I have a love-hate relationship with bananas. I love ’em when they’re speckled brown and I hate ’em when they’re green. But not everyone’s in my same boat. Some people (like my whacky family) will only eat them green and get grossed out when they’re brown.
It really impresses me just how diverse this yellow-skinned fruit can be (bravo, banana!) because, aside from appealing to different crowds, the green banana is nutritionally, texturally and sweet-fully almost a completely different fruit than his speckled off-spring.
But the great debate over speckles vs. green can finally come to an end. And fortunately, I win! (I just loooove being right.) Because the health benefits of brown-spotted bananas outweigh those of the green kind. Here’s why:
Ripe fruits are alkaline forming, while unripened fruits are acid forming. Brownish bananas are ripe and green bananas are unripe. You do the math.
Green bananas are binding and constipation-forming. Ripe bananas have an awesome soluble fiber which helps us have healthy (and more frequent) bowel movements.
Sweet, Sweet Victory:
Brownish bananas are sweet and help curb sugar cravings. Green bananas are just gross and sour. (I guess this is a personal opinion).
Easy on Thy Tummy:
When bananas get spots, it means its starches have fully converted into easily digestible simple fruit sugars. Without the brown spots, these bananas are full of hard-to-digest starches that can upset your stomach and cause indigestion, bloating, inflammation and gas.
Brown speckles on the bananas indicate that all of its nutrients have converted into those simple sugars and will be more easily absorbed by your body. The speckles are the banana’s way of shouting, “I’M READY! COME AND EAT ME.” (Which is far more effective than a mega-phone.) Green bananas haven’t produced all of its nutrients and so they don’t give you as much nutritional bang for your buck!
Ripe bananas are smooth and help make wonderfully silky smoothies. Green bananas are chalky and do not contribute as positively to smoothies. (NOTE: BANANAS ARE BEST IN SMOOTHIES WHEN FROZEN. Just peel some RIPE ones, break them in half, throw them in a baggie and toss them in the freezer to use whenever you want a smoothie or ice cream – more on that later).
I totally win! I mean, brownish spotted ripe bananas totally win! So go enjoy a ripe one!
–> (PS. If you’re in a state of banana emergency and you need to quickly turn your green bananas brown, you can pop them in a brown paper bag, cardboard box or wrap them in newspaper to expedite the ripening process! Phewf.)