The truth about bananas: Experts reveal the benefits of the fruit based on its colour - and what the brown spots on the skin REALLY mean
* Spots dietitian Ryan Pinto has revealed the benefits of ripe and unripe bananas
* Green bananas have the least sugar while brown bananas have the most
* Brown spots reveal the presence of sugar but also indicate high antioxidants
* Spotted ones are so rich in them that they've been linked to cancer prevention
As one of the cheapest and most satiating fruits, bananas are up there with the most popular snacks you can buy.
And while their health benefits are widely known, few are aware of how the ripeness of a banana impacts on its nutritional make-up.
So to help make it clear, Australian sports dietitian Ryan Pinto recently shared a graphic about the various benefits - and why eating an over-ripe banana may not be a great idea.
'The best way to understand how the health of a banana can change is by investigating what really happens to them internally over time,' he wrote on his page, High Performance Nutrition AU. Green bananas
According to Ryan, green bananas are 'youthful, low FODMAP and full of starch'.
'Referred to as "resistant" starch, this nutrient makes your digestive system work a little harder. It's also the reason why green bananas seem to fill you up so quickly,' he wrote.396 shares
However, the starch in green bananas can also 'make you feel gassy or bloated' and also 'contributes to their waxy texture'.
'If you're looking for a banana that's lower GI, go for a green one. Eventually, your body will break this starch down into glucose. This way, green bananas will raise blood sugar levels slowly,' he said.
'The trade-off here is taste. Green bananas can be bitter, as they contain less sugar in every bite.'Yellow bananas
'Say goodbye to starch and hello to sugar,' Ryan said.
According to the sports dietitian, yellow bananas are 'softer and sweeter' because it contains more sugar. They're also higher on the glyecmic index, meaning they're easier to digest.
'With less starch to break down, your digestive system will soak up the nutrients quicker,' Ryan said.
'Unfortunately, there is always micronutrient loss as bananas age. To make up for this, yellow bananas are more developed when it comes to antioxidants.'
Dietitian Leanne Ward, from Brisbane, usually has a boiled egg and a yellow banana as her second meal of the day.
She tends to eat around six meals a day, alongside plenty of herbal tea and water.
What other health benefits do bananas provide?
* Bananas are rich in pectin, a type of fibre that gives the flesh its spongy structural form.
* Unripe bananas contain resistant starch, which acts like soluble fibre and escapes digestion.
* A medium-sized banana has about three grams of fibre, making bananas a fairly good fibre source.
* Several studies reveal that 15–30 grams of resistant starch per day may improve insulin sensitivity by 33–50 per cent
in as few as four weeks.
* One 13-year study in women determined that those who ate bananas three to three times per week were 33 per cent
less likely to develop kidney disease.Spotted Bananas
Very ripe bananas often exhibit brown spots on their flesh and are much sweeter in taste, which is down to their higher sugar content.
'Not only do brown spots show that a banana has aged, but they also indicate how much starch has been converted to sugar,' Ryan explained.
'Ultimately, the greater number of brown spots a banana has, the more sugar it contains.'
However, Ryan says brown spots can also be seen as 'tiny immune system boosters'.
'Spotted bananas are so rich in antioxidants that they have been linked to cancer prevention.
'Tumor Necrosis Factor (TNF), which functions to destroy tumours, is linked to those brown dots,' he said.Brown Bananas
'Do you remember all that resistant starch? Well, it's practically all sugar now,' Ryan said.
'Just as the starch has broken down into sugar, chlorophyll has taken a new form as well.
'This breakdown of chlorophyll is the reason why antioxidant levels increase as bananas age.
'All bananas are around 100 calories, low in fat and are rich sources of potassium, vitamin B6, vitamin C and fibre.'How a banana a day can keep strokes at bay
An eight-year study of 5,600 men and women over 65 found those with the least potassium in their diet were 1.5 times more likely to have a stroke than those with the most.
As the banana is a useful source of potassium, it can help to reduce the risk of a stroke in old age.
Other potassium-rich foods are lentils, oranges and avocados.
Researchers at the Queen's Medical Centre in Hawaii defined low potassium intake as less than
2.4 grams per day and high intake as more than four grams per day.
In Britain, the recommended daily dose is 3.5g.
Strokes are one of Australia's biggest killers and a leading cause of disability, while it's the third biggest killer in the UK.https://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-7296203/The-nutrition-truth-bananas.html