rintala, a.; laiho, a.; pietilä, s.; pursiheimo, j. P.; soidinsalo, p.; linhala, m.; eerola, e.; huovinen, p.; hänninen, a. (oct 2014). "fermentable fibres condition colon microbiota and promote diabetogenesis in nod mice". Diabetologia. 57 (10): 2183–92. Doi:10.1007/s00125-014-3325-6. Pmid 25031069.

7. J am diet assoc. 2005 may;105(5 suppl 1):s24-8. Doi: 10.1016/j.jada.2005.02.025.

8. sriamornsak, pornsak (2003). "chemistry of pectin and its pharmaceutical uses: a review". Silpakorn university international journal. 3 (1–2): 206. Archived from the original on 2012-06-03. Retrieved 2007-08-23.

9. gómez, belén; gullón, beatriz; remoroza, connie; schols, henk a.; parajó, juan c.; alonso, josé l. (2014). "purification, characterization, and prebiotic properties of pectic oligosaccharides from orange peel wastes". Journal of agricultural and food chemistry. 62 (40): 9769–9782. Doi:10.1021/jf503475b. Issn 0021-8561. Pmid 25207862.

10. Anaerobe. 2011 dec;17(6):384-7.doi: 10.1016/j.anaerobe.2011.03.018. Epub 2011 apr 16.

11. Hormonal and pharmacological modification of plasma potassium homeostasis : []

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