- Raw bananas are rich in fibre
- They have low glycemic index
- People with weak digestive system should refrain from eating raw bananas
Raw bananas are the fibre-rich miracle food which can be great for diabetics. They help in maintaining blood sugar and also help in keeping the heart healthy. Raw bananas or green bananas are widely cultivated in southern India and are in fact used in most Indian cuisines. In Kerala, raw bananas are almost like an unavoidable ingredient. They are used in the form of stir fries and banana chips. Almost all parts of the fruit can be used in different forms and variations. Raw banana is rich in various vitamins and minerals which are essential for a healthy body.
Below are some of the health benefits of raw bananas you must know:
1. Rich in vitamins
Raw bananas or green bananas comprise most essential vitamins and minerals. Raw bananas are specifically rich in Vitamin C and Vitamin B6. Vitamin C is an essential mineral for healthy skin and hair. Vitamin C gives a boost to immune system and contains antioxidants which protect the body from damage caused by free radicals. Vitamin B6 on the other hand is responsible for converting food into energy. It is good for heart health and improves brain function.
2. Great for diabetics
Sugar content in raw bananas is really low and that's why raw bananas are great for diabetes. They have a glycemic index (GI) of less than 55, which is helpful for keeping the digestive system healthy. Foods with less GI prevent in rapid spike in blood sugar levels. Diabetes can in face include raw bananas in their daily diet.
Nutritionist Pooja Malhotra is of the belief that raw bananas are beneficial for diabetics. She says, "Raw bananas have low glycemic index because they have resistant starches that don't get digested easily. So they are better for diabetics. However, they can cause bloating and indigestion to someone who has a weak digestion."
This means that people who have a slow or a weak digestive system should refrain from eating raw bananas or eat them in limited quantities only.
3. Raw bananas are rich in fibre
Raw bananas or green bananas are rich in fibre. Foods rich in fibre help in easing the digestion process. Fibre-rich foods are helpful in keeping constipation at bay. Furthermore, fibre is helpful in keeping blood sugar levels under control. Consuming raw bananas regularly can help in controlling cholesterol levels. This helps in keeping heart healthy and reduces incidence of stroke.
4. Prevents stomach problems
Fibre content in raw bananas can be helpful in keeping many stomach problems at bay. These include problems like constipation and irritable bowel syndrome. A cup of steamed or cooked raw banana everyday can be of great help. However, avoid fried raw bananas as it merely contributes to increasing calorie intake.
5. They help in weight loss
Raw bananas are rich in fibre. Eating fibrous foods helps you keep full for longer and thus reduce appetite. People on a weight loss regime can include raw bananas in their diet as it curbs hunger and also prevents snacking on unhealthy food.
6. Good for heart health
Raw bananas are a rich source of potassium. Potassium rich foods are good for health of kidneys. Raw bananas are also great for keeping blood pressure under control.
7. Gives a boost to beneficial starch
Green plantains are storehouse of resistant starch. Resistant starch is the kind of starch which is not completely broken down or absorbed. These starches don't get digested easily. They turn into short chain fatty acids by intestinal bacteria.
(Pooja Malhotra is a nutritionist based in Delhi)
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