EATING GREEN BANANAS
AND THEIR SKINS FOR GOOD HEALTH AND WELLBEING
"I have been singing the benefits of green bananas for a long time now as most people who know me can confirm, so I was really chuffed to be given this platform to write about one of my favourite foods. We all know the health benefits of yellow ripe bananas but do you know that green unripe banana have many of the health benefits yellow bananas have and more?"
Both bananas are high in nutrients, including potassium, magnesium, copper, manganese, vitamin B6 and vitamin C, however, green bananas can be an aid in reducing weight, controlling blood sugar, digestion, lowering cholesterol, preventing colon cancer and the list goes on.
Green bananas are usually cooked in water as a vegetable, which softens their texture and makes them more palatable. It is easier to cook them in their skins and then peel before serving. However, fans of green bananas particularly those from India eat the skins, which become soft on cooking. Skins have higher levels of nutrients such as tryptophan which helps to alleviate depression, assist with healthy sleep and also contain carotenoid for certain eye conditions such as cataracts and macular degeneration.
Raw or cooking bananas as green bananas are sometimes called, are firm in texture and made up of 80% starch. Comprising mainly of resistant starch, they pass through the intestines unchanged, unlike other starches, which are easily digested and often stored in the body as fat. When bananas ripen this starch is converted to sugar and gives the banana a sweet taste. Green bananas are not sweet and are considered by some to be bitter, however, there are many delicious ways green bananas can be prepared. A thorough washing is advised before cooking to eliminate any harmful chemicals, which may have been added to preserve them. Also try squeezing a little lemon or lime juice to keep the water from turning black whist cooking.
I have been eating green bananas most of my life but started cooking them in their skins about ten years ago because it was easier to peel them after cooking than before. On discovering that the skins could also be eaten six years ago, I started eating the skins and saving the water they have been boiled in, keeping it on the fridge and mixing with juice or tonic water for a refreshing drink. I can attest to not suffering from any stomach problems even at times when other family members have come down with bouts of diarrhoea from food poisoning of some kind. Green bananas have replaced rice as my staple diet and frankly, I feel healthier for making that change. I am 63 feel fabulous and take no prescription medication.
Let us look now in more detail at the many documented benefits green bananas can contribute to our health, beauty and wellbeing.
How To Cook and Peel Green Bananas
Soak for 5 mins, scrub and wash thoroughly.
Boil for 25 minutes or until tender, pierce with a knife to test for softness.
Top and tail bananas.
Allow bananas to partially cool and peel whilst warm.
Cover with water and add the juice of 1/2 a lemon, and salt if you wish.
Green bananas can leave a dark scum stain on your pot after boiling and also on the knife used to cut them. This can easily be removed by
rubbing with a little cooking oil before washing.
GREEN BANANA RECIPES
Green Banana & Prawn Salad
4 Green bananas
300g pre-cooked prawns
2 Spring onions
2 cloves fresh garlic
3 tbsp olive oil
1/2 lemon or lime juice
Salt and pepper to taste
1. Slice the bananas into small rounds
2. Chop spring onions into small rounds and
3. Add to bowl with olive oil, chopped garlic, lemon/lime juice and
salt and pepper the taste
4. Add prawns and mix carefully
5. Taste and adjust according to preference
Green Banana Skin Salad
4 green banana skins
1 red onion finely chopped
4 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp garlic powder
The juice of one lemon/lime
Salt and pepper to taste
1. Dice the banana skins
2. Place in a bowl with red onions
3. Add the lemon/lime juice, olive oil and salt and pepper. Mix well and taste
4. Allow seasoning to marinade for 30 minutes, taste again and adjust according to preference
Suitable for vegetarians and vegan. Tastes lovely mixed with rice.
Green Banana Mash
4 green bananas
50g butter or margarine
1/4 cup milk
Salt and pepper to taste
Spring onion or coriander for garnish ( optional )
1. Boil green bananas until soft and remove skins
2. While bananas are still warm mash with fork or potato masher and add butter
3. Add milk and mix until creamy in texture
4. Add salt and pepper to taste
If you are watching your weight reduce the butter and add more milk.
The Health Benefits of Green Bananas and Their Skins
Adding green bananas to your diet can help you lose unwanted weight because they contain resistant starch that helps keep you full, thus helping you reduce calorie consumption. This type of starch blocks excess consumption of carbs and promotes the use of fat as an energy source, thus promoting weight loss.
Eating raw bananas can help reduce depression because they contain tryptophan, a protein that is converted into a happy hormone called serotonin. Serotonin helps relax the mind and improve your mood.
Instead of buying expensive skin products, try eating raw bananas. They contain vitamin A, an antioxidant that helps keep your skin perfect and promotes regeneration of tissue
Blood Sugar Control
One of those green banana benefits is that eating them increases the body sensitivity to insulin and helps stabilise your blood sugar levels. They also contain vitamin B6 which aids in controlling blood glucose, especially in people with type 2 diabetes.
Green bananas contain lots of fibre and resistant starch, which aids in digestion and prevents stomach problems. They also help prevent bacterial infection in the gut. However, avoid eating unripe bananas if you are experiencing excess bloating, since this may aggravate your problem.
Colon Cancer Prevention
The fermentation of resistant starch in the colon by friendly bacteria (probiotics) reduces the number of harmful bacteria in the gut. This helps prevent the development of colon cancer and other chronic diseases of the digestive system.
The fibre and resistant starch in green bananas help reduce levels of triglycerides and bad cholesterol in the blood. People with high cholesterol are recommended to eat more green bananas.
Healthy Heart and Blood Pressure
Low blood cholesterol levels can prevent blockage of arteries and capillaries in your heart. Eat green bananas for better heart functioning. Unripe bananas contain potassium, which can help lower high blood pressure.
Green banana benefits include converting fat into energy, which helps increase body metabolism. They also contain nutrients like vitamin B6 which helps increase enzyme breakdown and aids in promoting good metabolism
Consumption of green bananas can boost cognitive health because they contain nutrients that support nerve health and water balance in brain cells.