9 Health Benefits Of Eating Bananas During Pregnancy

✔ Research-backed

Bananas are rich in potassium, calcium, and several other essential nutrients. Research regarding the choice of fruits shows that bananas during pregnancy are a popular choice (95.4%), followed by oranges (88.8%), apples (88.3%), and other fruits (40.3%) (1). Bananas have innumerable benefits for both the mother and the fetusiAn unborn offspring growing and developing within the mother’s uterus from conception until birth . Read this post to know about the safety, health benefits, nutritional value, possible side effects, and precautions one should take while consuming bananas when pregnant.

In This Article

Is It Safe To Eat Bananas During Pregnancy?

Yes, a banana is rich in nutrients, which makes it safe and healthy for pregnant women (1), as long as they are consumed in moderate portions. Bananas are an excellent source of carbohydrates, vitamins C and B, dietary fiber, essential fatty acids, and vital minerals, all of which are important for optimal fetal development. These nutrients may also facilitate healthy weight gain during pregnancy.

protip_icon Health fact
Consuming unripe bananas can lead to or aggravate pre-existing constipation (17).

Health Benefits Of Eating Bananas During Pregnancy

Here is why you need to include bananas in your pregnancy diet plan:

1. Folic acid

During pregnancy, folic acid (a form of folate), is essential for fetal brain and spinal cord development. Its deficiency will raise the risk of congenitaliA condition or trait present from birth, which may or may not be inherited disabilities and also premature delivery. Banana is a good source of folic acid and helps reduce the possibility of these problems (2).

2. Iron

During pregnancy, the need for blood increases for supporting the growth of the fetus, making anemiaiA condition wherein the blood has lower than normal red blood cells or hemoglobin one of the common prenataliThe phase during pregnancy and before childbirth issues. Bananas are loaded with iron, and can hike your iron levels and fight pregnancy anemia (3). In addition, raw bananas have a greater iron absorption percentage than cooked bananas.

3. Vitamin B6

Morning sickness or feeling nauseous is common in the first three months of pregnancy. A study by researchers from multiple organizations suggests that approximately 70% pregnant women may experience nausea and vomiting during pregnancy. Bananas are rich in vitamin B6, a vitamin that can help relieve morning sickness, especially when combined with doxylamine, which is an antihistamine (4).

4. Fiber

The dietary fiber of bananas, along with potassium, promotes digestive health and eliminates toxins from the body by fighting constipation. Also, it is a rich source of pectiniA complex polysaccharide and source of dietary fiber present in the plant cell wall that helps improve the process of digestion. Having a banana after every meal is good for regular bowel movements and it also provides constipation relief  (5).

5. Vitamin C

Bananas are rich in vitamin C, which is a great antioxidant. Antioxidants help in fighting free radical damage in the body and provide protection from cellular damage, thus helping ward off infections (6) (7).

6. Sugars

Bananas may provide pregnant women with instant energy

Image: IStock

They instantly boost your energy. The presence of simple sugars such as glucose, fructose, and sucrose play a prominent role in providing energy (8).

7. Carbs

Filled with the good kind of carbohydrates, bananas leave you feeling full and can act like a complete meal at times. It is the best food to choose whenever you feel hungry (9).

8. Potassium

Potassium is essential in controlling blood pressure fluctuations and aids in the proper functioning of muscles and nerves. Bananas are an excellent source of potassium and help the body lose sodium, a major cause of blood pressure (7).

9. Natural stress buster

Feelings of tension and apprehension are quite normal when you are pregnant. Consuming bananas works excellently in lowering your stress and anxiety levels (10).

Next, we give you a detailed account of the nutrients present in a banana.

Nutritional Value Of Bananas

According to the USDA, 100 grams of raw banana contains the following nutrients (11):

Thiamin (Vitamin B1)0.031mg
Riboflavin (Vitamin B2)0.073mg
Niacin (Vitamin B3)0.665mg
Pyridoxine (Vitamin B6)0.367mg
Folic acid (Vitamin B9)20mcg
Ascorbic acid (Vitamin C)8.7mg
Retinol (Vitamin A)64IU
Alpha-tocopherol (Vitamin E)0.10mg
Phylloquinone (Vitamin K)0.5mcg
Total saturated fatty acids0.112g
Total monounsaturated fatty acids0.032g
Total polyunsaturated fatty acids0.073g

Although bananas offer numerous benefits and nutrients, you should be mindful of how many you eat and how often you eat them during pregnancy.

How Many Bananas Can You Eat During Pregnancy?

Healthy pregnant women may eat two bananas every day

Image: IStock

A pregnant woman needs around 4,700mg of potassium per day to help maintain the balance of body fluids and electrolytes. Therefore, you may consume around one to two medium-sized bananas on a daily basis (12). They help you meet most of your nutritional requirements, and it is good to consult your doctor before planning to include them in your everyday diet.

Are There Any Side Effects Of Consuming Bananas During Pregnancy?

There are certain exceptions you need to be aware of.

  • Do not consume the fruit if you have gestational diabetes as bananas can increase the sugar levels in the body (13).
  • Some people will have allergic reactions to a latex component called chitinase, which is present in bananas (14).

Take some precautions before including bananas in your diet.

What Precautions Should You Take While Eating Bananas?

Pregnant women should not eat over-ripe bananas

Image: IStock

  • Consider organic fruit. Most banana varieties available nowadays are ripened artificially with chemicals, which may increase the risk of allergies, and respiratory problems.
  • Prefer fresh and clean bananas. Avoid the ones that have been outside for many days as they tend to attract fruit flies.
  • Do not eat overly ripened or distorted bananas.

protip_icon Caution
Refrain from eating bananas if you are allergic to latex. Your healthcare provider can confirm if you have this allergy (18).

Some Interesting Ways To Consume Bananas During Pregnancy

You can just eat the banana as it is when you feel like snacking between meals. You can also try the following ways to include them in your diet.

  • Banana smoothie: Blend a ripe banana with some low-fat milk, brown sugar or honey to make a fresh smoothie.
  • Banana cake: Mix rice powder, mashed banana and a little bit of baking soda. Add honey and any natural flavoring agent. Transfer to mold and steam for about 15 minutes for a spongy cake.
  • Banana pancakes: Combine mashed bananas, wheat flour with enough honey. Spread on a pan, have it with berry fruits or organic jam.
Banana pancakes are a healthy snack option during pregnancy

Image: IStock

  • Banana oatmeal: Add sliced bananas and chopped nuts to the oatmeal-yogurt mix to make a healthy breakfast cereal.
  • Banana walnut muffins: Mix mashed banana and walnut to muffin batter and bake the mix.
  • Banana ice cream: Mix frozen bananas with sugar-free, low-fat ice cream to enjoy on a hot day.

You can also include bananas in sandwiches, fruit salads, and other fresh fruit juices. The list of healthy snack options using bananas is simply endless.

Rose, a would-be mother, relishes a smoothie she makes by combining almond milk, cocoa powder, almond butter, and a banana during her pregnancy. She says, “I started off my day with a delicious concoction of three of my favorite things – bananas, chocolate, and almond butter. These days, I find myself craving dessert at all times of the day. This smoothie is a great, healthier way to satisfy my sweet cravings, which seem to be never-ending.”
She also offers a trick to save bananas for making smoothies. She shares, “Generally when I see that my bananas are getting pretty ripe and probably won’t get eaten or used before they are too ripe, I’ll freeze them for smoothies or “ice cream.” If you use frozen bananas, you don’t need to use as much ice (i).”

Is Red Banana Good During Pregnancy?

Consuming red bananas during pregnancy is safe

Image: IStock

Yes, red bananas are safe to consume during pregnancy as they are similar to yellow bananas in nutrition. They are abundant in caroteneiNatural pigments and vitamin A precursors found in various vegetables and fruits , vitamin C and fiber. They benefit the immune system and are good for heart health, and digestion because they are good prebiotics too (15).

These facts about bananas should convince you to include a banana in your everyday diet during pregnancy. When you’re bored of fresh fruit, try a smoothie, muffin, or cake. Keep trying different ways to enjoy this nutritious fruit every day, to boost your immune system’s health and stay strong and energetic.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Can I eat bananas in the first trimester of pregnancy?

Expecting mothers can safely eat bananas during the first trimester and throughout pregnancy unless directed otherwise by a healthcare provider. Bananas contain several nutrients that can benefit the mother and the baby.

2. Is there any connection between craving bananas during pregnancy and the baby’s gender?

Food cravings during pregnancy, including banana cravings, are usually due to different factors, such as hormonal changes, and have nothing to do with the baby’s gender (16).

3. Can I eat bananas at night when pregnant?

Hannah Whittaker, a pediatric and pregnancy dietitian from Liverpool, England, says, “Although there are no specific studies linking banana consumption in pregnant women to their sleep behavior, these fruits are a great source of tryptophan, vitamin B6, and potassium which have been linked in studies to improved sleep.”

If you have any interesting banana recipes, share them with us in the below comment section.

Infographic: Precautions To Take While Having Bananas During Pregnancy

Bananas are available worldwide and are packed with fiber, carbohydrates, vitamins, and important minerals. They can be given by expectant mothers thanks to their great nutritional value and several health advantages. However, while consuming, ensure you follow the safety measures mentioned in the infographic below.

how to eat bananas while pregnant (infographic)

Illustration: Momjunction Design Team

Key Pointers

  • Bananas are beneficial for pregnant women, as they provide essential nutrients required for proper baby development.
  • Bananas are rich in fiber, vitamin C, and folic acid.
  • To enjoy all the benefits, pregnant women may consume one to two bananas daily.
  • However, overconsumption of bananas may increase the risk of gestational diabetes.
Bananas During Pregnancy_illustration

Image: Stable Diffusion/MomJunction Design Team

Personal Experience: Source


MomJunction's articles are written after analyzing the research works of expert authors and institutions. Our references consist of resources established by authorities in their respective fields. You can learn more about the authenticity of the information we present in our editorial policy.

1. Sarah E Santiago et al.; Consumption habits of pregnant women and implications for developmental biology: a survey of predominantly Hispanic women in California; Nutr J (2013)
2. Healthy Eating for Pregnancy and Lactation; The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois (2018)
3. Olga P. García et al.; Iron absorption in raw and cooked bananas: a field study using stable isotopes in women; Food Nutr Res (2015)
4. Vitamin B6; The Office of Dietary Supplements (ODS) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) (2018)
5. Fiber: Bulk of Life; Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service, Oklahoma State University (2017)
6. Julie Garden-Robinsonb & Allison Dhuyvetter; Nourish Your Immune System (FN1773); NDSU Publications (2015)
7. Bananas need no hype to be considered good; NutritionATC University of Hawaii; 2010
8. Healthy Snacking During Pregnancy; University of Michigan Health System (UMHS) (2015)
9. Bananas; Michigan State University
10. “Your Body Is Where You Live”; A Guide to Healthy Living for People with Disabilities
11. Bananas, raw; USDA
12. Food Safety During Pregnancy; NSW Department of Primary Industries
13. Bananas; Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health (2018)
14. Ronchetti R et al.; Food allergies, cross-reactions and agroalimentary biotechnologies; Penn State University (2007)
15. Arora, Ajay & Choudhary, Divya & Agarwal, Gaurav & Singh, V; Compositional variation in β‐carotene content, carbohydrate and antioxidant enzymes in selected banana cultivars; IJFST (2008)
16. Why Pregnancy Can Make You Have Weird Cravings; Intermountain Healthcare
17. Sun Hwan Bae; Diets for Constipation; National Library of Medicine (2014)
18. Latex Allergy; ACAAI

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Celebrity nutrition advisor Dr. Shikha Sharma has founded Dr. Shikha’s Nutrihealth in 1998. Dr. Shikha has done her MBBS from Maulana Azad Medical College and holds 21 years of experience in the field of health and nutrition. Her organization, Dr. Shikha's NutriHealth, has over 50 Ayurveda experts and nutritionists who provide consultation services to the clients. The Nutrihealth expert team...read full bio