Ripe Bananas Fight Cancer
-by Nathan Gates
So many people are wondering about when is the best time to eat a banana? Interestingly, the nutritional profile of banana changes as they ripen. The riper your banana is, the sweeter it tastes. This is because the enzymes in the fruit’s tissues are progressively breaking down starch into simple sugars.
Since the enzymes have already broken that starch, your body doesn’t need to. Therefore, you will absorb the sugars into your blood stream which causes a spike in blood sugar, in contrast, there are benefits of eating the ripe banana.
According to Japanese researchers, 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.
As a banana ripens, its antioxidant levels rise, strengthening your immune system and increasing the white blood cells. Yellow skin banana with dark spots on it is 8 times more effective in enhancing the property of white blood cells than the green skin. Hence, the riper the banana the better the anti-cancer quality.
TNF is a cytokine that assists cell-to-cell communication in immune responses and directs cell movement towards inflammation and infection sites. It interferes with the growth and spread of tumor cells and triggers apoptosis (cell death). Researchers pinpointed that TNF produced by ripe bananas is as effective of an anti-cancer agent as lentinan, an immunostimulant injected intravenously to stimulate white blood cell production.
One ripe banana a day may just help keep the oncologist away!
Yellow vs Green
Both yellow and green bananas are high in fiber, potassium, vitamin B6, and vitamin C. No matter the hue, bananas nourish your gastrointestinal track and aid in digestion. Green bananas do have the benefit of being less sugary, however.
When a banana ripens, its starch content consists of mainly simple, easy-to-digest sugars that elevate blood sugar levels. Insulin resistant or diabetic individuals should monitor their intake of sugary ripe bananas.
As the cancer-fighting properties of ripe bananas increase, their micronutrient profile (vitamin and mineral content) does take a dip down. The solution? Mix up your fruit bowl with both fully ripe and green-tinted bananas.
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).
Fast Banana Facts
Bananas contain a fair amount of fiber, as well as several antioxidants. One medium-sized banana (118 grams) also contains:
- Potassium: 9% of the RDI.
- Vitamin B6: 33% of the RDI.
- Vitamin C: 11% of the RDI.
- Magnesium: 8% of the RDI.
- Copper: 10% of the RDI.
- Manganese: 14% of the RDI.
- Net carbs: 24 grams.
- Fiber: 3.1 grams.
- Protein: 1.3 grams.
- Fat: 0.4 grams.
The average banana contains only about 105 calories, and consists almost exclusively of water and carbs. Bananas contain very little protein and almost no fat. Bananas also help fight depression because they contain the amino acid tryptophan, which converts into serotonin, the body’s natural mood-enhancing chemical.
Nathan’s Power Breakfast Smoothie
Almonds, uncooked oatmeal, bananas and yogurt meet up in your blender for a power breakfast. Drink this Banana Oatmeal Smoothie before your morning exercise routine or as an energizing pick-me-up anytime during the day.
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
- 2 whole ripened bananas (level 7 in above pic)
- 1/2 cup Yogurt – preferably Greek yogurt
- 1/2 cup uncooked oatmeal
- 1/3 cup Almonds
- 1 tbsp honey
- 1 tbsp flax oil
Pour all ingredients in blender. Blend on high for 45 seconds or until oatmeal is well-blended.
Nutrition Information Per Serving:
Calories 240; Total Fat 10 g (Sat 1.5 g, Trans 0 g, Poly 4.5 g, Mono 4 g); Cholesterol 2 mg; Sodium 17 mg; Potassium 345 mg; Total Carbohydrates 24 g; Dietary Fiber 5 g; Total Sugars 12 g; Protein 8 g; Total Omega-3 Fatty Acids 3598 mg; Total Omega-6 Fatty Acids 858 mg.
Percent Daily Value: Vitamin A 2%; Vitamin B6 25%; Vitamin C 20%; Calcium 15%, Iron 15%.
About the Author: Nathan Gates has written hundreds of articles over a span of 30 years and is now a regular contributor to HealthyReaders.com. Nathan’s main focus throughout his career has been in the health, healing and alternative and preventative medicine fields.
Sources: Positive Med, Science Direct