Green bananas, also known as unripe bananas, are bitter in taste (due to high tannin contents), hard to peel, and has starchy flavor, all of which make them unpalatable.
To reduce the bitterness and starchy flavor, you can steam, boil or fry them before consumption.
Green bananas are rich in starch contents, roughly half of which are resistant starches. Resistant starches are insoluble fibers that resist digestion by small intestinal microbiota but get fermented by colonic microbiota.
Besides beneficial resistant starches bananas also offer pectin, which is a soluble fiber that gets fermented by the colonic microbiota.
The fermentation yields short-chain fatty acids that include acetate, propionate, and butyrate. The latter is said to feed the microbiota and used by the colon endothelial cells as a source of energy.
The green peel color reflects its high chlorophyll contents (roughly 70). The peels are also high in carotenoids and tannins.
The followings are the health benefits of green bananas:
High-fiber contents in green bananas help increase satiety and make you feel full longer, thus they help you eat fewer foods.
Adding green bananas to your diet can help you lose weight. Resistant starch contents which increase satiety and make you feel full longer help reduce food intakes, thus they help you reduce caloric consumption.
Better Nutrient Absorption
The vast bulk of mineral absorption occurs in the small intestine. Pectin contents in green bananas slow down the chyme movement in the small intestines, thus it promotes better mineral absorption into the bloodstream.
In addition, short-chain fatty acids produced by the colonic bacteria via fermentation have been found to increase the solubility of minerals, thus it leads to better mineral absorption into the bloodstream.
Promotes Better Bone Structure
Taking lots of processed carbs including high-sugar diet can cause ‘bone scurvy’ (oxidative stress weaken bone matrices made of collagen fibers).
Alternatively, substituting these foods with cooked green bananas is thought to help prevent or slow down the bone scurvy. Green bananas contain many minerals for bone health that includes calcium, magnesium, manganese and phosphorus.
In addition, they offer antioxidant and anti-inflammatory tannins plus carotenoids and chlorophyll which help prevent oxidative stress that can damage bone matrices. I am sure green bananas also contain silica which is also vital for building and maintaining collagen fibers.
Fresh green banana is a good source of vitamin C but most are thought to lose during boiling, steaming or frying.
Short-chain fatty acids produced by colonic microbiota fermentation lead to better mineral solubility (fat-soluble minerals), thus they help promote better magnesium and calcium absorptions.
A study has found that unripe banana peels had higher antioxidant potency than ripe and leaky ripe. Therefore, consuming (cooked) green banana with their peels remain intact may provide you superb antioxidant properties conferred by the presence of chlorophyll and tannins.
Some foods can cause diarrhea which is believed to disturb good bacteria diversities in the intestines. This, in turn, results in the proliferation of bad bacteria which release toxins that inflame your intestines.
Resistant starches and a soluble fiber pectin in green banana pulps function to feed good bacteria. So, next time you have diarrhea why not try eating some cooked green bananas with the peels remain intact.
Green banana pulps and peels are also high in tannin contents which act as astringent as well as anti-inflammatory.
Raises Insulin Sensitivity and Lowers Blood Glucose
A study has demonstrated that resistant starches can help improve insulin sensitivity and lower blood glucose as well.
Eating cooked green banana pulps may possibly be a better way of avoiding diabetes and treating diabetes.
If you are tired finding alternatives to your gluten-rich grains, then try start eating cooked green bananas. They are gluten free and good for your sugar levels too.
Note: Some people may experience stomach discomfort after eating cooked green bananas due to their resistant starch contents.
Pectin and resistant starch contents in green bananas not only help promote better digestion but also believed to make you fell more relax.
I cannot explain the possible mechanism behind this phenomenon but what I can think of is that the soluble fiber pectin and other starches help slow down chime movement, thus they delay evacuation.
This action alone may cause parasympathetic nervous system override the sympathetic nervous system – you feel relax and sometimes feel sleepy!
Another possible mechanism is by way of elevated nitric oxide (NO) levels attributed to antioxidant phytonutrients namely tannins, carotenoids, chlorophyll.
Bye-bye Gastritis and Duodenal Ulcer
If you are experiencing gastritis or stomach/duodenal ulcer and have tried many modern or herbal medicines but failed, then why not try to consume cooked green bananas.
Besides pectin contents which can coat your stomach lining in preventing the abrasive effect of a high strength hydrochloric acid, cooked green bananas (with the peels remain intact) also supply tannins which have antiviral/antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties.
Imparts Longevity and Beauty
Tannins, water-soluble polyphenols, are found in green banana pulps and peels. These together with carotenoids and chlorophyll act as an antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-cancer. These properties is synergized by the resistant starch contents that have been found to exert many health benefits that include modulating the immune functions, improving the brain functions, and controlling/improving insulin sensitivity and blood sugar.
Long-term consumptions of cooked green bananas may possibly exert lower oxidative levels which result in better overall organ system functions, a better-looking skin, and longevity.
Decreases Blood Pressure
Many so-called experts and experts alike think that potassium content in green bananas is a substance that helps lower your blood pressure.
Do you want to know what I think? Potassium is reputed for its function in lowering blood pressure. A medium-size banana (118 grams) provides 12% DV of potassium. But there are other compounds/substances that work together with potassium to reduce the blood pressure.
How about magnesium and vitamin B6? Aren’t they also vasodilators (agents that dilate your blood vessels) as well?.
In my opinion, antioxidant phytonutrients in green bananas that include tannins, carotenoids, and chlorophyll also play a vital role in lowering blood pressure.
How do they do it?
To fully answer the question I will need to write several paragraphs. Suffice to say that many high-antioxidant foods increase NO which help dilate your blood vessels, thus they help reduce your blood pressure.
To conclude, if you take cooked green bananas say a bowl or two per day plus of course a healthy lifestyle that includes a good diet may possibly help maintain your normal blood pressure or reducing high blood pressure (if you are experiencing it).
Remember, health benefits/effects of your food intake depends on your overall diet!
Prevents Colon Cancer
Resistant starches in green bananas act as prebiotic, meaning they feed the beneficial colonic microbiota. This in turn wards off bad bacteria which release toxins that cause inflammation. This mechanism alone is believed to reduce the risk of colon cancer.
The antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of tannins (in the pulps) are also thought to play vital roles in colon cancer prevention.
Harmonizes Lipid Levels
Hyperlipidemia is characterized by abnormal lipid levels which, over time, if not treated well can cause cardiovascular problems.
A study conducted involving rats with abnormal lipid levels to find the effect of (yellow) banana peel polyphenols demonstrated that the banana peel polyphenols could effectively reduce the levels of blood lipid in hyperlipidemic rats.
Unripe banana peels had higher antioxidant potency than ripe and leaky ripe. Consuming (cooked) green bananas with their peels remain intact may possibly provide you superb antioxidant properties conferred by the presence of chlorophyll and tannins, thus it may help harmonize the lipid levels.
If the deduction is true, then consuming cooked green bananas regularly can help promote better heart health and prevent heart disease.