Bananas are famous for being high in potassium, but there are also high in Vitamins A, B and C. Also notable are the banana’s levels of fiber, magnesium and phosphorous. And at about 90 calories for a medium banana, they make a great snack.
But is there a difference in nutritional content between unripe green bananas and ripened yellow bananas?
The Ripening Process
It’s easy to tell that bananas get sweeter as they ripen. This is because bananas change chemically during the ripening process, turning from starch to sugar. They also change in color from green to yellow and then begin developing brown spots.
Benefit of Unripe Bananas
One benefit of green bananas is the high resistant starch content. For anyone trying to avoid food with high sugar content, green bananas are an option whereas yellow bananas are not. So those suffering from Type 2 Diabetes can eat the unripe fruit while maybe ripened bananas are not as compatible.
Unripe bananas also have pro-biotic bacteria, a friendly bacterium that helps with good colon health. In addition, green bananas also help you absorb nutrients better, particularly calcium.
Drawbacks of Unripe Bananas
Because antioxidant levels actually INCREASE as a banana ages, unripe bananas are lower in this category. Also green bananas may cause some bloating and gas due to the higher resistant starch content.
Benefits of Ripe Bananas
Because the resistant starch changes to simple sugar when a banana ripens, yellow bananas are easier to digest. The higher glycemic index of ripe bananas shows that they are digested quickly. Bananas also have higher levels of antioxidants as they ripen.
One interesting fact about fully ripened bananas is that they produce a substance called TNF(Tumor Necrosis Factor). This means that ripe bananas have anti-cancer qualities as they combat abnormal cells. The more dark patches a banana has, the higher its immunity enhancement quality will be.
Drawbacks of Ripe Bananas
Studies show that there is SOME MICRONUTRIENT LOSS that occurs as a banana ripens. To lessen the amount of vitamins and minerals lost, it helps to store ripen bananas in the refrigerator. Also the high sugar content makes ripe bananas something Type 2 Diabetics should avoid.
The Bottom Line
So basically there are benefits for both sides. You could eat unripened bananas or ripened bananas and reap the benefits of either one. The only difference I see that is clear cut are for Type 2 Diabetics and anyone trying to avoid excess sugar.
Ultimately it is up to you. I’ve assembled a chart of the facts so you can decide for yourself: RIPE or UNRIPE?