Bananas: When They Heal, When They Harm

18Jan

BANANA is an elongated fruit from the genus Musa. A single banana weighs around 83 grams and contains approximately 105 Kcal, 1.2 g protein, and 2.7 g fiber.

Banana is rich in potassium. One ripe banana contains around 450 mg of potassium. Potassium helps in maintaining good heart health, promotes bone mineralization, and helps kidneys in calcium reabsorption.

Health Benefits of Green Bananas

  • 80 % of green bananas are composed of starch.
  • Green bananas are low in glycemic index as compared to ripe bananas which have a higher glycemic index.
  • The starch found in green bananas is resistant starch, which means it is not digested by the digestive juices and is passed as such through the colon, which makes it a good source of prebiotics. Being beneficial for good bacteria of the gut, it promotes the growth of these good bacteria and hence maintains good gut health.
  • As green bananas are a good source of resistant starch, they promote satiety for a longer period. Due to this reason, the flour made up by drying up the slices of green bananas is used in making smoothies, pancakes, mixed-in cake batters, used in gluten-free cooking, etc.
  • Since the resistant starch is higher in green bananas, their flour and the banana itself are ideal for diabetics to eat.

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Ripe Bananas/Yellow Bananas

The resistant starch found in yellow bananas is somewhat lower as compared to that found in green bananas.

  • These have around 250 mg potassium which is good for bone health because it promotes mineralisation of bones.
  • Ripe bananas have a higher glycemic index, which makes them an ideal post-workout snack.
  • People who feel bloated after consuming green bananas can try yellow bananas instead because these have a lesser percentage of resistant starch. This resistant starch is responsible for the formation of gases in the colon after being fermented by the gut bacteria.
  • Yellow banana’s glycemic index is higher as compared to green bananas, which means their starch has been converted into simple sugars, which don’t stay in the gut and are readily absorbed in the intestine. This prevents the person from being bloated after consuming yellow bananas.

Fully Ripe Brown Bananas

As the banana ripens, only 1% starch is left and the rest of the starch gets converted into sugar. This makes brown bananas a good pre- as well as post-workout snack.

  • These bananas have a high glycaemic index, which means that people who have a high fasting blood glucose level, must avoid brown bananas.
  • These bananas can be used for baking as they are high in simple sugars.
  • Brown bananas are rich sources of antioxidants, so these are best to be consumed as such or as a pre and post-workout snack because consuming them as fruit will allow us to have most of its anti-oxidants.

Conclusion

Bananas are one of the healthiest and most commonly consumed fruits all over the world. It has many nutrients like vitamins, potassium, antioxidants, catechin, dopamine, etc. It helps in the maintenance of the heart and digestive health. But this fruit should be consumed in moderation by the people who are suffering from diabetes because fully ripened banana causes a spike in blood glucose levels.

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