Bananas are delicious and easy to eat. Aside from that, they're loaded with vitamins and minerals.
People typically eat bananas when the fruit is yellow and ripe, although green and unripe bananas are also safe to consume. They also have lots of health benefits.
In this article, we will explore these benefits and some potential side effects and share a few quick recipes to eat green bananas.
Green Banana Calories
Typically, 100 grams of green banana has 89 calories.
Green Banana Benefits
1. Regulate Blood Pressure
Green and unripe bananas are rich in potassium. It is a vital mineral required by the body for blood purification, proper functioning of the nerves, and better muscle movement.
Potassium also acts as a vasodilator. It lowers the tension in the blood vessels and arteries. As a result, it helps regulate blood pressure and prevent heart attacks.
2. Aids Digestion
What makes green bananas beneficial for digestion is the high amount of resistant starch in them. The dietary fibre in such bananas helps prevent issues like bloating and constipation. Additionally, they also boost the functioning of the digestive tract.
3. Improves Metabolism
Green bananas are loaded with essential nutrients and minerals that optimise metabolism by providing the body with a complex carbohydrate base.
4. Beneficial For Weight Loss
As mentioned above, green bananas are full of dietary fibre. While it takes the longest time to digest, fibre induces the feeling of fullness and satiety. When one feels full in the stomach, cravings tend to be suppressed. As a result, you don’t overeat.
That is why such bananas can be beneficial for individuals on a weight loss diet.
5. Good For Diabetics
Bananas generally have low sugar content. The glycemic index of green bananas is somewhere between 30 and 50. Food items with a glycemic index of less than 55 get digested and metabolized slowly. This way, they curb sudden surges in blood sugar levels.
Plus, green bananas contain vitamin B6 that helps control glucose, especially in people with type-2 diabetes. That is why they are beneficial for individuals with diabetes.
6. Enhance Nutrient Absorption
Including green bananas in your diet can improve the health of your colon. That is because such bananas contain short-chain fatty acids. This category of fatty acid enhances the body’s ability to absorb nutrients.
Green bananas are among the best foods for supporting beneficial bacteria. Such bacteria live in the intestines and facilitate the growth of gut-friendly microbes in the digestive system.
8. Helps Prevent Diarrhoea
Diarrhoea is generally caused by a virus or bacteria. Green bananas are antibacterial and antifungal. That is why their consumption helps fight off germs causing the infection.
9. Vital For Healthy Hair
Green bananas are rich in vitamin C and vitamin B6 that can be super beneficial for your hair. Plus, they contain potassium that softens the hair and facilitates growth.
The natural oils present in this fruit help prevent hair breakage and maintain their natural elasticity.
10. May Help Promote Cardiovascular Health
As mentioned above, green bananas are a rich source of resistant starch that helps keep cholesterol in check. Low cholesterol levels are linked to a decreased risk of cardiovascular health.
That is why moderate consumption of green bananas may help promote cardiovascular health.
11. Green Banana Benefits For Skin
Green bananas are a lesser-known aid to nourish your skin because of their hydrating nature. Women with dry skin can also depend on them to make their skin softer and supple. Such bananas contain Vitamin A that smoothes the rough texture by healing dehydrated skin.
Eating Green Banana During Pregnancy
Green bananas can be eaten throughout pregnancy. As they are rich in carbohydrates, green bananas will give you much-needed energy during this phase. Moreover, they also provide a boost to haemoglobin levels.
Green Banana Vs Yellow Banana
Bananas generally get harvested while they’re still green. That is why you’ll find bananas in this colour in the market. But color isn’t the only difference between green and yellow bananas. Here are some of their other differences.
How to Eat Green Bananas
1. Eat them as they are
Consume them just as they are, or the same as you would consume a ripened banana. Green bananas are difficult to de-skin, so be sure to use a knife to do so.
2. Grate them into smoothies or drinks:
If you want to minimize the funkiness of green bananas when eating them, you should try grating them into smoothies, soups, sauces, fruit salads, or adding them to ice cream or porridge, depending on your taste.
3. Make the green banana sauce
Sauté garlic and oil until they brown, then add veggies like tomatoes and taro roots. Next, dice or slice the banana fruit, season to taste, and add milk or water. Cook for a few minutes and serve. This is a version of the matoke recipe popular in southwestern Uganda.
How to Cook Green Bananas With Coconut Milk
For this, you’ll need -
- 3 (13.5 ounce) cans coconut milk
- One large onion, chopped
- Six small unripe (green) bananas
- Set aside the coconut milk and onion in a bowl.
- Over medium heat, bring a large pot of water to a boil.
- Boil the bananas in their skins for 30 to 40 minutes and drain.
- Ensure the bananas are cool enough to handle by running them under cold water.
- Peel the bananas whole and remove the skins.
- Over medium-high heat, warm a large saucepan.
- Put the bananas in the pan. Stir in the coconut milk mixture.
- Cook until the coconut milk becomes foamy. Let cool for 5 minutes before serving.
How Green Does The Banana Have To Be?
As the banana ripens, the pectin and resistant starch gradually decrease. But, the banana doesn’t have to be entirely green to reap at least some of the benefits.
Side Effects of Eating Green Banana
While green bananas are usually considered healthy, they can cause minor discomfort in some individuals. This would include digestive symptoms like bloating, gas, and constipation.
If you are allergic to latex, then it’s best to be careful with such bananas as green bananas contain proteins similar to the allergy-causing proteins in latex.
Summing Up on Green Banana
Compared to yellow bananas, green bananas may provide additional nutrients and health benefits.
Their high fibre content, resistant starch, and pectin make them filling, improve digestive health, and lower blood sugar levels.
However, they are not as sweet as ripe bananas, and the texture may not be as satisfying if you prefer your bananas softer.
It's interesting to note that resistant starch and pectin become less readily available as the banana ripens, so bananas with a hint of green should still contain tiny amounts.
Keep in mind the benefits of green bananas discussed in this article, and try the recipes today!