Green banana is the unripe form of the same yellow bananas that we eat as a snack. The difference here is that the green ones are a lot more firm and starchier. While the yellow banana can be eaten soon after peeling, the green banana tastes best when consumed after boiling or frying. The biggest advantage of eating green banana is that it is lower in glycemic index and contains plenty of resistant starch, which is absorbed slowly by your digestive system. Unlike other starches that are broken down in your intestine, resistant starch passes through the intestines without any change and hence is more similar to insoluble fiber. By eating green banana you will absorb only fewer calories, which makes this food ideal for controlling blood sugar levels and in reducing your risks of developing diabetes.
Nutritional value of green banana
Apart from the high amounts of resistant starch, green banana is rich in fiber and also many vitamins and minerals. One cup of boiled green banana can provide you with 3.6 grams of fiber, which is about 14% of your daily fiber requirements. It is a good source of vitamins like vitamin A, vitamin B6 and vitamin C. Green banana is rich in potassium and also provides adequate amounts of minerals like sodium, magnesium, zinc, iron and phosphorous.
Health benefits of Green banana
The resistant starch, fiber and the other nutrients in green banana offers a wide range of health benefits which you won’t get by eating ripe bananas. Some of the key benefits of green banana include:
Green banana for healthy heart
Green banana offers protective effects to your heart mainly by lowering bad cholesterol and high blood pressure. It has been found that the high levels of fiber in green banana is very effective in reducing the bad or LDL cholesterol levels and in increasing the good or HDL cholesterol levels by as much as 30%. Green banana is an excellent source of potassium, a mineral that plays a vital role in regulating electrolyte and fluid balance in your body. Potassium is also helpful in lowering high blood pressure. So by controlling cholesterol and blood pressure, green banana helps in preventing the buildup of plaque in the arteries, heart attacks and other cardiovascular problems.
Green banana and digestive health
The resistant starch in green banana is found to help in keeping your colon and digestive system healthy in many different ways. First of all it promotes the growth of healthy bacteria in your intestine and at the same time it prevents the growth of harmful bacteria. The healthy bacteria ferment the resistant starch and this process leads to the reduction of the intestinal pH and also the formation of harmful substances like phenols, ammonia and secondary bile acids. The fermentation of resistant starch leads to the production of certain compounds called short chain fatty acids, some of which have anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties. Studies reveal that some of these fatty acids (butyrate) slows down the growth and propagation of cancer cells and encourages the death of colorectal cancer cells. Being a mild laxative, the resistant starch in green banana helps in maintaining regular bowel movements. Unlike fibers that increase the bulk of your stool, the resistant starch increases the bacterial activity in your stomach by increasing the amount of good bacteria. Since resistant starch is used in oral rehydration solutions, it is effective in treating diarrhea.
Green banana prevents stomach ulcers
Green banana can function as antacids in your stomach, providing a relieving effect in on stomach ulcers. It also simulates the lining of your stomach to increase the production of thicker mucous, which in turn protects your intestine from the effects of acids produced in your stomach.
Green banana and treatment of diabetes
Resistant starch is found to be helpful in controlling blood sugar levels. Therefore including foods rich in resistant starch such as green banana in your daily diet is a good way to lower your risk of developing diabetes. The regular intake of green banana can help in decreasing glycemic response in healthy people as well as in people with diabetes. It has also been found to increase the insulin sensitivity of healthy individuals along with people with insulin resistance and type II diabetes. In addition to resistant starch green banana contains plenty of fiber which can also help in reducing the risk of diabetes.
Green banana and weight loss
The resistant starch in green banana acts as an insoluble fiber and hence is passed through your intestine without being digested or absorbed. Foods high in fiber and that contain resistant starch controls your appetite by reducing your overall calorie intake and also by increasing satiety. According to studies, the resistant starch in green bananas has the power to block your body’s ability to make use of carbohydrates for energy. This increases the rate of burning fat because when your body does not get carbohydrates to burn, it resorts to the stored fat for obtaining energy. Studies also reveal that resistant starch may help in burning fat and leading to reduced accumulation of fat. Studies in animals have confirmed that resistant starch helps in improving metabolism, which promotes weight loss.
Green banana boosts immunity
A healthy and strong immune system is extremely important to fight against the bacteria, virus and other microbes that would attack your body and destroy your health. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that helps in boosting your immune system. Green banana is a rich source of vitamin C and by incorporating it in your diet, you can achieve good immunity. Vitamin C improves your immunity in many ways. It increases the production of interferon, a protein that plays a vital role in defending your body from pathogens. It also has the ability to attack the disease causing viruses and bacteria and destroy them. Vitamin C stimulates the production of anti-histamines that helps in reducing inflammation. Vitamin C encourages the formation of collagen tissues like the connective tissue in your muscles, bones, ligaments and skin. As these tissues become stronger, your ability to resist disease causing microbes will also increase. Another way by which Vitamin C strengthens your immune system is by increasing the production of white blood cells.
Green banana for eyes
Vitamin A is very essential for maintaining proper health of your eyes and skin. A diet that is lacking in vitamin A can lead to many kinds of eye problems including dry eyes, poor night vision and eye infection. Green banana is a good source of vitamin A, which plays a vital role in improving eye health, vision and also in preventing eye disorders.
Green banana for healthier bones and teeth
An ample intake of calcium is needed to maintain the health and strength of your bones, muscles and teeth. Calcium strengthens your bones, thus making them less prone to breaks and fractures. This mineral also helps in preventing the occurrence of diseases like osteoporosis. Calcium is also beneficial for your teeth as it helps in keeping your teeth strong and healthy. Healthy teeth are far less liable to develop dental problems like periodontal disease, cavities, and loose teeth. Green banana is an excellent source of calcium and so including it in your diet can help you intake adequate calcium. Moreover, the high amounts of vitamin C in green banana can fight off infections and promote healthy teeth and gums.
Green banana benefits for skin
In addition to the several internal benefits, green banana offers many benefits to your skin as well. It can help in improving the health of your skin and also in relieving skin allergies. Green banana is a rich source of vitamin A, which is not only important for enhancing your vision, but also improves the complexion of your skin. It has been found that by applying mashed green banana on your face and washing it off with water after about 20 minutes can help in reducing wrinkles. Moreover, the high amount of the antioxidant vitamin C in green banana fights off the free radicals and prevents the oxidation damage to your cells. This helps in preventing early aging and its symptoms like wrinkles and fine lines.
Ways to cook green banana
There are several ways to cook green banana. Boiling and mashing them is one way. You can then add the mashed banana to curries or other recipes. It is almost like mashed potato but with a slight sweeter taste. Another way is to slice them into thin circles or long strips and fry them to make crispy banana chips. These chips make a tasty a healthier substitute to potato chips. Grilling is another way to enjoy green banana.
Banana Pepper Wafers – Here is quick recipe with green banana. Raw banana wafers flavoured with crushed pepper are simply delicious. To get crisp wafers you have to slice the raw banana very thin. You may add a mixture of chaat masala and red chilli powder to make masala banana wafers. Peel green banana and slice them into wafer slices. Line up microwave safe plate with butter paper. Place these banana slices on paper. Microwave on high for three minutes. Turn them once after a minute. Sprinkle some Himalayan salt and freshly crushed pepper on the wafers and microwave for another minute or more. This is excellent snack for weight loss and staying way from fried chips.
People who are on a weight loss or low carb diet often stay away from bananas because of the high amount of sugar they contain. However, you can keep such worries at bay when it comes to eating green bananas. Green banana forms one of the staple diets in many parts of the world. Not only are they healthy and nutritious, they can also be beneficial for both dieters and people with diabetes.