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A few social media users and a few health articles on different regional media platforms suggest that overripe bananas are unhealthy and should not be eaten. We fact-checked and found that the claim is false.
“Avoid overripe bananas since they are high in sugars,” writes one health blog in Bengali. A similar question on Quora about overripe bananas with black posts gets an answer reading, “If it has too many black spots, don’t eat it.”
Are Bananas healthy for all?
Yes. Bananas are full of fiber, potassium, vitamin B6, vitamin C, and various antioxidants and phytonutrients.
There is a debate over whether bananas can be consumed by people with Diabetes. When bananas ripen, the starch in it is gets converted into sugar. But, since bananas have a very low Glycemic Index (GI), this sugar gets absorbed in the blood very slowly. The sugar content and the Gycemic Index(GI) in bananas depend on their ripeness. In fact, research has shown that fruits with a low GI are good for people with Type 2 Diabetes. So, this means bananas can be included in your diet in moderation along with a balanced diet.
Dietitian Melanie Dsouza says, “Bananas are not in general harmful for diabetic persons. There is no harm in having bananas in controlled portions as a part of your regular diet if your hbA1c is well controlled. But, if your blood sugar is not in a controlled range or if your regular diet includes a lot of other sugars, I will suggest you to limit bananas until your blood sugar comes to the desired range. If you are confused, consult your dietitian or doctor who can decide based on your medical condition or medical history.”
Are overripe bananas or bananas with dark spots unhealthy?
No. Overripe bananas are NOT unhealthy. Rather, overripe bananas are proven to be very healthy.
According to Japanese Scientific Research, fully ripe banana with dark patches on yellow skin produces a substance called TNF (Tumor Necrosis Factor) which has the ability to combat abnormal cells. The more dark spots it has, the higher its immunity enhancement will be; Hence, the riper the banana the better the anti-cancer quality.
Dsouza says, “As the banana ripens, the starch becomes simple sugars making the fruit easier to digest. The more ripened fruit the better the antioxidants. According to research TNF helps to destroy the abnormal cells which could lead to cancer. so next time enjoy the overripe bananas without guilt.”
Dietitian & Nutrition Therapist, Ranjani Raman agrees, “Overripe bananas are not harmful. Rather, they may contain slightly simpler forms of sugars and lesser fiber content compared to sufficiently ripe bananas. Hence, they can be easy to digest and absorb for those with digestive difficulties.”
How to distinguish between overripe bananas and rotten bananas?
While overripe bananas may have dark patches on the skin, a rotten banana will often have signs on the flesh underneath. If you find the banana has discolored flesh, has turned watery, or has a strange odour, it is best to discard it.
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