Fruits are bestowed with a plethora of nutrients that offer umpteen wellness benefits when taken both in their raw and ripe forms. One such fruit that is a mainstay in every fruit basket and relished by people across the globe is the Banana. In India bananas are also treasured in their raw form as well, Green Banana or Kaccha Kela is a part of various savoury Indian dishes. It can be boiled, steamed, stir-fried, deep-fried with batter, fried as chips, mashed, and curried, and also used as stuffing or in dips.
Green bananas are laden with a wealth of dietary fibre, which is valuable for treating digestive and bowel issues. Packed with potassium, which acts as a vasodilator controlling blood pressure levels and augments heart health. It should be cooked well for better assimilation of nutrients.
Green Vs. Yellow Bananas
Bananas are usually harvested when they’re still green and this ensures that they don’t become too ripe before people buy them. Besides being different in colour, green and yellow bananas vary in many ways:
Taste: Green bananas are mildly bitter in taste and not sweet.
Texture: They are firmer than yellow ones and are sometimes described as waxy. Green bananas are harder to peel and have firm skin, while ripe ones are easier to peel.
Composition: Green ones are loaded with starches. As bananas ripen the starches are converted into sugars. The starch present in green bananas is resistant starch, which makes up 80% of their dry weight and is not digested in the small intestine. While as they ripen starch is converted to sucrose, glucose, and fructose and ripe ones contain 1% starch. They are also a good source of pectin that aids to maintain their structural form. The presence of resistant starch and pectin in green bananas can deliver several health benefits including better sugar control and digestive health.
The nutritional content of green bananas is similar to that of yellow ones, expect they have more dietary fibre because of their high resistant starch content. A medium-sized yellow banana contains 105 calories and more than 90% come from carbs. Also, they are very low in fat and protein.
Nutritional Profile Of Green Banana:
Fiber: 3 grams
Potassium: 9% of the daily value (DV)
Vitamin B6: 25% of the DV
Vitamin C: 11% of the DV
Magnesium: 7% of the DV
Copper: 10% of the DV
Manganese: 14% of the DV
*SOURCE As Per USDA
Potential Health Benefits of Green Bananas
Support Weight Loss
Green bananas, being intrinsically high in dietary fibre and vital nutrients, can be taken regularly by people who want to lose those extra kilos. The presence of resistant starch and pectin, fibre in green bananas add bulk and increase the feeling of fullness after meals. Aside from this, the fibres slow down gastric emptying time, reducing the intake of food and assisting in losing weight.
Promotes Gut Health
The nutrients present in green bananas are known to have a prebiotic effect. The resistant starch and pectin instead of being broken down in the intestine, feed gut-friendly bacteria that reside in the intestine. Thereby improving the gut microbe, regularising bowel movements, and enhancing the functions of the digestive system. Additionally, it promotes the production of short-chain fatty acids in the gut that may help treat several digestive woes, and facilitate a smooth digestion process
Green bananas are naturally low in sugar content and their glycaemic index is 30, which is considered beneficial for diabetics. Low glycaemic index foods are digested, absorbed, and metabolized slowly thus averting sudden spike in blood sugar levels. Also, being an abundant source of dietary fibre green bananas is a must-to-add vegetable in the diabetic’s meal plan.
Remedies Irritable Bowel syndrome
The richness of natural fibre content in green bananas can help treat conditions like irritable bowel syndrome and constipation. Have them steamed or boiled to mitigate the symptoms of IBS and improve gut functions. Moreover, green bananas promote the production of short-chain fatty acids (SCFA), which are valuable in the treatment of ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease, and antibiotic-related diarrhoea.
Augments Heart Health
Green bananas are endowed with an impressive profile of heart-friendly nutrients. Being an excellent source of potassium that acts as a natural vasodilator which helps the muscles to contract, regulates blood pressure, and maintains heart rhythm. Aside this, high fibre content of green bananas aids to maintain a lipid profile.
Packed With Antioxidants
Green bananas are a storehouse of antioxidants that help combat free radicals and prevent oxidative damage to healthy cells. They are bestowed with vitamin C, beta-carotene, and other phytonutrients like lutein and zeaxanthin. These bio-active compounds aid to reduce inflammation and protect against cancer, heart disease, and age-related vision problems. Furthermore, the antioxidants in green bananas are highly valuable for treating people with neurodegenerative diseases like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s.
How To Eat Green Bananas?
Adding this nutritious food into the diet regimen is an incredible way to uplift overall health. Green bananas are steamed or boiled, roasted, and fried to make some delectable dishes. The healthiest way to have them is steamed or boiled form. They are also deep-fried to make chips and fritters, but these add up to the calories. Also, green banana flour is used to make pasta, bread, or cakes, which enhance the nutrient content of the product.
Green Banana Recipes
Raw bananas are part of scrumptious meals across India. In north India, green bananas are used to make rich koftas, curries, kebabs, and pakoras, whereas, in South India, they are used to make stir fries, curries, and chips. Try out these yummy and flavourful green banana recipes.
Green Banana Kebab
It is a healthy and easy-to-make appetizer or savour snack with a hot cup of chai. It is heaped with the goodness of mashed green bananas, cheese, and spices.
2 medium-sized green bananas
½ tsp butter
1 tbsp garam masala powder
1 tsp ginger, garlic paste
1 tsp wheat flour
1 tsp corn flourFor The Filling
100-gram processed cheese
1 tsp finely chopped green chilies
½ cup finely chopped onion
1 tbsp finely chopped coriander leaves
1 lemon juice
Salt to taste
Oil For shallow frying
Peel and cut the bananas into cubes and wash them well.
Cook them for 5 to 8 minutes, drain them, allow it to cool and mash well.
Add butter, salt, and mashed bananas to a pan.
Now add the ginger, garlic paste, and garam masala and blend well, cook for a few minutes and keep it aside.
For The Filling
Mix cheese, chilies, coriander leaves, lemon juice, and salt.
To the banana mixture, add flour and mix well.
Shape the banana mixture into even sized circular patties and fill it up with fillings and seal the edges.
Heat oil in a pan and shallow fry the kebab until they turn golden brown.
Serve hot kebab with tangy mint chutney.
Green banana is loaded with dietary fibre, antioxidants, and other essential nutrients that are good for gut health, and weight loss. Cheese contains ample protein for muscle mass, as well as calcium and phosphorus for strong bones. Coriander leaves are blessed with flavonoids which detoxify the system and maintain liver health.
Green Banana Poriyal
This is easy to make, simple dish straight from South India. An aromatic mix of spices, cooked with green bananas and coconut.
2 green bananas
1/2 cup grated coconut
4 slit green chilies
¼ cup gram shallots
3 dry red chilies
1/2 tsp Cumin seeds
1/2 tsp Mustard seeds
1/2 tsp Turmeric powder
1 sprig of Curry leaves
Salt to taste
2 tsp Coconut oil
Peel, chop green bananas into pieces, and wash well.
In a pan add chopped green bananas, turmeric, salt, and water and cook until pieces are soft.
Drain and set aside.
Grind coconut, shallots, cumin seeds, and green chilies to a coarse paste and keep it aside.
Heat oil in a pan, add mustard seeds, and curry leaves, and let them splutter.
Now add coconut paste and saute it for a few seconds.
Add the cooked green bananas and blend well.
Add salt if needed and stir fry for 1-2 minutes and switch off the flame.
Serve with hot rice.
Blessed with the treasure trove of vitamins A, C, and phytonutrients, green bananas confer advantages for heart health, brain activity, and healthy gut functions. Coconuts are a good source of medium-chain triglycerides that help you lose weight and support smooth digestion.
Green bananas are considered safe for consumption for most healthy adults. Although, people with sensitive stomach or prone to allergies may feel discomfort like bloating and gas if taken in large amounts. It can also trigger allergies in those with latex allergies. This is because they contain the same allergy-causing proteins and condition is termed as latex fruit syndrome. Moreover, having green bananas in the right way may mitigate the risk of side effects in a few cases.