Although ripe bananas taste better, raw bananas can increase the rate of fat burning. This NutriNeat article describes how the nutritional elements present in green bananas promote weight loss and improve overall health.
Did You Know?
Monkeys do not peel bananas from the stem downward. They peel it from the opposite end. This is actually the correct way of peeling a banana, as then you don’t have to separately remove the little ‘strings’ that show up when you peel it from the stem. This way, they easily come off with the peel, and you can use the stem to hold the banana.
Ripened bananas are consumed by all as they are soft and sweet. Unfortunately, usually, no one thinks of eating a green or raw banana, which, in fact, is incredibly nutritious. It is rich in vitamins, minerals, and fiber. It is low in sugar as compared to the ripe, yellow banana. Its powerful ingredients can improve one’s health in an amazing way. You can eat it raw or cooked. These days, green banana flour is also available in the market, which can be used in different ways in various dishes.
Green Banana Nutrition Facts
|Raw Banana, Serving Size: 100 g|
|Total lipid (fat)||0.33 g|
|Total Dietary Fiber||2.6 g|
|Total Sugars||12.23 g|
|Vitamin C||8.7 mg|
|Vitamin B6||0.367 mg|
|Vitamin A, RAE||3 µg|
|Vitamin A, IU||64 IU|
|Vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol)||0.10 mg|
|Vitamin K||0.5 µg|
|Total Saturated Fatty Acids||0.112 g|
|Total Monounsaturated Fatty Acids||0.032 g|
|Total Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids||0.073 g|
Health Benefits of Resistant Starch
One medium, peeled, raw (slightly green) banana contains 4.7 g of resistant starch called RS2. As the name suggests, it resists digestion in the small intestine, and passes through the large intestine. There, it works like dietary fiber, and offers some of the benefits of both insoluble and soluble fiber. It helps maintain colon health, thus improving digestive health. The recommended daily intake of resistant starch is 20 grams, and 1 lb bag of green banana flour contains around 175 g of RS2.
✦ Unripe bananas, being rich in resistant starch, don’t lead to abnormal rise in blood sugar levels. The starch helps maintain normal blood sugar levels by increasing insulin sensitivity in both healthy and diabetic individuals. It improves insulin secretion in insulin resistant adults. Animal studies show that the starch can help improve the glycemic health of a baby if the mother consumes it during pregnancy.
✦ Green bananas don’t trigger hunger. As they keep one satiated, they help reduce appetite, which is essential if you want to lose weight.
✦ Moreover, the starch promotes release of the hormone glucagon, which encourages fast burning of fat. Studies suggest that it also prevents weight regain in high fat diets.
✦ It helps reduce the symptoms of diarrhea.
✦ It acts like a mild laxative and helps maintain ‘regularity’. It promotes the growth of healthy bacteria in the bowels, and this increased bacterial mass is responsible for bulking effects.
✦ The starch exhibits anti-carcinogenic and anti-inflammatory properties which help prevent colon cancer (colorectal cancer). It works great for ulcerative colitis too.
✦ Animal studies show that the starch helps maintain eye health as well.
✦ When high glycemic starch and resistant starch were fed to two groups of aged animals, the animals who were fed resistant starch showed improved motor coordination and increased food intake after fasting.
✦ The starch, when consumed in sufficient amount, raises the level of short chain fatty acids (SCFAs) which nourish the cells in the lining of the small intestine. This promotes more mineral absorption, especially calcium and magnesium.
✦ When included in a meal, it ensures less fat storage after that meal. Slow digestion means slow absorption of calories. Thus, it helps maintain the weight within normal range.
✦ It promotes low cholesterol and low triglyceride levels.
✦ It reduces the chances of having gallstones and kidney stones.
Health Benefits of Potassium
Green bananas are loaded with potassium, an essential mineral.
✦ Potassium helps maintain normal blood pressure. This in turn helps maintain kidney health. High blood pressure can affect kidney functioning seriously, and it can also lead to a stroke and heart disease.
✦ Although potassium cannot prevent or reverse a heart disease, it is essential for proper functioning of the heart. It plays an important role in the functioning of the muscles and nerves. It works great for heart rhythm problems.
✦ Studies show that a high potassium diet helps lower cholesterol levels.
Health Benefits of Vitamin B6
✦ This vitamin plays an important role in the synthesis of protein from amino acids. As protein is essential for muscle mass and strength, this fruit can be a healthy addition to any diet.
✦ Strong muscles help preserve the metabolic rate and help maintain weight.
✦ The vitamin also aids in the production of hemoglobin.
Health Benefits of Vitamin C
✦ This is an antioxidant vitamin, and it helps cancel the adverse effects of free radicals. It enhances the functioning of the immune system, and protects one from various infections and diseases, including cancer.
Though the health Benefits of green bananas are many, one needs to remember that, as they contain resistant starch, excessive consumption may lead to bloating, gas, and stomach pain. You could start with a small quantity, and increase it slowly and steadily.