When to eat a banana? At what stage of its ripening cycle is it must beneficial? is there science in this even? The humble banana has different nutritional characteristics at various stages of ripening. Even when it is “over ripe”, it holds nutritional value. A banana holds different nutritional values at various stages ripening. Food containing high fibre and low in sugar is good for the heart. High levels of antioxidants delay the aging process. High fibre and prebiotics are vital for gut health which in turn indirectly affects not only the the health of the heart, but, also the overall health of a person.
When to eat a banana?
Both green and yellow bananas have positive effects on your health. Besides the differences in color, green and yellow bananas differ in several other ways as well. When to eat a banana depends on what you want.
- Taste: Green bananas are less sweet. They’re actually a little bitter.
- Feel / Texture: Green bananas are firmer than yellow bananas. Their feel has been described as waxy as a candle.
- Composition: Green bananas have more starch, pectin and fiber. As they ripen and turn yellow, starch is converted into various sugars (glucose, sucrose, fructose), pectin breaks down and so a yellow banana tastes sweeter but feels more mushy.
- Peeling: Green bananas are harder to peel, while ripe bananas peel much more easily.
A single medium sized banana (120 grams approximately) has the following nutritional characteristics :
- Potassium: 9% of the Recommended Daily Intake
- Vitamin B6: 33% of the Recommended Daily Intake
- Vitamin C: 11% of the Recommended Daily Intake
- Magnesium: 8% of the Recommended Daily Intake
- Copper: 10% of the Recommended Daily Intake
- Manganese: 14% of the Recommended Daily Intake
- Net carbs: 24 grams
- Fiber: 3.1 grams
- Protein: 1.3 grams
- Fat: 0.4 grams
When to eat a banana? There is science in even this?
Each banana has only about 105 calories and consists almost exclusively of water and carbs. Bananas hold very little protein and almost no fat. Bananas are acidic so it may not be wise to eat em on an empty stomach first up in the morning. They are best combined with nuts and / or cereals for breakfast. They are excellent mid morning and mid afternoon snacks.
Bananas go very well as smoothies or as part of a milkshake as well. Bananas are great pre-workout energy boosters as well. Bananas have a high content of potassium and so are not advised for people with renal (kidney) failure. The sugar content is higher in a yellow banana. The more the number of dark spots on a yellow banana, the more the sugar and potent anti-oxidant content in them. Spotted yellow bananas are a power house of antioxidants. Antioxidants in bananas are derived from the breakdown of chlorophyll (which gave the unripe banana its green colour).
When to eat a banana – diabetics:
People with diabetes need to be careful about eating bananas. Green bananas contain less sugar (low glycemic index) and so may be alright for diabetics. Green bananas being high on fiber and pectin take longer to digest and so a feeling of “fullness” lasts longer. the urges to binge on other foods is therefore less. A ripe yellow spotted banana is more loaded with various sugars and so may cause dangerous spikes in blood sugar levels in diabetics.
Bananas are virtually fat free, cholesterol free and sodium free and so are not contraindicated in people with high blood pressure and those with coronary artery disease. There are thus multiple issues to be factored in when deciding when to eat a banana and if it is safe for you. When to eat a banana depends entirely on what specific nutritional benefits you hope to derive.
A final word:
Never discard / throw away the banana peel. It is an excellent source of organic manure for most flowering plants. Bury them in your garden and watch your flowering plants bloom as if they are on steroids!