You know a fruit is powerhouse of nutrients when it can be savoured equally both in its raw and ripe forms. Not many fruits around the world enjoy such a massive fan following. Banana is one such fruit, which is mainstay in every fruit basket around the globe. In India however, bananas are also cherished in their raw form. Green banana or kaccha kela is part of many savoury Indian preparations. It can be steamed, boiled, stir-fried, batter-fried, deep-fried, mashed and curried, and also be used as a stuffing, in salads or in dips. In Kerala, you can also find chips made of raw banana.
Macrobiotic nutritionist and Health practitioner Shilpa Arora says, “Green bananas are full of fibre with are good for people with digestive and bowel problems. It is especially beneficial for people with IBS and constipation. It is loaded with potassium, which acts as a vasodilator. Potassium helps in regulating blood pressure levels. It is a powerhouse of nutrients, that works effectively for diabetics. It enables slow release in sugar. Green banana needs to be cooked for better absorption of nutrients.
1. Full of Fibre
Green bananas are an excellent source of fibre. Fibres play an essential role in ensuring digestive health as well as our heart health. About 100 grams of banana has 2.6 grams of fibre. Fibres add bulk to the stool, aiding bowel regularity and facilitating smooth digestion. Consuming foods rich in fibre helps maintaining blood sugar levels. Fibres also ensure low cholesterol levels, which in turn reduces risk of stroke or attack.
2. Good for Heart
Just like the ripe bananas, green bananas too are extremely rich in potassium. You would be surprised to know that 1-cup serving of boiled green bananas contains 531 milligrams of potassium. Potassium plays an essential role in proper kidney function. Potassium is also a vasodilator, which helps in ensuring that the blood pressure levels are in check.
3. Weight Loss Benefits
Green bananas are full of dietary fibres. Fibres takes the longest to digest, which in turn induces the feeling of satiety and fullness. When you feel full, your cravings are suppressed and you don’t go out bingeing on other fattening foods.
4. Excellent Source Of Vitamins
Green bananas are a powerhouse of vitamins and minerals. In addition to potassium, raw bananas are rich source of vitamin C and vitamin B6. It also facilitate absorption of essential minerals and nutrients, especially calcium.
5. Good for diabetics
Raw bananas have low sugar content. It’s glycemic index is 30. Foods that are low on glycemic index 55 or less are digested, absorbed and metabolised slowly, thereby ensuring there is no sudden surge in blood sugar levels. Raw bananas are also rich in dietary fibres which is also a highly recommended nutrient for diabetics.
6. Good Source of resistant starch
Raw bananas are a good source of resistant starch. Resistant starch is a type of starch that isn’t fully broken down and absorbed by your body during the time of digestion. It is turned into short-chain fatty acids by intestinal bacteria. Resistant starch helps keep cholesterol in check.
7. Tummy problems
The rich fibre content of raw bananas can help ease conditions like Irritable Bowel Syndrome and constipation. You can have them steamed or boiled with a pinch of salt.
Steamed or boiled green bananas are some of the healthiest ways to have green bananas. Frying raw bananas would amount to excess calorie load. When purchasing, opt for the ones with fresh, green peel and without any discolouration, bruises or dark spots. ‘Tis the time to start loading up on the wonder fruit already!