Bananas, or curved yellow fruit as it is known in some supermarkets with a great sense of humor, is one of the most readily available fruits in the world. Their wonderful taste and their mushy texture are just a couple of reasons why a lot of dessert recipes include bananas. They are a common ingredient in most fruit salads as well. And a banana is not even a fruit. In fact, it is considered a herb, because the banana “tree” doesn’t contain any woody tissue. Strange, isn’t it?
Thanks to their high nutritious value, bananas often feature on breakfast menus around the world. They are a source of instant energy, which makes them an excellent way to begin your day. The fact that a banana contains only 90 calories, makes it a much healthier snack than all those goodies loaded with sugar and dripping with fat. Bananas are also a rich source of potassium. This mineral regulates the heartbeat and the blood pressure, as well as keeping the brain alert.
But when is the best time to eat a banana? There are people who like their bananas a bit on the green side, when they aren’t even ripe yet. There are people who prefer the middle ground and eat the bananas when they are nice and yellow. And then there are some really strange people who don’t even consider peeling a banana unless its skin is almost completely black. What?!
Seriously though, there really isn’t a right way and wrong way to go here. Eating any kind of banana will be very beneficial for your health. Just keep in mind that the different colors of their skins mean different valuable nutrients.
1. Very green bananas
If you have diabetes, the bright green bananas are the best option for you, because they help you keep your blood sugar in check. Unripe bananas have a low glycemic index of around 30, as opposed to the ripe ones who have 60. The GI measures how fast a certain kind of food will raise the blood sugar. The lower the value on the 0-100 scale, the better the food is for controlling the blood pressure.
2. Green turning to yellow
Eating a banana as it starts turning yellow will keep you full for a longer time. Your body will need to work harder to digest the fruit, resulting in more energy released.
3. A firm yellow banana
As they ripen, the starch contained in the green bananas turns into sugar. This means that the yellow bananas have a sweeter flavor, and they are much easier to digest. If you have a weak stomach, this is the right banana color for you.
4. A fully yellow banana
After about a day, the firm yellow banana starts developing more antioxidants. So, consuming the fruit at this stage will provide your body with a lot of antioxidants which protect the cells from harmful molecules called free radicals. Substances that can generate free radicals include fried foods, alcohol, tobacco smoke, pesticides, air pollutants etc. These molecules can damage parts of the cells and lead to disease.
5. Spotted yellow banana
The riper the banana, the more antioxidants it contains. This is very beneficial for the human body. According to some research, antioxidants can help prevent cancer, as they neutralize the free radicals, whose damaging impact on the cells can be the cause for the disease.
6. Brown spots on a yellow banana
Don’t be put off by the unattractive look of the brown spots on the banana. They actually mean a good thing. Research has found that eating a banana at this point of its life can have a positive effect on breaking down pre-cancerous cells.
7. Brown bananas
A lot of people are going to throw out their bananas when they start looking like this. At this point, most of the starch has already turned into sugar, which means the brown bananas are not recommended for diabetics. However, the higher sugar content means they are very easily digestible and they taste a lot sweeter.
8. Soft and brown bananas
This kind of banana has its own secret weapons, too. For example, it contains tryptophan, a chemical that reduces stress and anxiety. These bananas are also very rich in nutrients beneficial for the health of your muscles and bones.
So, the colour of the banana skin indicates not only a difference in taste and texture, but also in its nutritional content. But does this mean that you will change the way you eat your bananas to make sure you reap the most benefits, or are you going to go by taste, and simply choose the one you like best? Tell us in the comments!