While some may argue that unripe bananas contain have the same nutritional benefits as a ripe banana, scientific research says otherwise. The benefits of unripe bananas far outweigh those of a ripe banana. This is because of the changes in chemical composition during the frying, boiling, cooking, or ripening process. Nutritionally unripe bananas are an excellent source of minerals, vitamins, fiber, and starch, a critical component in the control and management of weight, blood sugar, and cholesterol.
These are the reasons why you need to eat more unripe bananas.
They contain resistant starch and pectin
Unripe bananas have large amounts of resistant starch and pectin that are important types of dietary fibers. Pectins and resistant starch act as prebiotic nutrients by stimulating the growth of beneficial gut bacteria. The resistant starch and bacteria are fermented in the colon by beneficial bacteria thus forming butyrate, which is a short-chain fatty acid critical for colon health.
Resistant starch is also proven to have health benefits such as:
1. Reducing fat storage and increases satiety
2. Enhances insulin sensitivity
3. Lower triglyceride concentrations and plasma cholesterol
4. Reduces Insulinemic and glycemic responses
One of the benefits of unripe bananas is high fiber content
Unripe bananas are mainly 70-80% fiber and starch as compared to less than 1% in ripe bananas. On the other hand, ripe bananas contain up to 16% sugar. Unripe bananas have a glycemic index of less than 40, as opposed to ripe bananas that range from 42-58. One of the benefits of unripe bananas, particularly for persons with weight issues is that they mitigate the rise in blood sugar after a meal, thus enhancing weight loss and helping in the control of diabetes.
They are a good source of vitamins
Bananas are an excellent source of several vitamins particularly vitamin C (1) and vitamin B6. Vitamin C helps in the making of collagen a critical protein in the making and maintenance of blood vessels, muscles, tendons, cartilage, and skin.
Unripe bananas are high in vitamin B6. One medium size banana can have as much as 39% of the daily-recommended intake. Vitamin B6 is an essential vitamin performing functions such as:
1. An important actor on over 100 enzymatic reactions in the human body
2. Necessary component in the making of hemoglobin an essential protein for transporting oxygen in the body
3. Aids in blood sugar control
They are high in potassium
Unripe bananas, unlike ripe bananas, are high in potassium content. One cup serving of green banana nets you approximately 531 milligrams of Potassium against the 4700 mg recommended by the American Heart Health Association.
Furthermore, Potassium improves cardiovascular health as well as resulting blood pressure.