8 Benefits of Bananas and Amazing Recipes for Your Diet

Silver, apple, dwarf and terra are the main types of banana consumed in Brazil. Even though they are different, they have nutrients capable of preventing cramps , taking care of the nervous system and improving digestion.

According to nutritionist Renata Guirau, this fruit is a source of fiber, potassium, magnesium and carbohydrates. In addition, it has vitamin A, B and C.

When it comes to enjoying it in the kitchen, you can abuse your creativity as it is a fruit that can be consumed every day. In addition to the fresh form , make banana cake, candy, cake and pie . It is also possible to prepare drinks, such as the famous vitamin.

However, anyone who thinks that only the pulp can be used is wrong! According to the nutritionist, the bark is also rich in fiber and can be used in both savory and sweet dishes. Not to mention the healthy attributions of biomass , matter made with the fruit still unripe.

Banana Benefits

1. Helps to prevent cramps

“Its potassium and magnesium content helps balance electrolytes in the blood, preventing discomfort caused by cramps”, explains Renata Guirau.

Therefore, it is a beneficial food for athletes , especially for those who exercise longer and more exhausting.

2. Increases the feeling of well-being

“As it is a good source of magnesium and tryptophan, banana helps to improve our natural production of serotonin, contributing to an increase in our sense of well-being”, he says.

Serotonin is a very important neurotransmitter for the nervous system, as it acts on the brain and within its responsibilities is to regulate mood .

3. Improves sleep quality

Speaking of hormones, another one that is also essential for the body is melatonin. And the best part, according to the nutritionist, the hopscotch fruit stimulates the production of this neurotransmitter.

For this reason, food can help improve both the quality and quantity of sleep. In practice, sleeping well can have several positive impacts on health, such as more energy and relaxation the next day.

4. Favors vision

In addition to the presence of vitamin A, which in itself helps in the health of the eyes, this fruit also has natural antioxidants, such as carotenoids.

This substance is divided into several others, including lutein. This type of carotenoid has properties capable of inhibiting age- related macular degeneration , a disease that can lead to vision loss. ( 1 )

5. Helps in bowel function

“As a good source of fiber , bananas help improve intestinal transit ,” says Guirau. The Ministry of Health even recommends the fruit for children and for those who suffer from digestive disorders such as diarrhea . ( 2 )

Furthermore, both in its natural form and in the flour version, the fruit contains a fiber called resistant starch. As the name implies, this substance is resistant to digestion, so it acts as a probiotic in the intestine.

This process results in a reduction in the pH of the colon , turning this environment into an undesirable place for the formation of cancer cells and the growth of disease-causing microorganisms. ( 1 )

6. Improves cholesterol levels

It is also thanks to the action of the fibers that this benefit is achieved. That’s because they can reduce cholesterol and triglyceride levels in the blood.

In addition, the phytosterols present in green banana flour reduce both total cholesterol and bad cholesterol, popularly known as LDL. ( 1 )

Also, one cannot forget to mention the resistance that the fruit promotes to blood vessels. ( 2 )

According to the nutritionist, these effects are conducive to the prevention of cardiovascular disease .

7. Provides power

Athletes can doubly benefit from their physical exercise with the consumption of yellow fruit. In addition to avoiding the dreaded cramps, food also increases your energy level.

“Banana are sources of good quality carbohydrates, providing energy for daily activities ”, highlights the nutrition specialist.

8. Protect the cells

Both bananas and their by-products are rich in antioxidant substances , meaning that they protect cells against oxidation.

Currently, it is known that this cell degradation process is related to the emergence of health problems such as arteriosclerosis, types of cancer, arthritis , Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes and inflammation . ( 3 )

Therefore, in a way, regular consumption of this food can help prevent these disorders.

Banana fattening?

No, on the contrary, it helps with weight loss . According to Renata Guirau, in the proper amount, the fruit will not offer excess calories, so it can be used in strategies to reduce weight without fear.

“Since it is a practical fruit, it can be consumed in intermediate snacks, avoiding the consumption of unwanted snacks”, he advises.

Another good tip is to use banana by-products, such as flour or biomass, in cooking. Both can make up several less caloric and healthier recipes.


Versatility is the keyword to define how bananas behave in cooking. With this fruit it is possible to make food, drinks and even appetizers . Check out some suggestions for recipes recommended by the nutritionist and other selected preparations.

Banana cake

Renata Guirau teaches a mug cake recipe that is very easy and quick to make. It only takes 10 minutes from the preparation mode until the dessert is ready.


  • 1 ripe silver banana
  • 1 this
  • 1 tablespoon of baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon of powdered chocolate
  • 1 pinch of powdered cinnamon .

Preparation mode

Mix all ingredients in a large mug until content is homogeneous. Then take it to the microwave for 3 minutes. Consume after cooling down.

Banana candy

The Healthy Living Mother channel indicates how to prepare a banana candy that only soils a pan.


  • 4 dwarf bananas
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar (sweetener, xylitol or honey)
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 tablespoon of lemon juice
  • Cinnamon to taste.

Preparation mode

banana crumb

The nutritionist takes the opportunity to explain how to make a farofa with plantain. The preparation is very easy!


  • 2 bananas
  • 1 medium grated carrot
  • 1 cup (of tea) of cooked green corn
  • ½ cup (of tea) of chopped olives
  • 1 medium onion cut into cubes
  • 1 cup (of tea) of manioc flour
  • ½ cup (of tea) of chopped green scent
  • 2 tablespoons of oil
  • Salt to taste.

Preparation mode

Start by putting the oil to heat in a pan and saute the onion. Then add the other ingredients, except for the flour and the green smell. Stir gently and add the salt.

With the pan still on the fire, gradually add the manioc flour and let it cook for a few more minutes. Then just turn off the heat and finish with the chopped green smell. Serve!

Banana pie

The preparation of this pie may be awkward at first, but once it’s ready you’ll be sure you’ve followed the right path. So, check out how Mi Alves did hers in a vegan version :

  • 10 tablespoons of whole wheat flour
  • 5 tablespoons of organic brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon of cinnamon powder
  • 1 teaspoon of powdered yeast
  • 1 cup of vegetable milk of your choice
  • 3 tablespoons of melted vegan margarine
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla essence
  • 10 ripe dwarf bananas.

Preparation mode

Banana and berry smoothie

This smothie indicated by Renata Guirau takes, in addition to the banana, some red fruits that are up to you to define!


  • 1 cup of frozen berries
  • 1 cup of frozen ripe dwarf banana
  • 1 cup of coconut water.

Preparation mode

To prepare this drink, use a mixer or a blender and blend all the ingredients together. Then just serve and enjoy the delight right away.

banana head

Cuca is neither a cake nor a pie, but it has a texture that reminds those other desserts. Larissa Zorzella teaches a fit option for this recipe on the Amante do Fogão channel.

cuca ingredients

  • 3 eggs
  • 1 and ½ cup (of tea) of brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon of vanilla essence
  • ½ cup (of tea) of skimmed milk
  • ½ cup (of tea) of coconut oil
  • 2 cups (of tea) of rice flour
  • 1 tablespoon of baking powder
  • 3 bananas cut into slices.

Ingredients of the flour

  • 3 tablespoons of skimmed milk powder
  • 4 tablespoons of oat
  • 3 tablespoons of demerara sugar
  • 1 tablespoon of cinnamon powder
  • 2 tablespoons of coconut oil.

Preparation mode

Banana smoothie

Last but not least: banana smoothie! Learn how to make a recipe recommended by the Ministry of Health and that includes other fruits in the preparation.


  • ½ banana sliced
  • 1 frozen sleeve
  • apple peeled and cut into cubes
  • ½ liter of milk.

Preparation mode

First, blend the mango with half the milk in a blender. Then add the apple, banana and remaining milk. Beat again and serve right away. This recipe makes up to three servings . ( 2 )

Vegan Vitamin

In addition to this version, there are other ways to make this type of vitamin. One of these ways is taught by Bela Gil on the Nhac GNT channel. This option is vegan and very simple .


  • 200 g of peeled and hydrated peanuts
  • 3 cups of water
  • 2 frozen bananas.

Preparation mode

Other forms of consumption

The versatility of bananas is not restricted to the number of recipes that can be made with them, but rather the possibility of using them at all stages of maturation.

For example, when green, the fruit yields both a biomass and a flour . When it is maturing, it can be used in salty preparations, such as farofa.

When the banana is ripe, Renata Guirau advises the consumption of fresh fruit or in the preparation of vitamin and/or fruit salad compositions .

And when it is very mature, what is it for? Also according to the nutritionist, the fruit is not lost like this, it should be used in “ recipes for cakes and sweet pies , helping to sweeten the preparations in a natural way.”

Biomass with green banana

The Vegetarian Ham channel teaches how to make the biomass using green bananas. In addition, it gives some tips on how this natural product can be used in the kitchen. Look:

  • 4 very green bananas
  • Water.

banana peel

If you discard the banana peel, you don’t know the amount of nutrients and benefits you are throwing away. According to the nutritionist, this part of the fruit can be used very well in the kitchen, but it is preferable that it be organic.

“It has a high fiber content and can be consumed in preparations, such as pies and farofa. The only care should be with cleaning the bark before it is used”, explains Renata Guirau.

Thinking about the culinary possibilities with the banana peel, Bela Gil made a meatball with this ingredient.

Banana Peel Meatballs

  • 10 ripe banana peels
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1/4 chopped onion
  • 1 tablespoon of oregano
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • Pinch of cumin, nutmeg and black pepper
  • ½ cup chopped cilantro
  • 1/4 cup of chopped basil
  • Pinches of annatto and turmeric
  • salt to taste
  • 1 this
  • 100 g of oatmeal.

Tomato Sauce

  • Mature tomatoes
  • 4 tablespoons of oil
  • 1/4 chopped onion
  • 1 chopped garlic clove
  • 1 teaspoon of cumin
  • ½ spoon of nutmeg
  • ½ cup of basil leaves
  • ½ cup of cilantro
  • 1 teaspoon of oregano
  • Black pepper to taste.

types of banana

This is a tropical fruit of the Musa genus and belongs to the Musaceae family However, it is divided into a few varieties and four of them are very popular in Brazil. Check out the main features of each one!

Banana or long banana

“It is the largest and densest among bananas. It should be consumed in preparations, as it is difficult to digest raw, “says the nutritionist.

Furthermore, it is made up of 63.9% water and 33.7 g of high quality carbohydrates. ( 4 )


Also according to the nutrition professional, this type is the one with the most potassium and magnesium among the varieties. And its calories are very low, at 100 g there is only 92 kcal. ( 4 )


Banana silver is one of the most consumed, as it has the sweetest pulp and is very rich in vitamin C. The amount of fiber in 100 g of the fruit is 2 g. ( 4 )


“ It has more fiber than bananas and also less calories per 100g of fruit. Its pulp is much lighter than other bananas”, adds Renata Guirau.

Frequently Asked Questions About Fruit

1- How many calories is in a banana?

Banana apple is the one that has less calories in 100 g of the fruit, containing 87 kcal . The most caloric is that of the earth with 128 kcal in the same proportion. ( 4 )

2- What kind of banana is good for cramps?

“The dwarf banana has a higher potassium and magnesium content, but all varieties are sources of these minerals”, he emphasizes.

3- How many bananas can you eat a day?

Although the fruit is released daily for consumption, the amount per day varies for each person . For this reason, it is important to consult a nutritionist and have an assessment.

4- Is there harm or contraindication?

Even though it is rare, there are people who are allergic to bananas . Thus, they should not consume any variation of this fruit or recipes that use this ingredient.

“Some people can have poor digestion with bananas, especially with dwarfs. In these cases, if the banana is more ripe, it will be better”, concludes the nutritionist.

Ellie Lauderdale

My name is Ellie Lauderdale, MD and I am USA based professional Nutritionist .

I am a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and board certified specialist in sports dietetics who is trained in integrative medicine. I have worked with hundreds of clients, from those suffering with chronic disease to professional and olympian athletes. My goal is to help optimize you from the inside so that you can feel, perform, and look your best on the outside.

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