Reasons You Should Go Bananas for Green-Banana Flour

Reasons You Should Go Bananas for Green-Banana Flour

You can finally have your
cake and eat it too, simply by baking with bananas. That might sound a
bit, well, bananas – but studies have revealed that green-banana flour, the hot
new health food, is one of the best alternatives to processed wheat flour and
can actually make those cakes and cookies good for you. Bet you’re listening
now.



WHAT IS GREEN BANANA FLOUR?



For many folks, green banana flour is not a common household
pantry item. This isn’t true in places where banana plants are native though.
In Jamaica, the Caribbean, and Africa, banana flour is often used in place of
wheat flour because it’s more economical.



Green banana flour is simply the yield of green,
under-ripe bananas. Not just under-ripe either; it has to be
green to have the benefits! While these aren’t exactly a tasty snack, they
are nutritious for numerous reasons (which I’ll cover down the road) and dry up
into a very effective flour replacement. You can even make your own with a few
bundles of green bananas, a little sunshine, and a mortar and pestle!



Not only is it a fantastic flour replacement for gluten-free
eaters – it’s actually used as a supplement to boost resistant starch (a
type of gut-friendly fibre).



While raw banana flour has a slight banana flavour to it,
baked banana flour actually has a rather neutral, mild, and earthy flavour
meaning you can use it for both sweet and savoury dishes. Pancakes anyone?
That’s where my mind goes first!



THE SUSTAINABILITY OF GREEN BANANA FLOUR





To begin, let’s start with the big picture. There’s plenty of controversy in
terms of sustainable food, and it’s important to look at the health of our
planet when we consider healthy choices for us.



The good news? Well, green banana flour is a very
sustainable choice. This is because the ‘waste’ green bananas have a way to be
processed into a whole food with a long shelf life and increasing demand for
those – especially in western countries where this food is a bit of a fad
having its moment.



Millions of bananas – and tons of produce in general – go to
waste during the processing and transportation of the foods because they get
damaged and don’t look ‘pretty’. Some clever producers found a way to use up
those less appealing bananas into flour and other products instead. Purchasing
such sustainable products helps to support makers and keeps the whole
demand/supply chain going forward.



You can search for green banana flour in your local health
food stores or purchase it online or directly from the suppliers. Do a simple
Google search in your country and see what takes your fancy.



P.S. If you’ve got bananas going bad, make
some banana
bread!



THE NUTRITIONAL BENEFITS OF GREEN BANANA FLOUR



It’s all about the resistant starch. Resistant
starch – a type of fibre – is a fantastic source of prebiotics. While probiotics replenish
our gut with a variety of good bacteria, it is the prebiotics that
provides the proper fuel to keep the good bacteria happy and maintain healthy
gut flora.



Prebiotics are found in lots of fibrous foods such as fruits
and vegetables, but it is especially beneficial in a form of resistant starch
which is found in white potatoes, bananas (especially green bananas), white
rice and legumes.



PROVIDES THREE DIFFERENT TYPES OF FIBRE



Green banana flour contains 42-52.8 grams of
resistant starch per cup
. In fact, green banana flour delivers the highest amount
of resistant starch found in any food!



Resistant starch is a fermentable fibre, that
passes through the intestines undigested. This fermentation process delivers
short-chain fatty acids that our bodies love – namely, butyrate (a.k.a. why I
love grass-fed butter!). Moreover, resistant starch can reduce the glycaemic
load of foods making them easier on your blood sugar levels.



Many foods that do contain resistant starch end up losing
some during the cooking process, or do not contain such a concentrated amount.
Because of the low-heat processing of green banana flour and the ability to
supplement with it raw, it’s easily the most effective and potent way
to get in your daily serving of resistant starch.



Resistant starch is known to be effective for treating
obesity, type 2 diabetes, and reducing the risk of colon cancer.



Additionally, green banana flour contains inulin and
insoluble fibre,
 which also act as prebiotics. This trio of fibre can
act as a mild laxative effect which is one of the only downsides (or upsides,
depending on what you need).



CONTAINS SOME 5HTP



5HTP or 5-hydroxytryptophan isn’t commonly found in foods,
but it is a powerful supplement. It helps to increase
serotonin production in the brain quite like many antidepressants.



Unlike SSRIs, 5HTP does not have any negative side effects
or long-term associated dangers. This makes green banana flour a really nice
supplement if you struggle with depression, moods, anxiety, sleep, and
headaches
.



A MINERAL-RICH SUPERFOOD



Green banana flour packs in a punch of essential minerals
your body will thank you for. Consider the other superfoods you add to your
smoothie to get those micronutrients in, and maybe add a scoop of
green banana flour next time. You can expect a healthy dose of zinc, magnesium,
phosphorous, and manganese.




  • Zinc is
    essential for a healthy immune system, healing, brain function,
    skin/hair/nail health, and is especially important for young kids during
    development.

  • Magnesium is
    great for sore muscles, recovery, sleep, and pH balance.

  • Phosphorous aids
    the body in its natural detoxification efforts helps cells to repair
    themselves and keeps our hearts beating at a normal pace.

  • Manganese influences
    our metabolism in a positive way which may lead to an easier time with
    weight loss and management, in addition, to increased absorption of
    calcium.



… and that’s just the most important stuff. In short, mineral
balance
 is a massive indicator of overall health, and
many issues are rooted in deficiencies – even minor ones.



Any “miracle” powder that actually has substantial nutrition
is a winner in my book, and green banana flour passes the fitness test, so to
speak.



NATURALLY GLUTEN-FREE & GRAIN-FREE



Banana is mostly non-allergenic. It’s friendly for paleo
dieters, people who follow healing diets like the autoimmune protocol, vegan
and vegetarian eaters, and most average folks without a banana allergy.



When it comes to gluten-free and grain-free flour
alternatives, it’s a really solid choice. It doesn’t contain the anti-nutrients
and gut irritants found in wheat flour, and it’s safe for coeliacs.



BANANA FLOUR IS GREAT FOR WEIGHT LOSS



Due to its high fibre content, green banana flour is a
filling supplement in the diet that also helps you meet nutritional needs. It’s
fantastic to have an easy option to fill in nutritional gaps while also helping
stick to an eating plan that aids in weight loss.



I always recommend fibrous foods because they slow down
digestion and keep you fuller for longer. They also keep your blood sugar
stable which should lessen the frequency and intensity with which you
experience cravings.



HIGH STARCH CONTENT ACTUALLY COMES IN HANDY



While some folks (like people who follow the keto diet, for
example) are quick to shun starch, sometimes, more is less. Because green
banana has such a high starch content, you can use 25-30% less banana
flour than wheat.



This can stretch your dollar and overall equate to less
energy intake – another convincing argument for green banana flour for weight
loss!










HOW TO USE GREEN BANANA FLOUR IN PALEO COOKING



Hopefully, now you’ve picked up that you can use green
banana flour both as a flour substitute in recipes that call for it and as
a supplement. Additionally, one of the most interesting studies done with green banana flour is
the use of it to increase the indigestible carbohydrates in pasta.



Could resistant starch be the key to enjoying carbs with
fewer calories and less of a glycaemic load overall? Perhaps! The “enriched”
pasta also had a higher antioxidant capacity, so perhaps green banana flour
will determine a brighter future for carbs. I think we could all appreciate
that!



If you’re not up to conducting your own science experiments
in the kitchen, here are a few more approachable uses for green banana flour.



USING GREEN BANANA FLOUR AS A SUPPLEMENT



Green banana flour has a similar texture to cassava flour or
coconut flour and a mild, neutral taste. It’s usually an off-white, greyish
colour and can be used in raw or in cooked recipes.



As a supplement, simply add 1-2 tablespoons to your smoothie,
yoghurt, bliss balls, or whatever raw food you are having that can
handle a little extra “superpowers.” Remember – banana flour is more potent and
provides more resistant starch when consumed raw.

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