Many people are wondering about when it’s the best time to eat a banana. Interestingly, the nutritional profile of bananas changes as they ripen. You may have noticed that the more ripe your banana is, the sweeter it tastes. This is because enzymes in the fruit’s tissues are progressively breaking down starch (long polymeric form of sugar that doesn’t taste sweet) into simple sugars (monosaccharides, disaccharides, etc which taste sweet).
But there’s actually a lot more to think about in regards to when you should eat a banana. Whether you eat it ripe or green, you’ll be exposing yourself to different pros and cons.
In this article, let’s take a look at both sides to help you figure out which is right for your diet.
Ripe Bananas (Fruits 4-7)
Do you know what’s special about banana number 7 in the featured image? Many nutritionists believe that the more dark spots a banana has, the more prevalent its anti-cancerous properties are.
This is due to the increase of TNF, as indicated by the number of brown spots on the banana.
Further, when a banana ripens, it contains a very high concentration of everything from fiber to vitamin C, potassium, vitamin B and many antioxidants. Waiting until the banana has fully ripened maximizes these benefits, as Japanese researchers found.
In addition to this, ripe bananas are well-known to be easier on your digestive system.
PRO TIP: IF YOU HAVE MORE RIPE BANANAS THAN YOU CAN EAT BEFORE THEY BEGIN TO GO BAD, PUT THEM IN THE REFRIGERATOR TO PRESERVE NUTRIENTS. YOU CAN ALSO FREEZE THEM FOR USE IN SMOOTHIES OR JUST THROW THEM IN CAKES!
But there are a few instances where you might not want to eat ripe bananas. In the next section, let’s take a look at the benefits of eating bananas while they’re still green.
Unripe Bananas (Fruits 1-3)
Unripe bananas actually have some benefits of their own, as www.onegreenplanet.org reports. These benefits include reduced sugar content when compared to ripe bananas as well as the prevalence of pro-biotic bacteria aiding in proper colon maintenance.
One downside, of course, is that unripe bananas are tough on your digestive system and may cause bloating. But due to their lower sugar content, this may be an effect worth dealing with if you suffer from type 2 diabetes.
Due to their higher starch content, unripe bananas – particularly still green ones – can actually make you feel full faster.