Bananas are popular with many athletes. Their convenience combined with their high nutrient content makes them a great snack choice, and they've actually been found to fuel performance as well as sports drinks when consumed during a long workout. Also, many people enjoy the taste, which is another reason sports dietitians and coaches frequently recommend bananas as a smart choice for athletes.
But not everyone loves bananas. In fact, some people hate bananas. Whether because of their texture, their taste or their effect on the stomach, bananas are simply out of the question for many people. Are these people doomed to a life of subpar nutrition and potassium deficiency? Not quite. Luckily for the banana haters, another fruit offers many of the same benefits and can serve as an awesome substitute.
Goodbye Bananas, Hello Kiwis
If you can't stand bananas but want to reap their nutritional benefits, kiwis are the food for you. The taste of kiwi has been compared to strawberries, melons and nectarines. Like bananas, kiwis can be enjoyed on their own or eaten with a wide variety of dishes. They are a great addition to cereal, oatmeal, parfaits, yogurt, salads, smoothies and desserts. You can eat kiwi with the skin on (like you would an apple); the skin is edible and rich in fiber and vitamin C. Or, you can go the traditional route by either peeling the skin off or cutting the fruit in half and scooping out the innards like a grapefruit.
Their convenience and diversity make kiwis great, but the fact that kiwi nutrition closely mirrors that of bananas is what really makes them a smart swap. Here are t the nutritional facts for one medium banana and serving of kiwi:
One medium banana: 105 calories, 12% DV potassium, 27 grams of carbohydrate, 12% DV fiber, 14 grams of sugar, 17% DV Vitamin C, 20% DV Vitamin B-6, 8% DV Magnesium
One NLEA serving of kiwi: 90 calories, 13% DV potassium, 22 grams of carbohydrate, 17% DV fiber, 13 grams of sugar, 228% DV Vitamin C, 5% DV Vitamin B-6, 6% DV Magnesium
As you can see, the two fruits are comparable in almost every major nutrient. One key difference is the amount of vitamin C. A serving of kiwi packs over 13 times as much as a medium banana. Bananas have long been associated with potassium, but a serving of kiwi actually contains slightly more. Their comparable carb content means that kiwis, like bananas, are a solid choice for simple carbs if you're looking for a quick burst of energy.
If you're a banana hater looking for a substitute, kiwi is the perfect fruit for you. Other fruits that contain nutrients similar to bananas include cantaloupes and mangos.
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