Food TipsEat a banana: But when, how or even why?

Eat a banana: But when, how or even why?

These questions are quite confusing from many angles, as we all know, we SHOULD eat a banana. But still, we need to answer these questions that boggle us.

Today, I will talk about bananas — one of the most nutritious fruits that have been very familiar to our daily life. But does anyone of you know whether we should eat the banana in the morning or afternoon, or whether it should be eaten ripe or unripe?

There are many more questions about this giant that we accidentally passed through without notice and they are all equally important to know.

In this article, I will help you answer a few questions about bananas.

Let’s take a glance at what we already know about bananas:

  • Contains several important nutrients (vitamin C, potassium, vitamin B, etc.)
  • Has a decent amount of fiber, which results in a low amount of protein and fat
  • A medium-sized (118 grams) banana contains about 105 calories.
  • High in potassium and magnesium

Now let’s move on to the first question.

What is the best time to eat bananas?

Are you thinking of eating a banana ripe or unripe? Well, according to The Dietetics Department at Tiong Bahru Community Health Centre, a member of the SingHealth group, whether we should use banana ripe or unripe depends mostly on our nutrition needs.

It might surprise you that the banana itself changes its nutritional amount intermittently throughout its course of life. For example, the riper the banana, the sweeter it gets. This is because the enzymes in the fruit’s tissues are progressively breaking down starch (a long polymeric form of sugar that doesn’t taste sweet) into simple sugars (monosaccharides, disaccharides, etc which taste sweet).

So, unripe bananas are high in starch and resistant starch, while ripe bananas contain mostly sugar. Furthermore, when a banana ripens, it contains a very high concentration of everything from fiber to vitamin C, potassium, vitamin B, and many antioxidants.

Japanese researchers believe that eating the riper banana, the more benefits you can get from this nourishing fruit.

Full 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 darker patches it has, the higher will be its immunity enhancement quality. Hence, the riper the banana the better the anti-cancer capability. The dark-spotted yellow skin banana is 8x more effective in enhancing the property of white blood cells than the green skin version. You can completely trust in the number of antioxidants and anti-cancer properties that a ripe banana can offer.

However, since the sudden hike in sugar level is uncontrollable and you’re not into the dark-spotted ripe version, eating the newly-ripe one has little less contrast in terms of nutrition. While a well-riped banana is easier to digest and may give you the energy boost you require before playing sports, a new one will help you stay full for longer hours and enjoy the benefits of the resistant starch therein.

Interestingly, due to their higher starch content, unripe bananas (the just-turned-yellow ones) can actually make you feel full faster. Besides, we can still enjoy the benefits such as reducing sugar content as compared to ripe bananas and the prevalence of probiotic bacteria, which aids in proper colon maintenance. A big con of this green unmatured version is the high presence of tannic acid, which restrains the working of the stomach and intestines.

Below is a video that will give you a closer look at how the states of banana can affect it’s nutrition:

Who should eat bananas?

Another mind-boggling question! With a nourishing fruit like this, is it obvious that it’s suitable for everyone? Surprisingly, no.

  • If you are a person who is allergic to latex, you should also stay away from bananas.
  • People with Kapha imbalance should certainly not have bananas on an empty stomach as it can increase mucous.
  • It’s digestive system-friendly. Unripe, green bananas are rich in resistant starch and pectin acting as prebiotic nutrients, which feed the friendly bacteria in the digestive system. These nutrients are fermented by the friendly bacteria in the colon, which generate butyrate, which also reduces the risk of colon cancer.
  • It’s a weight loss secret diet. It may contribute to weight loss by increasing fullness and reducing appetite, thus helping people eat fewer calories. But, it’s not intended for low-carb diets. A medium-sized banana contains as much as 27 grams of carbs.
  • It’s absolutely helpful to a diabetic. Although banana is high in starch and sugar, it still ranks low to medium on the glycemic index, which measures how foods affect the rise in blood sugar after a meal. A person with diabetes can eat bananas as long as the carbohydrate contents are accounted for. If you’re diabetic, make sure to monitor your blood sugar levels carefully after eating foods rich in carbs and sugar.

When is the best time to eat a banana

At what time in a day should we eat a banana – just peel it and eat it, right? Another, resounding “no”. And for a fun fact, most of us eat bananas the WRONG way.

  • You should not eat bananas with an empty stomach. There is a lot of magnesium in bananas, which restrains the function of the heart. Eating a banana on an empty stomach will derail the balance of calcium and magnesium in the blood.
  • You should not eat a banana if you have an unhealthy stomach. Bananas are slow to digest and sometimes harmful to the gallbladder.
  • You should not eat a banana in the morning. According to a nutritionist, the yellow fruit alone is one of the worst breakfast items we can have. They are made up of a whopping 25 percent natural sugar, which will deliver a sugar rush for a few hours. Bananas will soon fill you up and leave you feeling sleepy and sluggish later.

So what is the best time to eat bananas: half an hour after the meal or in the evening. They can be a healthy snack at night to curb a sweet craving and can give your muscles a boost of electrolytes, which lowers the risk of muscle cramps. Bananas could even help you have a good night’s rest, as they are a source of tryptophan, which is a precursor to melatonin.

How many bananas per day are good for our health?

How to eat a banana – The USDA’s MyPlate.gov recommends that women ages 19 to 30 and men ages 19 and over get 2 cups of fruit per day, and women ages 31 and over get 1 ½ cups per day. One banana provides about 1 cup of fruit. So, understanding the USDA’s fruit intake recommendation means no more than two bananas per day for men and one and a half bananas per day for women ( Livestrong.com).

  • Banana contains a decent amount of fiber. Fiber helps digestion, but consuming large quantities can cause gas, abdominal cramps and bloat (MedlinePlus).
  • Also, excessive fiber intake may interfere with the absorption of minerals such as calcium and iron.
  • With fiber, bananas are also rich in vitamin C and are low in energy density. They can fill you up with relatively few calories, which helps you maintain a healthy weight.

Conclusion:

The most nutritional fruit only works best when you use it at the right time, in the right way with the right amount. If we can not control how things are created, why don’t control how we use them instead?

If you have any questions about any subject that you are still wondering about, feel free to share them with me.

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