The Best Time To Eat A Banana- Is it healthier to eat a banana while it’s fresh or when it’s ripe?
Many people are wondering about when it’s the best time to eat a banana. Interestingly, the nutritional profile of bananas changes as they ripen. You may have noticed that the more ripe your banana is, the sweeter it tastes. This is because enzymes in the fruit’s tissues are progressively breaking down starch (long polymeric form of sugar that doesn’t taste sweet) into simple sugars (monosaccharides, disaccharides, etc which taste sweet).
Since in a ripen banana, the enzymes have already done the task of breaking that starch down, your body doesn’t need to. Therefore, you will absorb the sugars into your blood stream quickly which causes a “spike” in blood sugar.
In contrast, there may be some benefit to eating the ripe banana. Japanese researchers have shown that the antioxidant and anti-cancer properties of the banana surge as it ripens. Full ripe banana with dark patches on yellow skin produces a substance called TNF (Tumor Necrosis Factor) which has the ability to combat abnormal cells. The more darker patches it has the higher will be its immunity enhancement quality; Hence, the riper the banana the better the anti-cancer quality. Yellow skin banana with dark spots on it is 8x more effective in enhancing the property of white blood cells than green skin version.
In conclusion, the ripe banana is your best option when your body needs quick sugar. If you don’t want the fast hike in your blood sugar levels, you could consider eating the ripe banana with some nut butter (the fat slows the absorption of sugars into your blood stream) or simply eat the banana while it’s still greenish (level 3 or 4 in the pic).