Wellhealthorganic.Com:Raw-Banana-Flour-Benefits-And-Uses

Raw banana flour, derived from unripe green bananas, is gaining popularity as a nutritious and versatile alternative to traditional flours. Packed with health-promoting nutrients and boasting a range of culinary applications, raw banana flour offers a host of benefits for both your body and your kitchen creations. Let’s delve into the myriad advantages and innovative uses of this unique ingredient.

Nutritional Powerhouse

  1. Resistant Starch Content: Raw banana flour is rich in resistant starch, a type of carbohydrate that resists digestion in the small intestine. Instead, it reaches the colon where it acts as a prebiotic, nourishing beneficial gut bacteria and supporting digestive health.
  2. Low Glycemic Index: Due to its high resistant starch content, raw banana flour has a low glycemic index, meaning it causes a gradual and steady increase in blood sugar levels. This makes it an excellent option for individuals looking to manage blood sugar levels and improve insulin sensitivity.
  3. Gluten-Free and Grain-Free: Raw banana flour is naturally gluten-free and grain-free, making it suitable for those with gluten sensitivities or following a grain-free diet. It provides a versatile alternative to wheat flour in baking and cooking applications.
  4. Rich in Nutrients: Raw banana flour is a good source of essential nutrients, including potassium, magnesium, vitamin B6, and vitamin C. These nutrients play vital roles in supporting overall health, including heart health, muscle function, and immune function.

Creative Culinary Uses

  1. Baking Substitute: Raw banana flour can be used as a gluten-free substitute for traditional flours in baking recipes. It adds moisture and density to baked goods, making them moist and tender. Try incorporating raw banana flour into recipes for pancakes, muffins, bread, and cookies for a nutritious twist.
  2. Thickening Agent: Raw banana flour can be used as a thickening agent in soups, sauces, and gravies. Its high starch content helps create a smooth and creamy texture without the need for additional thickeners or additives.
  3. Breading Alternative: Use raw banana flour as a gluten-free breading alternative for coating meats, fish, or vegetables before frying or baking. Its fine texture adheres well to food items, creating a crispy outer layer when cooked.
  4. Smoothie Booster: Add a spoonful of raw banana flour to your smoothies for an extra nutritional boost. It thickens the texture of the smoothie while providing a subtle banana flavor and a dose of resistant starch for gut health.

What is Green Banana Flour, Exactly?

Green banana flour is made by drying peeled bananas and grinding them into a powder or “flour”. About 18-20 pounds of green banana are required to make approximately 2 pounds of flour.

Green banana flour has been used in cooking and baking in the Caribbean, Central America and Africa for centuries. Raw green banana flour has a mild banana flavor which changes to an earthy, nutty flavor when subjected to the higher temperatures of cooking or baking.

 

a picture of half of a green banana on the left side and a cup of green banana flour on the right side with the text that says "a big green banana benefit - resistant starch"

Resistant Starch: One of the Greatest Benefits of Green Banana Flour

Green banana flour contains extraordinarily high levels of resistant starch, which is a type of starch that passes through your body without being digested or broken down in the small intestine. In fact, green banana flour has the highest resistant starch content of ANY food!

It is this off-the-charts resistant starch content that gives green banana flour many of its super powers! Keep reading to learn why!

Improved Gut Health and More!

Because resistant starch, such as that found in green banana flour, is not broken down in the small intestine, it becomes available to ferment in the large intestine and it then feeds the “good” bacteria in the gut. This classifies resistant starch as a prebiotic and results in many health benefits.

In addition, when resistant starch is fermented, it produces a type of short-chain fatty acid (SCFA) called butyrate. Butyrate plays an important role in intestinal health, digestion, nutrient absorption, PH balance and it lowers the risk of certain cancers.

Below are some of the well-established benefits associated with prebiotics and/or the production of butyrate during fermentation:

  • Bowel regulation– improves or prevents constipation and loose stools
  • Decreases colon cancer risk
  • Regulates metabolism
  • Improves immunity
  • Improves absorption of magnesium, iron and calcium
  • Helps prevent osteoporosis

In addition, several studies have suggested that a healthy gut microbiome may help prevent diabetes, depression and diabetes.

Finally, green banana flour may play a role in mitigating the negative effects that antibiotic use has on gut integrity and the balance of “good” and “bad” bacteria in the gut. On study in mice demonstrated that those who were given green banana flour after antibiotic use experienced better gut repair and a higher boost in beneficial bacteria growth than those who were not.

Lower Glycemic Index

Green banana flour has a lower glycemic index than other types of flour. This means that the resistant starch in green banana flour is digested slowly, which reduces the amount of sugar circulating in the blood at one time. The resulting benefit is fewer blood sugar spikes and the prevention or improved control of type 2 diabetes.

Improved Insulin Sensitivity

The high resistant starch content of green banana flour also promotes better insulin sensitivity. When resistant starches such as those in green banana flour are consumed, the body is able to respond to and process higher blood sugar levels more efficiently. This decreases the risk of obesity, type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

In one study in which both lean and obese subjects who were given banana starch supplementation, both groups had lower glucose levels after meals and improved insulin responses than those who did not take banana starch supplementation.

Improved Satiety After Eating

Resistant starches are harder to digest, causing them to stay in the stomach longer.  In addition, they stimulate the release of hormones that help control hunger.  Simply stated, the resistant starch in green banana flour helps you stay fuller longer and keeps you more satisfied after eating.

Lowers Cholesterol Levels

Green banana flour may promote lower total and LDL (“bad”) cholesterol levels.  Its high resistant starch and fiber content are believed to contribute to this benefit.

a picture of an antioxidants as a blue decal, in the middle is a picture of potassium as labeled on the periodic table, and on the right is a picture of a gluten free symbol in yellow. the title text says "some other green banana benefits"

 

Other Benefits of Green Banana Flour

As discussed above, many of green banana flour’s benefits are related to its high resistant starch content. However, there are several additional advantages of green banana flour.

High in Antioxidants

Green banana flour is high in antioxidants. Antioxidants fight free radicals in the body, which, in excess, have been linked to the development of diabetes and cancer.

High in Several Important Nutrients

Green banana flour is rich in several key health-promoting nutrients.  Some of these nutrients include:

  • Potassium—lowers blood pressure and helps regulate muscle function
  • Vitamin C—plays important roles in immunity and collagen synthesis
  • Magnesium—helps regulate blood sugar, muscle function, and energy production
  • Fiber—promotes heart health, bowel health, colon cancer prevention and diabetes control and prevention

Gluten-Free Flour Alternative

Green banana flour is gluten-free and is therefore a great product for those who have celiac disease or gluten sensitivity. Its mild flavor and similar texture to wheat flour make it an ideal alternative.

Try Using Green Banana Flour

Green banana flour is an amazing product that is gaining recognition in western cultures. Its increase in popularity can be attributed to its role in health promotion and disease prevention.

Many of the benefits of green banana flour come from its exceptional resistant starch content. Other properties of green banana flour, such as its high levels of antioxidants, fiber and certain vitamins and minerals, provide great health advantages as well.

Conclusion

Raw banana flour is a nutrient-rich ingredient that offers a wide range of health benefits and culinary possibilities. Whether you’re looking to enhance your digestive health, manage blood sugar levels, or experiment with gluten-free baking, raw banana flour provides a versatile and nutritious option. Incorporate this innovative ingredient into your favorite recipes to elevate both the nutritional profile and flavor of your dishes, and reap the rewards of its health-promoting properties.

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