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Nutritional Benefits of Banana

Botanical Name: Musa paradisiaca, Linn

Family Name : Musaceae

Musa, the biggest and geographically the most widespread, includes the majority of edible bananas, mostly of hybrid origin. Edible bananas of hybrid origin valued for their seedless fruits are included under this specific name. They comprise all the diploid, triploid or tetraploid clones, mainly hybrids of M. acuminata and M. balbisiana. The banana is of great nutritional value. It has a rare combination of energy value, tissue building elements, protein, vitamins and minerals. It is a good source of calories being richer in solids and lower in water content than any other fresh fruit.


A genus of perennial tree-like herbs, Musa is widely distributed in moist tropics, from Africa in the west to the Polynesian Island in the east. About 14 species have been recorded in India; 3 or 4 exotic species are cultivated for ornament. Most of the cultivated or commercially important bananas particularly those occurring in India belong to Musa genus.

Properties of banana

Aromatic, cooling, anti-ulcer, diuretic, stimulant, antidysentric, hypoglycemic, anthelmintic.

Forms of Use :- Fruit pulp, juice of full ripe banana, unripe banana, banana powder and boiled unripe banana as vegetable.

Food Value of banana

No wonder the banana was considered an important food to boost the health of malnourished children. The banana is of great nutritional value. It has a rare combination of energy value, tissue building elements, protein, vitamins and minerals. It is a good source of calories being richer in solids and lower in water content than any other fresh fruit. A large banana supplies more than 100 calories. It contains a large amount of easily assimilable sugar, making it a good source of quick energy and an excellent means of recovery from fatigue.

Food Value Minerals and Vitamins
Moisture 70.1% Calcium 85 mg
Protein 1.2% Phosphorus 50 mg
Fat 0.3% Iron 0.6 mg
Minerals 0.8% Vitamin C
Small amounts of Vitamin B Complex
8 mg
Fibre 0.4%  
Carbohydrates 7.2%  
Calorific Value 116
*Values per 100 gms edible portion

The banana constitutes almost a complete balanced diet in combination with milk. It contains a high grade protein, which includes three of the essential amino acids. Banana and milk supplement each other in an ideal manner and provide all the needed nutrients to the body

Medicinal Uses & benefits

  1. The banana constitutes almost a complete balanced diet in combination with milk.
  2. Banana fruit has mild laxative properties that help to ease constipation.
  3. The fruit aids in combating diarrhea and dysentery and promotes the healing of intestinal lesions in ulcerative colitis.
  4. Banana powder is effective in the treatment of colon disease, sprue and other forms of carbohydrate intolerance in children; it is also used for certain intestinal disorders in adults.
  5. It forms a useful constituent of the diet of infants; a syrup prepared of the ripe fruit may be incorporated with milk and used for infant feeding.
  6. The ripe fruit is reported to be useful in diabetes, uremia, nephritis, gout, hypertension and cardiac diseases.
  7. Unripe fruit and cooked flowers are useful in diabetes.
  8. Vegetable prepared from unripe banana helps in healing the intestinal ulcer.
  9. The juice of flowers is used for dysentery and stem and root for disorders of the blood.
  10. Ripe banana is useful in acidity. Heartburn resulting from tea consumption may be neutralized by taking two ripe bananas just before taking tea.
  11. The banana plant juice is astringent; it quenches thirst in cholera; it is also given in nervous disorders like hysteria, epilepsy etc.
  12. Bananas are useful in the treatment of arthritis and gout.
  13. Ripe banana is aphrodisiac, demulcent and aperient.
  14. The fruit is eaten to relieve soreness of the throat and chest accompanied with dry cough; it is also given in irritability of the bladder; the ripe fruit is a laxative.
  15. The ash of the banana skin is used for dressing wounds.
  16. An ounce of the ripe fruit mixed with a little tamarind and salt is a household remedy for diarrhea & dysentery.
  17. Cooked banana flower eaten with curd is considered an effective medicine for menstrual disorders like painful menstruation and excessive bleeding.
  18. Banana is said to promote regeneration of red blood cells and to stimulate haemoglobin production.
  19. It is a useful constituent of various nourishing foods for infants.
Banana Products
  • Chips - Fully mature but unripe banana is cut into chips like potato and consumed after frying in oil.
  • Flour and Powder - Banana flour is prepared from unripe fruits, and banana powder from ripe fruits. The former is essentially starchy, while the latter is rich in sugars. For the preparation of flour, dried banana chips are powdered in a mill and sifted through sieves. Analysis of banana flour shows the following nutrient composition: moisture 10.2-10.9; carbohydrate 79.6-83.3; protein 2.8-4.9; fibre 0.7-1.4; ash 2.0-3.0%. It is used to prepare infant food.
    Banana powder is prepared from the pulp of ripe fruits which is mashed and dried in drum or spray driers. The dried product is pulverized and passed through a 20 mesh sieve. Analysis: total sugar 68.8%; starch 7.2%; protein 5.0%; fibre 1.5%; pectin 2.5%; citric acid 2.2%; and ash 3.17%. Banana powder may also be used in the preparation of various food items.
  • Banana Fig - Banana fig is the popular name for dried ripe fruits. For making figs, peeled fruits are split longitudinally, each half cut into pieces about one inch in iength and dried in the sun till pliable and soft. Figs keep well for 3-4 months. A product with attractive appearance and good keeping quality is obtained by dipping banana pieces for 15 minutes in sodium carbonate solution (1%) followed by washing in water, exposure to "50/ fumes for an hour and drying in oven at 55-60°. It is used for making puddings.

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