Are bananas rich in iron?

Bananas don’t contain any significant amount of iron. However, banana-based foods, like banana flour, bread, chips, and even pie, can help us meet our daily needs of iron. They provide up to 6% of the DV per serving.

How much iron do we need?

Men need only 8 mg of iron, while women of reproductive age need at least 18 mg of iron a day. Pregnant women have much higher iron needs, though.[1]

Many women fail to get the recommended daily intake of iron, though. They may benefit from taking iron supplements. You’ll find a wide variety on iHerb.

In any case, you shouldn’t take higher doses than the maximum safe dose.

Always consult your physician before taking a supplement or changing your diet.

Do bananas have iron?

Actually, raw banana is a poor dietary source of iron. It contains only 0.26 mg of iron per 100g. A medium banana contains only 0.3 mg of iron, while a large banana contains up to 0.4 mg of iron. Hence, we can’t depend on bananas to meet our daily needs of iron. A banana can provide only 2% of the recommended daily intake.[2]

On the contrary, dehydrated banana and banana chips are excellent dietary sources of iron. They have 1.15 mg and 1.25 mg of iron per 100g, respectively. Just a small serving of 1 oz of banana chips provides 2% of the Daily Value (DV).

Banana bread is an excellent dietary source of iron as well. It has 1.4 mg of iron per 100g. Just a medium slice of banana bread provides 0.84 mg of iron, or almost 5% of the DV.

Banana has a great nutritional value, though. It’s an excellent dietary source of potassium, fiber, resistant starch, and sugars. It even contains moderate amounts of vitamin C!

Do ripe bananas have more iron?

Green, ripe and overripe bananas have a similar iron content. However, iron in overripe bananas is more bioavailable.

Is iron of banana bioavailable?

The composition of banana changes as it ripens. Green bananas are high in resistant starch, while ripe and overripe bananas are higher in sugars. During the ripening stage, insoluble starches degrade to smaller carbs. Due to ripening, iron solubility significantly increases.[3]

Resistant starch of green banana may limit iron absorption because it isn’t easily digested in the small bowel.

It’s estimated that we absorb approximately 50% of the iron of ripe or overripe bananas. We absorb less iron from green bananas.

How much iron is in other banana-based products?

Although banana is poor in iron, banana-based foods contain decent amounts of iron. Actually, they can help us meet our daily needs.

Banana chips have a much higher iron content than raw bananas. They have 1.25 mg of iron per 100g. This amount is 7% of the Daily Value (DV). Avoid consuming too many banana chips, though. They can make you gain weight, as they’re particularly high in calories. They have 519 calories per 100g.

A large serving (3 oz) of banana chips contains 1.06 mg of iron, or almost 6% of the DV.

Banana bread contains 1.4 mg of iron per 100g. A slice provides 0.84 mg of iron, or almost 5% of the DV.

Banana pie is also a good dietary source of iron. It has 1.04 mg of iron per 100g. A piece of banana pie contains 1.5 mg of iron, or 8% of the DV. On the contrary, banana pudding contains negligible amounts of iron.

Banana smoothie rich in iron

Banana may not contain any significant amount of iron, but we could add it as the key ingredient to an iron-rich smoothie.

Moreover, you should add a fruit juice high in iron, such as prune or raspberry juice. In addition, you can add many iron-rich foods, such as spinach, kale, and beet greens.

Furthermore, you could add a tbsp of honey. Honey helps increase iron levels by 20%!

Cacao powder and chocolate are also excellent dietary sources of iron.

Other foods with more iron than a banana

Vegetables rich in iron are:

  • spinach (2.7 mg),
  • beet greens (2.6 mg),
  • kale (1.6 mg),
  • arugula (1.5 mg).

Seeds are also good dietary sources of iron:

  • pumpkin seeds (8.1 mg),
  • hemp seeds (8 mg),
  • sesame seeds (7.8 mg),
  • chia seeds (7.7 mg),
  • flaxseeds (5.73 mg),
  • sunflower seeds (5.2 mg).

Dried fruits with decent amounts of iron are:

  • goji berries (6.8 mg),
  • raisins (2.6 mg),
  • figs (2 mg),
  • dates (0.9 mg).