Are Bananas good-4-u?
- Bananas are high in fibre to aid the digestion process
- They are rich in Potassium which can help lower blood pressure and aid muscle recovery post exercise
- They contain vitamin C to support a strong immune system
- Bananas provide a source of vitamin B6 which is essential for healthy brain function
Why do bananas bruise?
In order to understand why bananas bruise, we need to look at their ripening process. Ethylene is a hormone found in Bananas and is responsible for changing the taste, colour and texture.
When you buy unripe green bananas, both time and ethylene will help change them into delicious, sweet, soft yellow bananas.
When left uneaten, the ripening process continues and the banana begins to bruise and eventually turn black.
You can slow the ripening process by placing the bananas in a cool location, and removing them from the bag or packaging. You can also speed up the ripening process by placing the bananas in a sealed bag.
Remember to keep bananas out of the fruit bowl if you want to delay ripening. The other fruit in the bowl may release ethylene too!
Unripe Vs Ripe Bananas
Unripe Bananas contain high resistant starch content. For anyone trying to avoid high sugar foods, for example Diabetics, a green banana is a good option while yellow bananas are not. Unripe bananas also contain pro-biotic bacteria to promote gut health.
Unripe bananas have low levels of antioxidants and may cause bloating due to the resistant starch.
Ripe Bananas contain simple sugar which has been converted from resistant starch during the ripening process. The higher glycemic index of a ripe banana allows it to be digested quickly. Bananas also have higher levels of antioxidants as they ripen.
Micronutrient loss can occur as a banana ripens, to lessen the amount lost, store them in a fridge.
What to do with your spotted bananas?
- Bake with them! Use your overripe spotted bananas to make a delicious banana bread or banana muffins. If you’re not baking for a few days, peel the bananas,
chop them, place into plastic storage bags and refrigerate.
- Freeze your overripe bananas and add them to smoothies, shakes or even make some ice-cream! Simply peel them, place in a plastic storage bag and freeze for up to 4 months.
- Dehydrate them to make sweet, chewy banana chips.
Emma Brennan is a qualified Nutritionist and is a registered member of the Association for Nutrition (AFN). Emma attained her qualification in Human Nutrition from Ulster University, Coleraine. Emma has a passion for all things nutrition and health related and her mission is to educate the public about their health and wellbeing through her blogs, videos and nutrition tips online and through the Good4U Nutrition Service provided to schools, sports clubs and businesses.