When it comes to bananas, most of us only reach for the sweet, ripe fruit. But did you know that unripe, green bananas are an excellent source of prebiotic fiber that can do wonders for your gut health? Here's everything you need to know about this underrated fruit.
What are green bananas?
Green bananas, also known as unripe bananas, are the unripe fruit of the banana plant. They are typically green in color and have a starchy, slightly sour taste. While they may not be as sweet as ripe bananas, they are packed with prebiotic fiber that can do wonders for your gut health.
The gut-friendly resistant starch
Green bananas are a rich source of resistant starch, a type of fiber that resists digestion in the small intestine and passes through to the large intestine. There, it serves as food for the beneficial bacteria in the gut, promoting a healthy microbiome. This can lead to a variety of health benefits, including improved digestion, reduced inflammation, and increased insulin sensitivity (1).
Here's a fun fact: green bananas actually contain more resistant starch than ripe bananas! As bananas ripen, the starch is converted into simple sugars, which give the fruit its characteristic sweetness. This means that if you want to maximize the prebiotic benefits of bananas, it's best to choose green ones.
What are the health benefits of green bananas?
In addition to their prebiotic benefits, green bananas are also a great source of vitamins and minerals. They are particularly high in potassium, which is essential for maintaining healthy blood pressure and cardiovascular function. They also contain vitamin C, vitamin B6, and dietary fiber, making them a nutritious addition to any diet.
How can you incorporate green bananas into your diet?
Green bananas can be eaten raw or cooked, depending on your preference. They have a starchy, slightly sour taste that pairs well with savory dishes. They can be boiled, fried, or roasted and used in a variety of recipes, such as stews, curries, and salads.
Green banana flour is another convenient way to incorporate the prebiotic benefits of green bananas into your diet (2). It is a gluten-free alternative to wheat flour and can be used in a variety of baked goods, such as bread, muffins, and pancakes. It can also be found in some supplements, like our Organic Plant Protein + Prebiotics.
Green bananas may not be as sweet as ripe bananas, but they are a nutritional powerhouse that can do wonders for your gut health. Incorporating them into your diet is a simple way to support your overall health and well-being (3). Whether you choose to eat them raw, cooked, or in the form of green banana flour, green bananas are a delicious and easy way to support your gut health.
The next time you're at the grocery store, don't overlook those green bananas! They may not be as visually appealing as their yellow counterparts, but they pack a powerful punch when it comes to gut health. Whether you eat them raw, cooked, or in the form of flour, incorporating green bananas into your diet is a simple and tasty way to support your overall health and well-being. So, why not give them a try? Your gut will thank you.
(1) Maki KC, Pelkman CL, Finocchiaro ET, et al. Resistant starch from high-amylose maize increases insulin sensitivity in overweight and obese men. J Nutr. 2012;142(4):717-723. doi:10.3945/jn.111.152975
(2) Johnston KL, Thomas EL, Bell JD, Frost GS, Robertson MD. Resistant starch improves insulin sensitivity in metabolic syndrome. Diabet Med. 2010;27(4):391-397. doi:10.1111/j.1464-5491.2010.02923.x
(3) Menezes EW, Dan MC, Silva MT, et al. Ingestion of green banana reduced blood glucose and insulin levels in patients with type 2 diabetes: A randomized, placebo-controlled trial. J Nutr Metab. 2014;2014: Article ID 721392. doi:10.1155/2014/721392