One of the most common and easily available fruits in the world, bananas (both ripe and unripe) are known to contain vitamins C and B6, antioxidants, potassium, phytonutrients, and fiber. At the same time, this fruit is high in carbs and very low in fat and protein. Then why do weight-conscious people avoid eating either type of bananas?
Here I present the nutrition information of bananas, a combined study of ripe and unripe, and leave it to you to decide whether eating bananas is beneficial for health.
Table of Contents
Bananas and Carbs
Bananas, depending on the ripeness, are quite low in Glycemic Index (GI) that ranges between 42 and 58.
In unripe bananas, the carbs are found in the form of starch, about 70 to 80%; vice versa, in ripe bananas, carbs are found in the form of sugar—glucose, fructose, and sucrose. This sugar content can be as high as 16% or more.
Bananas and Vitamins & Minerals
Bananas, ripe or unripe, are an excellent source of vitamins C and B6 and potassium. The phytonutrients present in bananas are dopamine (potent antioxidant) and flavonoids (mainly catechins).
Bananas and Fiber
In unripe bananas, fiber is found in the form of resistant starch, and as such, it is resistant to digestion. Bananas also contain pectin, another type of fiber, some of which are water soluble. Both resistant starch and pectin help in moderating blood sugar rise after meal.
Bananas and Nutrition Facts
Bananas and Health Benefits
- Digestive health: Unripe bananas, with pectin and resistant starch, help in improving your overall digestive health.
- Heart health: Being high in potassium, it helps in improving your heart health and normalizes blood pressure. The flavonoids in bananas help in significantly decreasing cardiovascular risks.
Bananas and Adverse Effects
Eating bananas can produce adverse effects:
- While some people complain of constipation, studies say bananas do not induce constipation.
- While physicians would tell you not to eat bananas because you are diabetic, studies say that because of low GI, bananas should not raise blood sugar levels.
So, what do you think? Both ripe and unripe bananas are beneficial as some people would try to prove otherwise. But remember, whenever you eat bananas, “eat in moderation”.