In this edition of the Maser Cleanse Secrets newsletter we’re going to talk about green bananas…
In Japan, the “Green Banana Diet” has become popular. The Japanese always come up with the most fun and interesting stuff, don’t they?
It has all the trappings of a fad that ends up not really benefiting you in any way, but there appears to be some science behind the benefits of eating unripe (green) bananas. First, let’s talk about the how they’re using it in Japan, then we’ll get into the science.
From ABC News…
Sumiko, a 31-year-old pharmacist, studied preventive medicine and came up with the method for her then-boyfriend.
“I just wanted something that would not torture me,” said Watanabe. “[Green] Bananas are rich in vitamins and minerals, but low in calories. They also contain properties which fight the build-up of acids. They are readily available and reasonably priced. And you do not need any utensils to eat them. It is just so easy and I thought I could give it a try.”
Watanabe lost four pounds in the first month and kept losing similar amounts each month until he lost a total of 38 pounds in less than one year.
“I did not know losing weight could be this easy,” Watanabe said. “So, I just wanted to share this with other people.”
That was when he put the banana diet information on mixi, the largest social networking service in Japan, where registered users can access information both from computers and cell phones. “I did not know so many people would show an interest. The response was just overwhelming.”
Watanabe certainly did not mean to create a banana shortage all over Japan, but that is exactly what the nation experienced.
Akihiro Takenaka, a produce manager of a Tokyo supermarket, Ozeki, said the demands for bananas are still high and the supply simply cannot catch up.
More people are starting to realize that digestive health and “gut bacteria” can help you lose weight. This could the reason people are losing weight by eating green bananas.
Resistant starch is a complex carb that has fiber-like properties.
It escapes digestion in the small intestine and ends up reaching the large intestine, where it feeds the friendly bacteria that reside there.
Feeding these bacteria is a good thing. They produce short-chain fats, which contribute to digestive health and have beneficial effects on metabolism.
Before it ripens, a banana is almost entirely starch, which composes up to 70–80% of its dry weight. A large part of this starch is resistant starch.
As the banana ripens, the amount of starch and resistant starch decreases and is converted into sugars.
What’s so Great About Digestive-Resistant Starch?
Fiber is typically classified as either soluble or insoluble. However, from a health standpoint, the fermentability of the fiber is what’s really important. Digestive-resistant starches are low-viscous fibers that resist digestion in the small intestine and slowly ferment in your large intestine.
Here, resistant starches act as prebiotics, feeding healthy bacteria. Due to their slow fermentation, they won’t make you gassy. They also add significant bulk to your stools, and help you maintain regular bowel movements.
Best of all, since they’re indigestible, resistant starches do not result in blood sugar spikes. In fact, research suggests resistant starches help improve insulin regulation, reducing your risk of insulin resistance.
If you’re looking for a food to start your day with that’s low calorie, won’t spike your blood sugar, and can help you lose weight, try a green banana. They’re also super cheap!