The punch-line of one of America's oldest jokes, 11.4 pounds of what Americans consume each year, and controversial fruit-starchy type thing. That's right, ladies and gentlemen, today we will be discussing bananas. This fruit is considered a berry, because it is a simple fruit that originates from a one-flower plant with several seeds - just like pomegranates, kiwis, and tomatoes.

chocolate, sweet
Izzi Clark

I used to be a big proponent of bananas, and would often eat them before the typical [insert sport here] game/practice. However, after an in-class math activity including bananas went awry, I decided to take some time away from them. About a year later, my friend jokingly tossed a banana in my mouth while I was speaking of my past encounters with them, and I have been a recovered banana consumer ever since. 

Brooke Koeppel

However, about a year ago, I fell under the impression through pop culture that bananas were not actually good for me at all. In fact, a zoo in the UK stopped feeding bananas to some of its primates because of their high sugar and calorie content. In this article, I'm going to talk about the benefits of bananas, because when consumed (in moderation), benefits are all that these fruits provide. 


Haley Rogers

One banana contains about 13% of the recommended amount of daily potassium. Potassium is an important mineral and electrolyte that is not naturally produced by the body. Common examples of electrolytic foods and drinks are Gatorade, water, and Pedialyte. However, bananas provide these important electrolytes as well through their high potassium content.

The potassium in bananas helps keep you hydrated, by acting as a crucial electrolyte. It also helps your nervous system function correctly, by providing the correct vessels through which signals in your body to be transported. Finally, the potassium in bananas is linked to the strength of muscle contractions, thus maintaining bodily health.


cake, chocolate, sweet, cream, pastry
Madeline Leadem

Bananas mostly contain the vitamins B6 (20% daily necessity), C (17% daily necessity), and A (1% daily necessity). All three of these benefits overall health. 

Vitamin B6 maintains blood vessel function, thus limiting risk to heart attack, supports brain functioning and memory, helps create hemoglobin in blood to reduce the risk of or treat anemia, and can help limit inflammation of joints that may lead to arthritis.

Vitamin C is contained in bananas and is considered by some to be the vitamin which is the best predictor of overall health, due to its many functions. These include preventing further complications after a common cold, improve skin health, and reduce risk for stroke and heart attack.

Finally, vitamin A which is the lowest-abundant vitamin in bananas has shown to improve bone growth, reproduction,  immune system health, and prolonging eyesight.

Mental Health

banana, syrup, maple syrup, pancake, cinnamon, butter, french toast, cream, toast
Alyssa Maccarrone

This fruit won't only put a smile on your face because of the jokes you can tell and songs you can sing, but it also can chemically induce better mental health and happiness. I don't know about you, but that just sounds bananas B-A-N-A-N-A-S. 

Bananas contain a high level of tryptophan, which is an essential amino acid. Tryptophan cannot be produced naturally by our bodies, so we must consume it. Bananas are a great way to do this. Tryptophan, because it's an amino acid, can become synthesized in the body to form different proteins. One structure that it forms is serotonin, which is a crucial neurotransmitter that greatly contributes to overall feelings of happiness.

In less "science-y" words, bananas have a special little chemical that, when consumed, will be converted into little happiness molecules in our body. This impact, as well as the benefits to sleep that other components of bananas have, can lead to a better overall mental health.


banana, strawberry
Haley Towne

Aside from the fancy chemicals that bananas provide, they are also a great vehicle through which to transform or create a meal. Bananas can be consumed in an infinite amount of forms, for breakfast, lunch, dinner, dessert, or a healthy (or not-so-healthy snack). 

From banana bread, your new favorite smoothie and a quick and unique dessert, bananas could be your new meal staple.

Final Tidbits

chocolate, candy, sweet, cream, goody, cake, sweetmeat
Alex Frank

To summarize, bananas have a wealth of health benefits, so you should peel away any prior concerns about their sugar and calorie-content and sink your teeth into some more of these functional fruits. Obviously, the decision obviously lies with you but there should be no fear about their high caloric content, nor the amount of sugar. As I've shown in this article, bananas can plant the seed to various health benefits, in an efficient and delicious way. 

For a final banana fun fact, basically every banana produced and sold in grocery stores is a clone of one type of banana, so they run the risk of mass extinction due to the lack of variability of their genes. Let's enjoy bananas while they are here, just in case their presence *slips* away.