The banana plant is a huge perennial herbaceous flowering plant and not a tree. It grows from a rhizome and produces a false trunk with leaves that grow in spiral form. It can grow up to ten meters in height. The fruit, which grows in clusters, is typically green and is larger than the common banana variety. The fruit of the banana is a false berry that can measure between 7 and 30 centimeters long and is covered by a pericarp. The famous leathery-type banana peel is either cylindrical and linear or slightly curved in shape. The pulp is consistent, smooth and compact, with an intense green color on the outside and is white or yellowish on the inside. The pulp is very rich in resistant starch.
When green bananas are consumed, the resistant starch passes intact through the stomach and small intestine. It is only in the large intestine that starch is fermented by bacteria, in a process that leads to the formation of substances beneficial to health and fitness.
Once fermented, resistant starch also contributes to the integrity of the intestinal mucosa, as it helps in the proper absorption of nutrients and prevents the entry of invading organisms. Fermented resistant starch also serves as food for the “good” bacteria that live in our intestines and are essential for the health of the digestive system.
- Contributes to weight control: Resistant starch has half the calories of conventional carbohydrates. It also acts as a dietary fiber, increasing the feeling of satiety and reducing appetite.
- Reduces cholesterol: The regular consumption of green bananas not only lowers LDL cholesterol (bad cholesterol), it also increases the rates of HDL (good cholesterol). Recent studies suggest that green plantain flour can increase the levels of good cholesterol in the bloodstream by 30%, which is probably due to the fact that the green banana fruit reduces the production of cholesterol in the liver and, at the same time, aids its elimination through the digestive system.
- Prevents heart attacks and other types of cardiovascular diseases: By reducing bad cholesterol and triglyceride levels, and increasing HDL levels, green bananas contribute to the health of the cardiovascular system. This is because HDL prevents LDL from being deposited on the vessel wall, causing a blockage that may lead to a heart attack in the future.
- Controls blood sugar and prevents diabetes: Controls and helps prevent the onset of Type 2 diabetes. When eaten, green bananas release sugar into the bloodstream very slowly, preventing a wide variation in sugar levels. glucose levels and thus keeps insulin release stable.
- Regulates the intestine: Helps in the elimination of food waste that may be obstructing the digestive system, thus helping to destroy toxins. Resistant starch improves intestinal transit, preventing diarrhea, constipation and even bowel cancer.
- Helps burn fat: Due to the reduced amounts of carbohydrates found in bananas, the body is forced to use fat reserves to carry out its functions, thus helping to reduce stored fat.
- Improves mood: Bananas are a great source of vitamin B6 and tryptophan, two essential nutrients for the synthesis of serotonin, a neurotransmitter associated with the sensation of pleasure and well-being.