According to the United States Department of Agriculture, there are approximately 1.3 grams of protein in one medium-sized yellow or green banana, and the amount varies for based on the size of the banana. When you consider some of the other nutritional information about this fruit, it's easy to see why it's a good food choice for many people.
Banana Sizes and Protein Content
The USDA categorizes bananas by standard sizes, and the following chart shows the average protein content for each size.
|Extra small||5 inches long or less||0.88 grams|
|Small||5 - 7 inches long||1.10 grams|
|Medium||7 - 8 inches long||1.29 grams|
|Large||8 - 9 inches long||1.48 grams|
|Extra large||9 inches or longer||1.66 grams|
Additionally, the USDA states there are 2.45 grams of protein in a cup of mashed bananas and 1.64 grams of protein in a cup of sliced bananas.
Other Nutritional Info
- Fat: 0.3 grams
- Cholesterol: 0 grams
- Sodium: 1 milligram
- Total carbohydrates: 22.28 grams
- Dietary fiber: 2.6 grams
- Sugar: 12.2 grams
Bananas also contain vitamins and minerals, including:
- Vitamin A: 2% of the daily allowance
- Calcium: 1% of the daily allowance
- Iron: 2% of the daily allowance
A Protein Comparison With Other Fruits
Although fruit is generally considered a carbohydrate, including bananas, bananas do fall within the top ten fruits with the highest protein. Using 100 grams as a measure of the amount of fruit, bananas have 1.1 grams. The fruits that are higher in protein than a banana are:
- Guavas with 2.6 grams
- Avocados with 2 grams
- Apricots with 1.4 grams
- Blackberries with 1.4 grams
- Raspberries with 1.2 grams
In comparison, fruits with the lowest protein are blueberries, cherries, cranberries and apples.
Health Benefits of Bananas
Like most fruits and vegetables, bananas are an excellent nutritional choice you can eat every day. In addition to providing protein, potassium and vitamin C, bananas have been known to be beneficial for several health conditions.
- They are often recommended by physicians to patients who need to lower high blood pressure and who have stomach and intestinal issues.
- Eating bananas regularly is also thought to ward off asthma, colon cancer, diabetes and heart disease.
- They are also an excellent source of dietary fiber which can be an effective remedy for constipation.
- Athletes in particular enjoy bananas for the boost they provide prior to working out. One research study found they were a better source of energy than the typical energy drink.
However, eating bananas can be a risk for people with kidney disease or who take beta blockers due to their high potassium content.
Next Time, Snack on a Banana
The next time you need a quick snack, grab a banana. It's a delicious, healthy snack which vegetarians, vegans, raw food diet followers, and even omnivores can enjoy.