Banana is considered to be the most delicious and nutrient-rich fruit. And you can eat this fruit in many forms, be it smoothies, fruit salads, chips, or even green bananas. Although some people dislike its text and texture, did you know that the many health benefits of green bananas can turn your life around?
Not many people know that green bananas are a power-packed source of energy, vitamins, minerals, and sugars that act like fiber, Priya Palan, Dietitian, Zen Multispeciality Hospital tells HealthShots. That means you can enjoy a host of benefits, including improved digestion, weight management, good heart health, and controlled blood sugar levels.
Green bananas are also known as raw bananas and because they are typically harvested while they’re still green they are known as green bananas. The plus point of green bananas is they have an appetite-reducing effect due to their high content of fiber and resistant starch.
“Raw bananas can help keep gut bacteria healthy. It contains resistant starch, a type of carbohydrate that “resists” digestion in the small intestine and acts as a food for the growth of gut-friendly microbes in the digestive system. It can also increase the production of short-chain fatty acids (SCFA), which are important for digestive health. Studies have shown the potential use of SCFA in the treatment of ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease, and antibiotic-associated diarrhoea, says Palan.
Just like ripe bananas, green bananas are helpful for your heart health. “Excellent source of potassium, a vital mineral that helps the muscles contract and heart to beat regularly. It also helps to control blood pressure,” says Palan.
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“The high fiber content of raw bananas helps to manage cholesterol,” says Palan. Because raw bananas are rich in fiber it can be helpful in keeping your blood sugar level under control. Furthermore, it can help in controlling cholesterol levels when consumed regularly.
Provides bulk and can promote satiety or feeling of fullness.
The major difference between green and ripe bananas is that the carbs in green bananas are mainly in the form of starch. It gradually turns to sugar during the ripening process which is why most people prefer to eat ripe bananas because they are sweeter. Due to that, green bananas are very beneficial for diabetes. The carbs in green bananas come mainly from starch rather than sugar thus they have a lower glycemic index than ripe bananas. And you know that a lower glycemic index will raise your blood sugar more slowly than high glycemic index food.
Palan says, “They are a boon for diabetics as they fall into the category of low glycemic index (GI) foods. Foods with less GI can help one maintain blood sugar levels in the recommended range. But the Glycemic load is a more specific measure that accounts for not only a glycemic index but also the amount of carbohydrate in one serving of food. Raw bananas have a moderate glycemic load, however, the type of carbohydrates in bananas is resistant starch which functions similar to fiber and is not broken down in the small intestine and releases glucose slowly into the bloodstream.”
But those with diabetes will have to eat them in limited quantities as suggested by the expert.
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