Red Banana Nutrition

by Elisabeth Dahl

About Elisabeth Dahl

Elisabeth Dahl is a freelance writer and copyeditor who has worked in publishing since 1991. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Johns Hopkins University and a Master of Arts degree from Georgetown University, where she was a Writing Center Associate Fellow.

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If you're looking to add some variety to your fruit bowl, consider red bananas. They're available year-round in supermarkets and specialty stores. Use them as you would yellow bananas -- eating them raw, slicing them into fruit salads or baking or frying them. While tasty, these purplish bananas are also nutritious, providing you with vitamins and minerals as well as fiber.

Calories, Fat, Carbohydrates and Protein

An average red banana weighing 99 grams has 90 calories and no fat, according to the Centers for Disease Control. It has 23 grams of carbohydrates -- 8 percent of your recommended daily value. Of these 23 grams, 16 grams are sugars and 1 gram is dietary fiber. A red banana, therefore, provides 4 percent of your recommended daily value of fiber. It also has 1 gram of protein.

Vitamins and Minerals

Under their purplish skins, red bananas hold a significant amount of the vitamins and minerals your body needs every day. A 99-gram red banana has 2 percent of your recommended daily value of vitamin A and 15 percent of vitamin C. It has no sodium or calcium but gives you 2 percent of your recommend daily value of iron. Red bananas also provide vitamin B6 and potassium.

Comparison

Compared with yellow bananas, the bananas most often seen in U.S. markets, red bananas tend to be smaller. Their peel is a deep red, maroon or purple hue and their flesh is a creamy whitish-pink that often tastes of not just banana but raspberry. Nutritionally, both yellow and red bananas are valuable fruits.

Selection

At the market, look for bunches of red bananas that are fairly firm, with no bruises, breaks or blemishes visible on the peel. Bananas with a deep purple color are ripe. Grocers in the United States often import their red bananas from Costa Rica.

Storage

Once you bring them home, leave red bananas out at room temperature to ripen, if need be. Turn them occasionally. Do not cover or refrigerate them.

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This article reflects the views of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the views of Jillian Michaels or JillianMichaels.com.