How often do you leave your bananas on your counter to ripen?
The fruit certainly looks more appealing when it is softer and sweeter.
But you could be missing out on the health benefits of bananas if you don’t eat them sooner, argued diet guru Dr. Michael Mosley.
Green bananas are made of resistant starch, “which is not easily broken down in the intestines, but acts more like fiber,” says the TV doctor.
Write for Online mailsaid Dr. Mosley says that resistant starch doesn’t cause as much of a blood sugar spike because you absorb less of it.
Foods containing it “also feed the friendly bacteria in your gut,” he added.
These bacteria are crucial because they “convert the resistant starch into a fatty acid called butyrate.”
According to the diet guru, butyrate may actually prevent the development of deadly colon cancer and benefit your gut in other ways, too.
Dr. Mosley cited new research showing that the resistant starch found in green bananas and other foods may help both your liver and your intestines.
Researchers at the Shanghai Sixth People’s Hospital in China recruited 200 people with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, a buildup of fat in the liver.
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Dr. Mosley noted: “One in three Britons have early signs of the condition, which is linked to an increased risk of heart attack, stroke and liver damage.”
Patients in the study received a resistant corn or corn starch powder twice daily for four months.
The results showed they had 40 percent less fat in their livers than those who didn’t consume starch powder at all.
Participants who consumed the powder daily also had reduced levels of liver enzymes and inflammatory factors associated with the disease, Dr. Mosley added.
If you want to reap the benefits of resistant starch, you don’t have to resort to corn powder.
“The good news is that you can easily increase your resistant starch consumption by eating oats, legumes and green bananas,” wrote Dr. Mosley.
Another good source of resistant starch is pasta – but not a freshly cooked bowl of it.
Dr. Mosley said cooking, cooling and reheating rice, pasta or potatoes can transform the carbohydrate-containing staple into a gut- and liver-friendly starch.
Although reheating your pasta may seem like a no-brainer, research also suggests that allowing the beneficial carbs to cool before consuming them can help with weight loss.
Dr. Mosley previously discovered which of your favorite breakfast foods could be doing you more harm than good.
He also shared with us a delicious drink that can help you curb your nighttime cravings and boost weight loss.