August 16, 2022

Some folks desire their bananas yellow with a tinge of inexperienced, whereas others desire the sugary sweetness of a banana that has brown spots on the peel.

However it’s not simply the flavour that’s completely different, for there are distinctive results in your physique and well being depending on the ripeness …


Unripe, inexperienced bananas have been proven to have 20 instances as a lot resistant starch as ripe bananas.

It is a type of starch which the physique struggles to interrupt down (it ‘resists’ the digestive course of), so it passes straight by means of the intestine.

This slows down the pace at which the carbohydrates within the fruit are transformed into glucose and absorbed into the blood.

Throughout ripening, the starch in a banana is transformed into sugar — from 3.2g/100g in an unripe banana to 12g/100g in a ripe one

A inexperienced banana sometimes has a glycaemic index (GI) of 30, in comparison with 58 for a ripe banana.

Not solely is resistant starch good for steadying your blood sugar ranges, however ‘good’ micro organism within the colon additionally feed on it.

They, in flip, increase the digestive enzymes that assist us digest carbs and soak up nutritional vitamins from meals, in addition to shield us in opposition to any unfriendly microorganisms.

Professor Gordon Carlson, a marketing consultant gastric surgeon at Salford Royal NHS Basis Belief, advised Good Well being he eats one comparatively unripe banana day by day to spice up his intestine well being. The advantages of inexperienced bananas have been confirmed in a serious overview of 18 research on their vitamin, revealed within the journal Vitamins in 2019.

This discovered that inexperienced bananas can assist with gastrointestinal signs (equivalent to diarrhoea and constipation) and illnesses (equivalent to intestinal cancers).

They might additionally help in stopping or treating sort 2 diabetes.

Not like different meals, bananas comprise a type of resistant starch that’s elevated, somewhat than degraded, by heating.

The truth is, one examine revealed within the Malaysian Journal of Diet in 2018 discovered boiling inexperienced bananas elevated their resistant starch content material.

Different analysis has proven that chilling cooked inexperienced bananas within the fridge will increase resistant starch by an additional 50 per cent.

The cooling course of causes the starches to kind a brand new construction which is much more proof against digestion (referred to as ‘starch retrogradation’).


Throughout ripening, the starch in a banana is transformed into sugar — from 3.2g/100g in an unripe banana to 12g/100g in a ripe one.

‘That is what makes them supply of fast launch power for athletes,’ says dietitian Dr Sarah Schenker.

The decrease portions of resistant starch additionally means yellow bananas are simpler to digest. In case you have digestive issues, inexperienced bananas can depart you feeling gassy or bloated.

Dr Schenker suggests the well being advantages of yellow bananas trump these of inexperienced ones.

‘Bananas comprise a number of compounds, equivalent to carotenoids, that are linked to eye well being and most cancers prevention, and which grow to be extra “bioavailable” [available to the body] when the banana ripens,’ she says.

‘With much less starch to interrupt down, your digestive system will absorb the vitamins extra shortly.’

Bananas comprise B nutritional vitamins in addition to the antioxidant nutritional vitamins A and C, plus the minerals iron, magnesium, manganese and potassium.

A few of these micronutrients are misplaced because the banana ages, however antioxidant ranges, which assist to help the immune system, attain a peak.

Research, together with one revealed in 2014 within the Worldwide Meals Analysis Journal, have proven that vitamin C ranges enhance with the ripening course of, however decline because the banana turns into overripe.

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‘These antioxidants exist to guard the fruit from being eaten and have a tendency to rise because the fruit ripens,’ explains Dr Sangeetha Thondre, a senior lecturer in vitamin at Oxford Brookes Centre for Diet and Well being.

Yellow with brown spots 

The brown spots on a really ripe banana point out that much more starch has been transformed to sugar.

Scientists have discovered a totally ripe banana produces a substance referred to as tumour necrosis issue (TNF) which has the power to fight irregular cells and increase our immunity in opposition to most cancers.

In a examine revealed in 2009 within the journal Meals Science and Know-how Analysis, scientists at Teikyo College in Japan discovered that bananas with darkish spots have been eight instances simpler at enhancing the ability of white blood cells (which struggle an infection) than green- skinned bananas.

They reported that the diploma of the fruit’s anti-cancer impact corresponds to the diploma of ripeness — the extra patches a banana has, the better its immunity-boosting energy.


Bananas produce ethylene gasoline, a pure compound that regulates the ripening course of, inflicting them to show brown.

This adjustments their texture and flavour in addition to their dietary worth. When a banana turns into overripe, a lot of the starch is transformed into sugars, making it a superb pure supply of sweetness.

Dr Schenker recommends utilizing brown bananas in baking and freezing them to whizz up in a blender to make sugar-free ice cream.

‘Utilizing overripe bananas as a substitute of sugar is a more healthy solution to sweeten meals, as bananas present a number of important vitamins: potassium, vitamin B6, folate and a few vitamin C,’ she says.

Ultimately, overripe bananas can begin to ferment, dropping a lot of their dietary advantages. They may begin to scent extra like alcohol than sugar, and may comprise as much as 0.5g of alcohol per banana.

Laboratory research have proven you may extract ethanol (alcohol) from extraordinarily ripe bananas, however solely after including yeast and sugar.

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Scorching cross buns check

Right here, Sophie Medlin, of Metropolis Dietitians in London, assesses numerous ‘more healthy’ scorching cross buns — and we then rated them. 

Tesco Free From 

4 x 70g buns, £2.20,

Declare: ‘Gluten, wheat and milk free.’

Per bun: Energy 161; saturated fats 0.2g; sugar 12.2g; fibre 6.3g; protein 2.8g.

Verdict: A mixture of gluten-free grains, fibrous psyllium husk and bamboo fibre, offers 21 per cent of your every day fibre. Butter and milk have been changed with rapeseed oil and dried egg white.

Well being ranking: 8/10

Style: Good, sticky fruit and cinnamon, however very dry. 4/10

Severely Low Carb 

4 x 55g buns, £3.99,

Declare: ‘A fraction of the carbs of a daily scorching cross bun. Excessive in protein and fibre.’

Per burn: Energy, 113; saturated fats 1.2g; sugar 4.2g; fibre 4.6g; protein 10.7g

Verdict: Utilizing a reduced-carb, protein-rich wheat flour, these buns have 80 per cent much less carbs than common buns. The low-calorie sweetener erythritol could trigger bloating.

Well being ranking: 6/10

Style: Over-spiced; minimal fruit. 2/10

Seriously Low Carb

Severely Low Carb

Sainsbury’s Be Good to Your self 

6x 70g buns, £1.10

Declare: ‘Lower than 3 per cent fats.’

Per bun: Energy 186; saturated fats 0.7g; sugar 11.6g; fibre 1.9g; protein 5g

Verdict: These have a couple of extra energy and fats than some buns, and there are a number of ultra-processed components.

Well being ranking: 2/10

Style: Juicy however stodgy and a bit dry. 3/10

Waitrose Wholemeal 

4 buns, £1.65

Declare: ‘Made with wholemeal flour.’

Per bun: Energy 187; Saturated fats 1.5g; sugar 12.4g; fibre 4g; protein 6.7g

Verdict: Not fairly as a lot additional fibre as you would possibly anticipate, simply 13 per cent of your every day wants — and three teaspoons of sugar, most of it coming naturally from the fruit, but additionally some dextrose.

Well being ranking: 6/10

Style: Top of the range fruit. 7/10 

Mandy Francis