Are Bananas the Best Fruit?

The all-in-one fruit

Baqsam Behbehani
Published in
4 min readAug 10, 2021


Bananas in different shapes and forms
Photo by Eiliv-Sonas Aceron on Unsplash

It’s hard to determine which fruit is the best since different fruits provide different benefits, but some fruits seem to combine nutrition, taste, efficiency, and affordability better than others.

One fruit stands out among the rest as the fruit you may want to choose if you had to pick only one for the rest of your life.

Bananas (and plantains) are the fourth most important food crop in the world after rice, wheat, and maize.

Bananas are highly nutritious with potassium, naturally taste sweet with a pleasing texture, are easy to peel and dispose of, and are not as expensive as high-end fruits like avocados. Furthermore, the average banana packs 105 calories, making it filling enough without racking on too many calories.

Look at it this way: you may be on a strict 1,000 calorie diet, yet you can still sneak in nine bananas a day without surpassing your threshold, although that’s not advisable for obvious reasons, primarily because your diet should be balanced.

Without further ado, here is the detailed profile of the mighty banana.

What Makes Bananas Great

Highly nutritious

Bananas contain a decent amount of fiber and powerful antioxidants. In one banana of 118 grams, you can find:

  • Vitamin B6: 33% of the RDI
  • Manganese: 14% of the RDI
  • Vitamin C: 11% of the RDI
  • Copper: 10% of the RDI
  • Potassium: 9% of the RDI
  • Magnesium: 8% of the RDI

You can also find:

  • Carbohydrates: 24 grams
  • Fiber: 3.1 grams
  • Protein: 1.3 grams
  • Fat: 0.4 grams

Bananas have nutrients that moderate blood sugar levels. Furthermore, they boost heart and kidney health, promote satiation, improve digestion, and help in weight loss. Unripe bananas may improve insulin sensitivity.

Quite tasty

The unique taste and scent of bananas are due to isoamyl acetate, which is found in several fruits, but it is especially prominent in bananas.

The taste and texture of bananas are directly related to their ripeness stage. The carbohydrates in a green banana are primarily starches that turn into sugar as the fruit ripens, resulting in a soft, sweet, and creamy yellow banana.

Bananas pack a punch in the taste department on their own, but they also accompany fruit salads, desserts, and smoothies quite well. Countries like Jamaica enjoy fried plantains as a delicacy.

Efficient to grow, store, eat and dispose

Bananas grow in hot climates, so they are not used to the cold. Cold temperatures inhibit the enzymes that ripen them, making other enzymes operate more efficiently. Some cause cell damage, while others, like browning enzymes, cause the skin to darken.

Bananas can be conveniently grown in many places, and they can be left at room temperature for days at least. Eating them is easy as peeling them requires no tools, and holding the banana using the peel avoids making ones’ fingers sticky. The peel usually remains intact for an easy toss into the trash.

Bananas are easy to bite and chew without worrying about crumbs and other nuisances. Toddlers up to the elderly with weaker teeth can enjoy this delightful fruit.

Very affordable

Native to Southeast Asia, bananas are now grown in many warm parts of the world. The fruit is grown thousands of kilometers away and transported through ships and trucks across oceans and highways.

There’s a historical reason for their affordability, which was based on providing optimal growing conditions, guaranteeing cheap shipping, and generating consumer interest. It took 150 years of engineering by governments, militaries, and corporations to ramp up banana production.

In the 1800s, bananas were a novelty that cost about $2 apiece if using today’s currency standards. American fruit companies started purchasing land in Central America to grow bananas. Land and labor were relatively cheap.

Jacobo Árbenz, a Guatemalan presidential candidate, wanted to collect fair taxes and wages for production, but his efforts were trifled by the likes of the United Fruit Company, known today as Chiquita, and prices remained low.

While determining whether or not bananas are the best fruit would require detailed comparisons with similar fruits, bananas’ distinct profile alone is enough to entertain its worthiness of being a contender.

This easy to grow fruit that is tasty and nutritious after you spend next to no money to buy it is a fantastic addition to your pantry that you can eat pre-workout, after a savory meal, or as a fried meal every now and then.

The next time you hit the produce section of your favorite supermarket, be sure to grab some nanners!