When Your Banana Turns Brown

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When Your Banana Turns Brown
Graphic: © herbs-info.com. Image source – Pixabay (PD).

When it comes to keeping the doctor away, bananas and apples go hand in hand. The tropical fruit is loaded with nutrients such as vitamin C, potassium, and fiber that support optimal health. The only downside to this super fruit is its relatively short shelf life.

You probably discard your bananas the moment they turn brown. But as it turns out, you’re throwing away the “good stuff.” Wondering what we’re talking about? Read on for evidence-backed health benefits of fully ripe bananas.

Health Benefits of Overripe Bananas

Concerned that the brown spots on your bananas are a sign of going bad? The Greater Chicago Food Depository shows that when your banana turns brown, they’re still safe for consumption – and laden with more health benefits. [1] You should only be concerned when there are traces of mold or strange odors.

According to a 2014 study in the International Food Research Journal, the ripening process in a bananas leads to changes in its chemical composition and antioxidant content. [2] The researcher discovered that the level of sugar content and antioxidants, such as vitamin C was significantly higher in the fully ripened stage. Antioxidants eradicate harmful free radicals and strengthen the immune system – hence helping fight infections and even hinder cancer development. [3]

How to Use Fully Ripe Bananas

Ready to go bananas for ripe bananas? Fully ripe bananas not only taste great, but they’re also great for your body. So next time your bananas turn brown, consider adding them in your cakes, smoothies, baked goods, or even ice cream.

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Please note that this content should never be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinicians.

References:

[1] The Greater Chicago Food Depository (2019). SALVAGEABLE FRUIT AND VEGETABLE GUIDELINES https://www.chicagosfoodbank.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/SALVAGEABLE_FRUIT_AND_VEGETABLE_GUIDELINES.pdf.

[2] Fernando, H. R. P. et al. 2014. Changes in antioxidant properties and chemical composition during ripening in banana variety ‘Hom Thong’ (AAA group) and ‘Khai’ (AA group) https://search.proquest.com/openview/1b760d990874817658b2984b0e393a19/1?pq-origsite=gscholar&cbl=816390.

[3] National Cancer Institute (2019). Antioxidants and Cancer Prevention https://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/causes-prevention/risk/diet/antioxidants-fact-sheet.


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