Bananas In Maintaining Optimal Vision

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The eyes are one of the sensory organs of the human body responsible for seeing.1 The importance of maintaining good vision health cannot be overestimated as the eyes are paramount to the optimal efficiency of the body. 

Eating foods that are good for your vision is a natural and healthier way to improve and maintain optimal eyesight. There are various fruits filled with nutrients that can aid your vision and prevent various eye issues. 

In this article, we will discuss how bananas, a common fruit found worldwide, have an impact on maintaining optimal vision.

Nutrients in bananas beneficial for eye health

Banana is one of the most cultivated tropical fruits in the world. There are over 100 varieties of bananas produced around the world but Musa Cavendish takes about 45% of the worldwide scale. Bananas are widely cultivated due to their high production per hectare, they get exposed to mechanical damage and are easily perishable.2 

This tropical food is widely liked by adults and children but only a few are aware of the nutrients packed in the green fruit! 

Vitamin A content in bananas

Vitamin A belongs to the fat-soluble vitamins, a class of essential micronutrients that our bodies cannot make on their own and rely on getting it elsewhere. Banana is an excellent source of Vitamin A that can be incorporated into our daily nutrients due to their availability regardless of the season of the year.3

Vitamin A helps in immune functions and maintaining eye vision. It contains retinol, an important biochemical active compound required by the retina in our eyes to see. The retina is primarily the part of the human eyes responsible for vision.

How is the vitamin A in the body utilized?

When you eat a banana, the vitamin A found in bananas is found as retinol in the body. The retina of the eye picks up retinol and converts it to retinal, this is used as part of the pigment required by the eyes to see in low-light conditions. The pigment termed rhodopsin enables you to see clearly when your room’s bulb is dull. The less the amount of rhodopsin present in your eyes, the less your ability to see in low light, this condition is referred to as night blindness.4

According to the World Health Organization, 250,000 - 500,000 children who are Vitamin A deficient become blind every year, and half of them die within 12 months of losing their sight. Vitamin A deficiency is the number one culprit of preventable vision loss and the collective degenerative conditions in the maintenance of linings and coverings of the eyes as a result of this are clinically termed xerophthalmia.5

Lutein and zeaxanthin in bananas

Lutein and Zeaxanthin are carotenoid pigments found in common foods and fruits like bananas. They constitute the main pigment found in the yellow spot of our retina which protects the macula from damage by blue light. 

They filter out radiation from sunlight and help protect our eyes from oxidation. They are also found in leafy vegetables. Lutein and Zeaxanthin help to reduce and prevent cataracts and age-related macular degeneration.6

How many bananas should I consume daily?

While the key nutrients of bananas have been highlighted, moderation is key in nutrition. 1-2 bananas are generally recommended for daily intake. Vitamin A is actively stored in the body and is not required and clinically advised to regularly store up daily as the body creates a store for it. Also, bananas contain carbohydrates, and excess additional calories than required can lead to overnutrition.

A medium-sized, fresh banana (118 grams) has the following nutrients:7

  • Calories: 105
  • Carbs: 27 grams (g)
  • Fiber: 3 g
  • Fat: 0.3 g
  • Protein: 1 g
  • Vitamin C: 10 milligrams (mg) or 11% of the Daily Value (DV)
  • Vitamin B6: 0.43 mg or 25% of DV
  • Potassium: 422 mg or 9% of DV
  • Manganese: 0.32 mg or 14% of DV
  • Magnesium: 32 mg or 8% of DV

What are the anti-inflammatory effects of bananas in optimal vision?

Bananas have bioactive compounds in abundance which include flavonoids, polyphenols, and Vitamin C which collectively contribute to their potent anti-inflammatory effects.

These antioxidants neutralize free radicals and prevent anti-inflammation in the eyes. Reducing inflammation further strengthens eye health by preventing eye disorders. Further research has shown that banana peels have anti-inflammatory effects even for acne.8

Hypertension impacts on eye health

Elevated blood pressure has various effects on the body systems including the retina found in our eyes. The retina vessels get damaged when your high blood pressure is elevated leading to a condition called Hypertensive Retinopathy.9

A medium-sized banana contains 422 mg of Potassium. Potassium helps to balance sodium in the body, in a Na+/K pump, one key factor in maintaining blood pressure. The consumption of potassium-rich foods, such as bananas, helps to prevent hypertension and its associated complications, creating a bedrock for cardiovascular health.

“An apple a day keeps a doctor away but a banana a day definitely assists in decreasing your visit time at the optometry clinic!” 

Creative ways you can incorporate bananas into your diet

Strengthening your vision health shouldn't make you eat diets that are vision-centric, a diet should be an all-rounder ensuring that all of your body is performing wholly and effectively. 

Banana is a round food and can be eaten alone as a snack but if you are looking for more ways to make it creative while meeting your required needs, here are some food recipes for you!10

  1. Smoothie: Banana adds creaminess to smoothies, you can chop one or two into your smoothie recipe. A twist won't hurt!
  2. Banana bread: A classic twist to our favorite pastry. Incorporate banana into your dough and bake!
  3. Banana nut muffins: This treat is amazing and encompasses the required set of nutrients you want
  4. Banana oat: Slice some banana into your morning oat and you have an amazing savor of flavor and nutrients to keep you for the day
  5. Fruit salad: What’s a fruit salad without our legendary bananas? Don't hesitate to chop up a banana when next you're having a bowl of delicacy!
  6. Banana ice-cream: Blend some frozen bananas into your ice cream. Take some solace in the cold treat while blessing your eyes!
  7. Simple snack: Finally, you could enjoy taking it alone and that's no crime! Peel one and enjoy it before/after a meal or simply when you crave it

Potential risks and considerations when consuming bananas

Banana is widely found and while beneficial may be harmful to some certain individuals due to their allergy to bananas. 

Banana allergy is a form of food allergy that occurs when the body's immune system identifies bananas as a threat. A banana allergy occurs as part of pollen allergy or latex syndrome.11

Pollen allergy

Individuals with pollen allergy react to pollen in grass or weeds, these pollen are similar to certain proteins found in foods, hence the individual body releasing histamine at the sight of a banana. 

Latex allergy

Individuals with latex allergy are allergic to rubber latex. There's a similarity between proteins in latex and proteins found in bananas.

Symptoms of banana allergy

Various symptoms that will tell if you're allergic to bananas after taking one are:

  • Itching of mouth and throat
  • Itching rashes (hives)
  • Smelling of skin(angioedema)

Pollen/latex allergy are two major indicators of banana allergy, some individuals are not allergic to both but still are allergic to bananas. These people show a serious set of symptoms termed the ABC symptoms. They are:

  • Airway symptoms: Swollen throat, tongue, and upper airways causing tightening in the throat and swallowing difficulty
  • Breathing: Breathing difficulty
  • Circulation: Tiredness, Dizziness, and Loss of consciousness

To best ascertain if you have a banana allergy, see your GP to direct you to an allergy clinic if needed. In lieu, here are some ways to manage banana allergy.

Managing banana allergy

  • Take cognizance of what you eat, check your salad, smoothies, fruit drinks, pastry, or anything consumable if they contain bananas
  • Check drug prescriptions if they have banana or its substitute as a constituent
  • Be careful of personal care products that have bananas listed as an ingredient

Moderation in consumption of bananas to avoid excessive nutrient intake

Just with other food/fruit nutrient intake, moderation is key. Bananas should be moderately consumed to avoid overnutrition. Possible complications from excessive banana intake are:12

  • Hyperkalemia: Bananas are rich in potassium and excess potassium in the body can lead to hyperkalemia which can lead to serious heart problems
  • Chronic kidney issue: According to the National Kidney Foundation, it is advisable to limit potassium intake to manage chronic kidney issues and create diet plans during dialysis treatment

Consultation with a healthcare professional for personalized advice on vision and banana consumption

For personalized nutritional advice for your vision health, you can consult your GP for personal assessment and medical advice. 


Banana is a tropical and convenient fruit bountifully rich in vitamin A, lutein, zeaxanthin, and antioxidants which help improve vision health and overall body efficiency.

It is important to prioritize your eyes, keep your world in focus, and invest in reaping a lifetime of clear vision. 

Take a banana a day to keep blindness and degenerative eye conditions at bay. You deserve your healthy eyes till the end of your time! Prioritize your health today!


  1. Marzvanyan, Anna, and Ali F. Alhawaj. ‘Physiology, Sensory Receptors’. StatPearls, StatPearls Publishing, 2023. PubMed,
  2. Falcomer, Ana Luisa, et al. ‘Health Benefits of Green Banana Consumption: A Systematic Review’. Nutrients, vol. 11, no. 6, May 2019, p. 1222. PubMed Central,
  3. Sajovic, Jana, et al. ‘The Role of Vitamin A in Retinal Diseases’. International Journal of Molecular Sciences, vol. 23, no. 3, Jan. 2022, p. 1014. PubMed Central,
  4. ‘8.3: Vitamin A and Vision’. Medicine LibreTexts, 6 Apr. 2020,
  5. Vitamin A Deficiency. Accessed 10 Nov. 2023
  6. Abdel-Aal, El-Sayed M., et al. ‘Dietary Sources of Lutein and Zeaxanthin Carotenoids and Their Role in Eye Health’. Nutrients, vol. 5, no. 4, Apr. 2013, pp. 1169–85. PubMed Central,
  7. FoodData Central. Accessed 10 Nov. 2023.
  8. Savitri, Dwiana, et al. ‘Anti-Inflammatory Effects of Banana (Musa Balbisiana) Peel Extract on Acne Vulgaris: In Vivo and in Silico Study’. Journal of Taibah University Medical Sciences, vol. 18, no. 6, July 2023, pp. 1586–98. PubMed Central,
  9. Modi, Pranav, and Tasneem Arsiwalla. ‘Hypertensive Retinopathy’. StatPearls, StatPearls Publishing, 2023. PubMed,
  10. Bananas for Eye Health. Accessed 10 Nov. 2023.
  11. ‘Banana Allergy’. Anaphylaxis UK, Accessed 10 Nov. 2023.
  12. ‘What Happens to Your Body When You Eat Bananas Every Day’. EatingWell, Accessed 10 Nov. 2023.

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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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Taofeekat Oladipo

BSc Biochemistry - University of Ibadan, Nigeria

With extensive practical and theoretical expertise in Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, Nutrition, and Financial Operations Coordination, Taofeekat brings a wealth of knowledge to the table. My extensive scientific knowledge, data analysis, comprehensive reporting abilities, and clear communication skills led me to the scientific endeavor of medical communication.

I'm all for medical information accessibility for all and I've had several years of experience in writing and accurate speaking. I am continuously passionate about contributing my quota in the realm of medical writing.

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