Recently I received the following question from an enthusiastic ODS blog reader.
Hi André, I enjoy reading your blog every month. Recently I have been fanatically making oatmeal pancakes. My question is: which banana should I use and what is the difference between the green, yellow and brown bananas?
The green banana consists almost entirely of starch. Our body converts starch into glucose and that gives you energy again. The starch that is in unripe (green) bananas cannot be digested. As a result, the green banana has about the same effect as dietary fiber contained in fiber-rich products such as vegetables, whole-grain bread and oatmeal.
Function of dietary fiber
What do you get from fiber-rich foods? Less problems with blood sugar fluctuations, lowering your LDL cholesterol (this is due to the pectin it contains) and less chance of type 2 diabetes. So the green banana is not bad to eat. But … the moment the banana turns yellow or is yellow, the starch is converted to fructose. This is the other name for fruit sugar.
The yellow banana contains almost no pectin. As the banana becomes softer and riper, the amount of pectin decreases as well as the amount of starch. Yellow and green bananas contain approximately the same amount of vitamins and minerals. Did you know that the banana is rich in vitamin B6? Because the starch has disappeared from the yellow banana and because there is a lot of fructose (fruit sugar) in it now, the yellow banana provides you with energy quickly.
PDS and green bananas
More and more often you hear in the news that people suffer from IBS. That stands for Irritable Bowel Syndrome. If a doctor cannot explain why you suffer from your intestines (cramps, flatulence or stomach ache) then he or she often says that you suffer from IBS. Then preferably do not eat green bananas. The fermentation process of the starch of the green banana can cause cramps. Then opt for the softer banana.
If you leave a banana on the fruit bowl for too long, it will get brown spots. Then there are more antioxidants in it. These protect your body.
What do you choose?
You can decide yourself which banana you choose. You now know which nutrients are in which banana. Do you want to keep the banana good for a longer time? Then do not place them against apples. Keep them in a dark cupboard where it is not warmer than 15 degrees and not much colder.
André Mostard is a sports nutrition coach and has been active in the sports world for more than 30 years. André regularly writes a blog for ODS with practical tips to make you feel good!
Sportvoedingscoach André Mostard