Bananas And Their Preventive Role Against Strokes


Bananas are a nutritional powerhouse that helps reduce the risk of stroke.3 They provide essential nutrients like potassium, fibre, antioxidants, and vitamins that contribute to a healthy diet.14 In this article, we will explore the benefits of adding bananas to your diet and how it can be effective to prevent strokes and protect your overall health.

Definition of stroke

It is concerning when a part of the brain does not receive enough blood supply, leading to a stroke. A stroke is a serious medical emergency that occurs when a part of the brain does not get enough blood.1,18 This can be caused by either a blood clot or a weakened blood vessel that bursts and blocks the flow of blood to the brain.1 To avoid this, it is important to take steps to address the underlying causes that can lead to a stroke.1,18

Importance of stroke prevention

Considering this, it is important to note that the World Health Organisation (WHO) report highlights the potential benefits of increasing dietary potassium intake in reducing the risk of stroke.2 The evidence supporting this is growing, making it something worth considering if you are Aiming for a healthier lifestyle.3

The role of diet in stroke prevention

For quite some time, it has been understood that the ratio of sodium to potassium in the body can indicate how well blood pressure is regulated, along with the associated risk of stroke.3 While we often hear about the need to decrease our sodium intake from public health campaigns, increasing our potassium intake can also be helpful.3

Therefore, it is essential to keep our sodium-to-potassium balance in check for good blood pressure regulation and to reduce the risk of stroke. It is good to keep this in mind when considering our overall health.3

Nutritional composition of bananas

Overview of bananas

‘‘Did you know that bananas are one of the most consumed fruits in the world and are packed with essential nutrients?3 Additionally, bananas are not just tasty, but also convenient and portable snacks that you can enjoy anywhere, anytime, on the go.’’4

Key nutrients in bananas

It is fascinating how bananas are incredibly nutritious, rich in potassium with high levels of fibre, vitamins, and minerals, make them an excellent addition to a balanced and healthy diet.14 

The connection between potassium and stroke prevention

Taking care of our health is crucial, and Kim's study highlights the connection between high blood pressure and the likelihood of suffering a stroke.5 It is certainly reassuring to know that by managing our blood pressure, we can reduce this risk.

Moreover, research has shown that including potassium-rich fruits like bananas in our diet can also lower the chances of a stroke.6 That 'is why it is advisable to eat at least five servings of fruits and vegetables each day to reap these benefits. Let us prioritise our health and well-being by making these positive choices.6

Furthermore, our health should be a priority, and we can reduce the risk of having a stroke by taking certain steps.7 Studies suggest that adding more fibre into our diets can be incredibly helpful in this regard.8 Increasing our fibre intake represents a good first step, but further research is needed to understand how different types of fibre affect the risk of ischemic and hemorrhagic strokes.7

It is important to stay informed about the latest research and continue to prioritise our health and the health of those around us.7,8

Fibre in bananas: impact on stroke prevention

Fibre and blood cholesterol levels

Studies have investigated the potential benefits of adding dietary fibre to your meals. It appears that fiber works by binding to cholesterol molecules in your digestive tract, preventing them from entering into your bloodstream.9,10 So, eating more fibre may aid in excreting excess cholesterol and prevent the absorption of dietary cholesterol.1,9,10

Aim to consume 25-30 grams of total dietary fibre daily, to regulate blood sugar levels, which could help improve cholesterol levels.1 However, several studies have found insufficient evidence to support the notion that fibre reduces cholesterol levels. Thus, before making any significant dietary changes, it is always a good idea to speak with a healthcare professional.1,9 They can provide personalised advice that suits your needs.1

How bananas contribute to fibre intake

As we now know, bananas are a reliable source of dietary fibre.4 They contain both soluble and insoluble fibre, which contribute to promoting a healthy heart, maintain blood sugar levels, aid digestion, and help control appetite.11,12 The fibre content may vary depending on the ripeness of the banana, but they remain a highly convenient and portable source of fibre that can be easily include into your diet.13 To increase your fibre intake, consider adding other fibre-rich foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, and nuts.1,3,9

Other nutrients in bananas and their potential benefits

It is truly fascinating to discover the abundance of goodness packed into a humble banana! These yellow wonders are rich in essential nutrients that can work wonders for our overall health.14 For instance, did you know that bananas are chock-full of antioxidants like dopamine and catechins?

These mighty defenders can help combat oxidative stress and lower the risk of chronic illnesses.3,4 And let's not forget about vitamin C, which plays a crucial role in strengthening our immune system, promoting healthy skin, and aiding in wound healing.15 This vital nutrient acts as an antioxidant that shields our bodies from damage caused by free radicals and helps us absorb iron from plant-based foods.15

What's more, vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine) is a true superstar when it comes to brain development and function. It plays a crucial role in the production of neurotransmitters like serotonin, which can enhance our mood and reduce our risk of depression.16 Additionally, it helps us convert food into energy.4 And let's not forget about magnesium, another essential nutrient that supports our muscle and nerve function, bone health, and metabolism.16

Magnesium plays a key role in regulating our blood sugar levels and blood pressure too.16 So, the next time you reach for a banana, know that you are doing your body a world of good!4

Incorporating bananas into a stroke-preventive diet

Recommended daily Intake of bananas

As they say, everything should be consumed in moderation. So, it’s best to listen to your body and make dietary choices that align with your health and nutrition goals.4 A medium-sized banana typically has around 105-120 calories and provides various nutrients.3 Adding one or two bananas to your daily fruit intake is a wise decision.1

Remember to consume a diverse range of fruits and vegetables to ensure you're getting a wide variety of vitamins and minerals.4 Bananas should be part of a balanced diet that includes other fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats.9 

Consult a medical professional or registered dietitian for customised dietary recommendations if you have specific dietary restrictions or health conditions.1

Healthy banana recipes

If you're looking for a fruit to add versatility to your diet, bananas are an excellent choice.17 They're not only delicious but also incredibly nutritious and can be used in a variety of healthy recipes. If you are interested, here is a straightforward and healthy recipe featuring bananas.17

Combining bananas with other stroke-preventive foods

Caring for your heart is essential for a happy and fulfilling life. By keeping a balanced diet and incorporating stroke-preventive foods, you can give your heart the care it deserves.4 Here are some ideas on how to combine bananas with other heart-healthy foods to create delicious and nutritious meals: 

  • Try blending a
    • banana with berries
    • spinach or kale
    • flaxseeds or chia seeds for a smoothie17 
  • Add sliced banana to oatmeal for a fibre-rich breakfast, or layer it with Greek yoghurt for a protein-packed snack
  • Spread natural nut butter on banana slices for a nutritious treat17 
  • Top whole-grain toast with banana slices and cinnamon for a snack that regulates blood pressure and cholesterol.17 Additionally, remember to stay active, manage stress, and avoid smoking and excessive alcohol consumption1 
  • Consult a healthcare provider or registered dietitian for personalised advice on stroke prevention1

Potential considerations and precautions

Important! When adding bananas to your daily diet, it is imperative to take into account your individual needs and goals.1 It is crucial to keep track of your calorie and carbohydrate intake, as well as your potassium levels, to ensure you are consuming an appropriate amount of banana.3

Moreover, if you have a latex allergy, it is best to consult with a healthcare provider before adding bananas to your diet.4 In addition, it is essential to include a variety of foods in your meals and ensure that they are well-balanced. Portion control and meal timing are also critical factors to consider.1

Finally, if you have any medical conditions, it is vital to seek the advice of a registered dietitian or healthcare professional before making any dietary changes.1,4 Personalising your consumption and seeking guidance from professionals can assist you in achieving your goals and maintaining optimal health.1


It is important to remember that bananas can play a crucial role in preventing strokes.14 They are filled with potassium, fibre, vitamins, and antioxidants.3 But, it is also important to prioritise other healthy habits like exercise, routine check-ups, and a balanced diet to keep our bodies in decent shape.1,18 By working together and supporting research, we can help reduce the number of strokes that occur.3 Let us not forget about the mighty banana and its role in promoting a healthy lifestyle.14


This article highlights the significant role that bananas can play in stroke prevention by providing essential nutrients such as potassium, fibre, antioxidants, and vitamins. It emphasises the importance of a well-balanced diet in reducing the risk of stroke and discusses how potassium-rich foods like bananas can contribute to blood pressure regulation.

Additionally, the article offers practical tips on incorporating bananas into a stroke-preventive diet and encourages individualised dietary choices while considering health goals and restrictions. In conclusion, it underscores the need for ongoing research and awareness to collectively reduce the occurrence of strokes and acknowledges the valuable contribution of bananas to a healthy lifestyle.


  1. [Internet]. 2017 [cited 2023 Oct 2]. Stroke. Available from:
  2. World Health Organization. Meeting report: autism spectrum disorders and other developmental disorders: from raising awareness to building capacity: World Health Organization, Geneva, Switzerland 16-18 September 2013 [Internet]. Geneva: World Health Organization; 2013 [cited 2023 Oct 2]. 36 p. Available from:
  3. Hunt BD, Cappuccio FP. Potassium intake and stroke risk: a review of the evidence and practical considerations for achieving a minimum target. Stroke [Internet]. 2014 May [cited 2023 Oct 2];45(5):1519–22. Available from:
  4. Chung A. Banana health pros and cons [Internet]. 2023 [cited 2023 Oct 2]. Available from:
  5. Kim TH, Yang PS, Yu HT, Jang E, Shin H, Kim HY, et al. Effect of hypertension duration and blood pressure level on ischaemic stroke risk in atrial fibrillation: nationwide data covering the entire Korean population. Eur Heart J. 2019 Mar 7;40(10):809–19.
  6. He FJ, Nowson CA, MacGregor GA. Fruit and vegetable consumption and stroke: meta-analysis of cohort studies. Lancet. 2006 Jan 28;367(9507):320–6.
  7. Threapleton DE, Greenwood DC, Evans CEL, Cleghorn CL, Nykjaer C, Woodhead C, et al. Dietary fibre intake and risk of first stroke: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Stroke. 2013 May;44(5):1360–8.
  8. Evans CEL. Dietary fibre and cardiovascular health: a review of current evidence and policy. Proceedings of the Nutrition Society [Internet]. 2020 Feb [cited 2023 Oct 3];79(1):61–7. Available from:
  9. Linakis MW, Gustafson P, Allen BC, Bachand AM, Van Landingham C, Keast DR, et al. Is the cholesterol-perfluoroalkyl substance association confounded by dietary fiber intake?: a Bayesian analysis of NHANES data with adjustment for measurement error in fiber intake. Environ Health [Internet]. 2022 Nov 22 [cited 2023 Oct 3];21:114. Available from:
  10. Suwarni S, Wiralis W, Sari GGA. Association between fat and fiber intake and cholesterol levels in patients with coronary heart disease: A cross-sectional study in Southeast Sulawesi, Indonesia. Public Health of Indonesia [Internet]. 2023 Mar 1 [cited 2023 Oct 3];9(1). Available from:
  11. Wang M, Yang F, Yan X, Chao X, Zhang W, Yuan C, et al. Anti‐diabetic effect of banana peel dietary fibers on type 2 diabetic mellitus mice induced by streptozotocin and high‐sugar and high‐fat diet. Journal of Food Biochemistry [Internet]. 2022 Oct [cited 2023 Oct 3];46(10). Available from:
  12. Costa ES, França CN, Fonseca FAH, Kato JT, Bianco HT, Freitas TT, et al. Beneficial effects of green banana biomass consumption in patients with pre-diabetes and type 2 diabetes: a randomised controlled trial. British Journal of Nutrition [Internet]. 2019 Jun [cited 2023 Oct 3];121(12):1365–75. Available from:
  13. Phillips KM, McGinty RC, Couture G, Pehrsson PR, McKillop K, Fukagawa NK. Dietary fiber, starch, and sugars in bananas at different stages of ripeness in the retail market. PLoS One [Internet]. 2021 Jul 8 [cited 2023 Oct 3];16(7):e0253366. Available from:
  14. Gramling J. Can bananas prevent strokes? Medical Update [Internet]. 1998 Nov 1 [cited 2023 Oct 3];22(5):5–6. Available from:
  15. Rihayat T, Suryani, Siregar JP, Zaimahwati, Salmyah, Helmi, et al. Wound dressing based on banana peels waste and chitosan by strengthening lignin as wound healing medicine. IOP Conf Ser: Mater Sci Eng [Internet]. 2019 Apr 1 [cited 2023 Oct 3];506(1):012056. Available from:
  16. Nadeeshani H, Samarasinghe G, Silva R, Hunter D, Madhujith T. Proximate composition, fatty acid profile, vitamin and mineral content of selected banana varieties grown in Sri Lanka. Journal of Food Composition and Analysis [Internet]. 2021 Jul 1 [cited 2023 Oct 3];100:103887. Available from:
  17. BBC Good Food [Internet]. [cited 2023 Oct 3]. Healthy banana recipes. Available from:
This content is purely informational and isn’t medical guidance. It shouldn’t replace professional medical counsel. Always consult your physician regarding treatment risks and benefits. See our editorial standards for more details.

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Omoteniola Olufon

MPharm, IP, University of Hertfordshire, England

Teni Olufon is a seasoned clinical pharmacist and independent prescriber with several years of clinical and management roles across diverse healthcare settings. With years of experience in patient and public health advocacy, she has since carved a niche for herself in the realm of contributing to writing evidence-based informations and policies to support patient care.

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