Yellow bananas make a tasty and nutritious snack, but the multiple benefits of green bananas may just have you reaching for an unripe one first.
While perusing the shelves of your local grocery store, you’ve no doubt come across green bananas. This is because the majority of this popular fruit is harvested well before it has had a chance to fully ripen. If you’ve ever caught yourself wondering how to quickly ripen a green banana, you may be interested to know that you can eat them while they’re green. In fact, there are several benefits of green bananas — we’ll get into them more below.
Green vs. Yellow Bananas
Green bananas have unique health benefits compared to the yellow ones, but nevertheless bananas are usually eaten ripe. The most common reason for waiting for green bananas to ripen is that their taste and texture of them are not well-liked.
Green bananas aren’t very sweet, some even describe them as bitter. Their texture is rather waxy and firm. Yellow, ripe bananas are much sweeter and mushier in comparison.
Green bananas have high starch levels — as they ripen, these starches turn into sugars. A green banana’s dry weight is up to 80 percent starch, a ripe one’s only about one.
Benefits of Green Bananas
Both green and yellow bananas are good for you, but the benefits of green bananas are slightly different. If you notice that eating unripe bananas causes gas, bloating, or constipation, you might want to speak to a healthcare professional before incorporating them into your diet. If you tested it out and your body doesn’t have any reactions to eating green bananas, you’ll be happy to know that they are a prebiotic food.
- Green bananas can help improve digestive health because their starches and pectin feed the healthy bacteria in your gut.
- Another benefit is that green bananas can help control blood sugar levels. They’re a low-GI fruit particularly suited for diabetics.
- Due to the high fiber content and resistant starches, green bananas are incredibly satiating which will help keep you feeling full for longer.
Note: If you have a latex allergy, avoid eating green bananas. They contain proteins similar to those that cause latex allergies — a known phenomenon known as latex-fruit syndrome.
Creative Ways to Use Green Bananas
If you can handle the taste and texture of a green banana on its own, you can eat it the same way you’d eat a yellow banana. However, it’s not the easiest texture or taste to get used to, so there are a few other ways you can incorporate unripened bananas into your diet.
- Add them to a pre- or post-workout smoothie.
- Make a quick fruit salad.
- Make banana ice cream or use them as a topping for regular ice cream or frozen yogurt.
- Boil them and make a type of banana mash, similar to mashed potatoes.
- Add them to a vegan curry or stir fry.
- Use them when making banana bread.
Tip: If you aren’t the biggest fan of the texture, try grating green bananas before adding them to other dishes.
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