Eating unripe or green bananas has so many health benefits.
Unripe bananas are rich in potassium, magnesium, pectin, and Vitamins C and B6.
When you eat unripe bananas, it helps you to improve cholesterol, prevent certain cancers and enhance mineral absorption in the body.
In this post, we’ll discuss some of the health benefits of eating unripe and green bananas.
Furthermore, we’ll clarify when and how to eat unripe bananas.
First, let’s dive in!
What are the health benefits of unripe bananas?
1. Suppor weight loss in obese people
Unripe green bananas are rich in dietary fiber.
It takes longer to digest and remains longer in the gastrointestinal tract. This gives the feeling of satiety and fullness.
Also, unripe bananas can increase the metabolism of carbohydrates.
And this causes less accumulation of fat and increases lipolysis which assists in weight reduction.
2. May help prevent colonic cancer
Green bananas are not digested in the small intestine. Digestion happens in the large intestine.
Why is this important?
The large intestine is where the probiotic microbes of the lumen start fermenting those starches to form short-chain unsaturated fats (SCFA),
Among these, butyrate is utilized by the colonocytes and other SCFA.
Butyrate can repress the malignancy of intestinal epithelial cells (colon) and cause suppression of neoplastic cell activity.
3. Can help treat diarrhea
Diarrhea is a well-known gastrointestinal tract disease.
Studies show that green bananas are used to treat diarrheal conditions. This is also known as the green banana diet.
Here’s why that’s effective:
The resistant starch present in unripe bananas binds with the extra water present in the lumen of the intestines.
This is what gives stool its firmness and bulk. This directly helps with watery stools which is a symptom of diarrhea.
But that’s not all.
Flavonoids and saponins present in unripe bananas have an anti-diarrheal activity.
They can help treat diarrheal conditions by suppressing the motility of the intestines.
Common signs of an intestinal motility disorder include:
- Weight loss
4. May improve insulin level
Unripe banana has resistant starches (RS) in high quantity.
This RS help in lowering the blood glucose level by increasing insulin sensitivity.
Resistant starches are slowly digested and their glycemic index is low than other sources of carbohydrates.
This low glycemic property of unripe bananas results in an improved insulinemic state in patients by decreasing postprandial sugar levels.
5. Support the digestive system
Green bananas have anti-inflammatory and ulcer genic property due to the presence of phenolic compounds.
These compounds help in suppressing the production of histamines.
And this, in turn, causes the protection of gastric mucosa from the acidic environment of the stomach.
6. May improve cholesterol
Resistant starch (RS) present in green bananas (unripe) tends to have reduced amounts of:
- total fats
- high and low-density lipoproteins, and
- total cholesterol
RS can modify the low-density lipoproteins (LDL) to reduce the risk of CVD.
Also, the undigested portion of resistant starch can help lessen blood cholesterol and plasma triglycerides levels.
It does this by binding with extra cholesterol and excreting into feces.
7. Enhances mineral absorption
Research suggests that resistant starch (RS) in unripe bananas could improve the absorption of minerals.
Consider minerals such as:
- iron, and
These minerals can be absorbed in the intestines during the digestion of resistant starches.
As result, one of the important unripe banana benefits is that it considerably increases calcium and iron absorption.
What are the differences between ripe and unripe bananas?
Below are the key differences:
|Ripe Banana||Unripe Banana|
|Rich in flavor and soft textured||Bitter in taste and firm texture|
|Yellow or brown spots on a ripped banana||Appear green in color and waxy|
|Less in dietary fiber||Rich in resistant starch|
|Take less time to digest||Take more time to digest|
|The Glycemic index is high||The Glycemic index is low|
|Sugar content is high||Rich in Probiotic bacteria|
|91% is digestible sugar||Have less digestible sugar, good for diabetes type2 patients|
|Rich in antioxidants||Antioxidant level is low in unripe banana|
|Avoid giving diabetes type 2 patient||Sometimes cause bloating|
When should you eat green bananas?
- Diabetes: When you are prone to prediabetes stage or in for treatment of type 2diabetes.
- Potassium: If you have low levels of potassium, green bananas are rich in potassium
- Satiety: Unripe bananas can help you feel full and stay full longer. That also helps in weight management.
- Diarrhea: Green banana diet can help treat diarrhea.
- Constipation: You can eat green bananas to get relief from constipation. They are rich in dietary fibers and give bulk to stool and smoothness to pass out.
- Workouts: You can eat bananas before a workout they help to make you feel energetic throughout your workout session.
- IBS: Green bananas can help anyone who has IBS (irritable bowel syndrome)
How to use green banana
- You can use green bananas in smoothies or milkshakes.
- Eating unripe bananas in the form of fries is healthy or you can make green banana chips by frying or by air fryer.
- Also, you can bake green bananas just like potatoes you can have it with a pinch of spices and salt and lime juice to add the taste.
- Different desserts taste great with green bananas too. And you can add it to salads.
Unripe green bananas have many health benefits. They are rich in resistant starches (RS) which is also dietary fiber.
Unripe banana flour is also commercially used in the making of gluten-free products for a patient with celiac disease.
As we’ve discussed, eating unripe and green bananas benefits your health in so many ways.