Bananas are fruits which are both healthy and tasty to eat. They are packed with some of the most essential vitamins and minerals. Most people prefer eating bananas when they are fully ripe and yellow. But did you know it’s also an option to eat green, unripe bananas?
Though they are not for everyone, as some find their texture and taste to be off-putting. Let us take a deeper look at the differences between green and yellow bananas, shall we?
These fruits are usually harvested while they are still greenish in color. This is to ensure they don’t become too ripe before one buys them. You may notice some of them have yet to turn green when you’re browsing for bananas in your supermarket.
But their color is not the only thing that differentiates them from the yellow kind. Other differences include:
One more thing: Unlike their yellow counterparts, green bananas are usually harder to peel.
Green bananas, like we mentioned, are mostly made up of starch (about 70-80% of their dry weight). A great deal of this starch happens to be resistant starch, which our small intestine does not digest. This gives it the classification of dietary fiber.
The more the banana ripens, the more it loses its starch. During this ripening process, that starts converts into simple sugars such as glucose, fructose, and sucrose. As a matter of fact, fully ripened bananas contain as little as 1% starch.
Getting back to green bananas, they are also rich in pectin. This, together with their high resistant starch content, can aid in better digestive health and improved control of one’s blood sugars, among other health benefits.
That’s right. Whether green or yellow, these bananas are abundant in many important nutrients. This includes vitamin B6, potassium, and vitamin C, to name just a few. They consist mostly of carbs, yet contain quite small amounts of fat and protein.
Additionally, even though the precise nutrient profile of green bananas is unknown, they should have the same number of micronutrients as the yellow, ripe kind.
One more thing about green bananas: as they are rich in both resistant starch and fiber, many experts suggest they have an appetite-reducing effect, making one feel fuller for longer periods. Which makes it ideal for anyone with weight loss goals.
Were you aware that the nutrients which are found in green bananas may also possess a prebiotic effect? Both pectin and resistant starch, rather than having your intestine break them down, instead feed your gut’s friendly bacteria.
The good bacteria ferment these two fiber types, which ultimately results in the production of short-chain fatty acids, which are helpful for a number of various digestive issues. There is even some evidence which suggests that they protect one against developing colon cancer.
Everyone knows that having high blood glucose levels is by no means a little health concern. If left untreated, it can lead to type II diabetes over time. It may also raise one’s risk of developing other types of serious health problems and conditions.
Once again, the resistant starch and pectin content which green bananas contain may help in controlling one’s blood sugar levels after a meal. Furthermore, unripe bananas are low on the GI scale, with only a value of 30.
Well-ripened ones have a glycemic index of about 60, which is a bit higher than 55, which is the border of low rates on this scale.
You’ve seen that unripe, green bananas are good for you. In some cases, even better than the usual, ripe variety.
And although even experts consider them to be generally healthy and safe to eat, there have been some online reports of individuals experiencing discomfort after consuming them.
Such discomfort may include symptoms like gas, constipation, and bloating. A word of caution for those which happen to be allergic to latex – you may want to be extra cautious with green bananas. Why is that?
Well, it turns out that green bananas contain proteins which are similar to the proteins in latex aka the ones which cause the allergic reactions. This is a condition which is called ‘the latex-fruit syndrome’.
As we’ve already established, green bananas may offer one certain health benefits which their yellow counterparts do not. This is mostly thanks to their resistant starch and pectin content. Still, some people find them unappealing due to their specific taste and texture.
Some have even reported digestive problems when consuming green bananas, so it’s safe to assume that they’re not for everyone. But for most of the population, they are perfectly alright. But even ripened bananas which still have a bit of green can still offer the benefits mentioned above.
Which means, you don’t have to look for completely green bananas in order to reap the benefits, or at the very least, some of them. Stay well-informed and healthy, dear readers.