Bananas are a widely popular fruit that possess a unique characteristic of being enjoyable in both raw and ripe forms. In India, raw bananas are commonly used in savory dishes, including steamed, boiled, stir-fired, and deep-fried dishes, along with salads and dips. These fruits are easily accessible in markets and fruits stands across the globe. Green bananas offer an abundant source of fibre, antioxidants, vitamins, and phytonutrients. To fully avail of the nutritional benefits of green Bananas are a popular fruit all over the world and can be easily found in supermarkets and fruit stands. In India, there are many delicious dishes made with raw bananas. These bananas are a rich source of fibre, antioxidants, vitamins, and phytonutrients. To fully obtain the health benefits of raw bananas, it is advisable to cook or boil them before consumption.
Health benefits of raw banana
Reduces risk of high blood pressure
Bananas are an excellent source of potassium, which is essential for maintaining normal blood pressure and heart function. Numerous studies have demonstrated the effectiveness of potassium-rich foods in reducing blood pressure. The US Food and Drug Administration has allowed the banana industry to make official claims about the fruit’s ability to reduce the risk of high blood pressure and stroke. Potassium also helps regulate fluid and electrolyte balance in the body. Scientists have found that natural compounds in bananas act like antihypertensive drugs. All six popular banana varieties studied had ACE-inhibiting properties, with ripened bananas having a stronger effect than unripe ones. Researchers have discovered that consuming two bananas per day for a week reduced blood pressure by 10%.
May help with gastro-intestinal discomfort
Bananas are high in nondigestible fibres, such as cellulose, hemicellulose, and alpha glucans, which can help regulate bowel activity and relieve both constipation and diarrhoea. They help normalise the colon’s function by absorbing large amounts of water and increasing bulk due to their water-absorbent pectin content. Bananas also contain fructooligosaccharide, which is a prebiotic that nourishes beneficial bacteria in the colon, aiding in the production of vitamins, digestive enzymes, and compounds that protect against harmful microorganisms. Research has shown that when fructooligosaccharides are fermented by friendly bacteria, the body’s ability to absorb calcium improves. Antibiotics can harm these beneficial bacteria. A study published in Digestive Diseases and Sciences revealed that giving a rice-based diet containing green banana or apple pectin to babies with persistent diarrhea for one week resulted in a 50% reduction in stool weight, indicating increased nutrient absorption.
May reduce cholesterol levels
Studies conducted on animals have indicated that bananas possess the ability to reduce cholesterol levels. The cholesterol-lowering effect of bananas was attributed to the dietary fibre and flavonoid component present in the pulp. Green bananas contain flavonoids that have been found to lower cholesterol levels. These flavonoids were able to reduce the amount of cholesterol, phospholipids, free fatty acids, and triglycerides in the blood, liver, kidney, and brain were tested. In addition, it showed an increase in the breakdown of cholesterol through higher levels of bile acids in the liver and fecal neutral sterols.
Source of instant energy
Bananas contain a combination of three natural sugars – sucrose, fructose, and glucose – along with fibre. This composition, coupled with the presence of potassium, is vital for facilitating proper muscle contractions during exercise and reducing cramps. Bananas are a potent source of instant, sustained, and substantial energy. Studies have demonstrated that consuming just two bananas can provide enough energy to fuel a rigorous 90-minute workout.
May reduce diabetes related complication
Studies have shown that green banana products have numerous health benefits, especially for blood sugar control, weight management and common complications associated with diabetes. These studies mostly used green banana flour. In healthy adults, green banana products increased feelings of fullness and helped regulate glucose levels. For people with type 2 diabetes, green banana flour reduced body weight and improved insulin sensitivity. Overweight women experienced improved weight and body composition, lipid profiles, and reduced inflammation with green banana flour consumption.
May strengthen bones
Green bananas contain probiotic bacteria and fructooligosaccharides which help with the absorption of calcium in the body and strengthen bones. Green bananas also contain short chain fatty acids which are effective in bone strengthening. Additionally, the potassium in bananas helps prevent calcium loss and reduces the risk of developing osteoporosis in the future. Therefore, bananas, particularly green ones, are beneficial for maintaining healthy bones.
Bananas are a super nutritious fruit that provides energy, protein, vitamins, and minerals. They are low in water and high in solids, which makes them a great source of calories. Bananas have vitamin C which helps boost the immune system and aids in the absorption of iron, which is good for those with anaemia. They are also good for people with high blood pressure as they contain potassium. They are easy to digest and don’t have any fat, cholesterol, or sodium. Therefore, raw bananas are a good food option with plenty of health benefits.
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