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  • Writer's pictureJanice Tracey

Which Bananas are Best?

Bananas - how do you like yours? Spotty? Yellow? Green? I’m dotty for the spotty ones - full of antioxidants, so much so that they have been linked to cancer prevention - the spottier they get, the more antioxidants, the better I like them.

Did You Know? Generally, bananas are around 100 calories each, low in fat, high in fibre, high in vitamins B6 & C. But did you know that bananas have different nutritional benefits dependant on age. The Babies The younger ones (greenish or firm yellow) have a higher level of micronutrients and more starch than sugar. The resistant starch means it takes longer to digest them and they won’t raise blood sugar levels quickly.

The Seniors The older, softer and spottier they get means that there will be some micronutrient loss, but despair not. This is more than made up for by the increase in cancer busting antioxidants. You can translate those spots into hard core protective antioxidants. In these older, and some say wiser fruits, the resistant starch will have matured into sugar so the spots/brownness will mean a higher GL snack (so will be easier to digest and raise blood glucose levels quicker (but remember the cancer busting antioxidants).

Q. So when is best to eat your banana? A. It depends what you want from it. But in a study done in the Chinese University of Hong Kong they suggest the riper the better.

Top Tip. If you want to slow down the release of sugar and minimise a spike in blood sugar levels (always followed by a crash), eat some protein with your carbohydrate banana eg, a handful of almonds.

Fun Fact. The inside of a banana skin can be used to calm an itchy mosquito bite - many people find that rubbing the bite with the skin helps to reduce irritation.

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