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Bananas are an extremely convenient fruit that is a cheap and quick source of energy and nutrients. But did you know there are various varieties of bananas?
Red bananas, or Red Dacca, are red-skinned bananas that are plumper and shorter than their yellow counterpart. Due to the difference in variety and the vivid red skin, red bananas vary slightly in their nutritional content and the benefits they offer.
Though red bananas do not directly cause weight loss, they can be a useful addition to your weight loss diet due to their high fiber content.
Using Red Bananas for Weight Loss
Red bananas offer the following benefits for weight loss.
1. Longer satiety
One medium-sized red banana has 2.8 g of fiber and a lower glycemic index (GI) than a yellow banana. (1) Glycemic index is the measure of the release of sugar into the bloodstream from a particular food item after eating it. (2)
Thus, consuming low-GI foods prevents overeating and excessive intake of calories.
2. Improved gut health
Animal studies have found that the dietary fiber in bananas suppress weight gain and fat mass gain. (6) However, more extensive research and human trials are needed to replicate similar results.
Nutritional Profile of Red Bananas
One medium-sized red banana has only 90 calories and contains 22.8 g of carbohydrates. It also contains vital nutrients such as potassium (358 mg) and vitamin C (8.7 mg). (1)
Using the Red Banana Peel
Banana peel is also a source of nutrients, (9) which are lost as the peels are thrown away and ultimately wasted. Since red banana peel contains a lot of antioxidants, finding ways to use the peel can be a great way to consume these antioxidants.
Here is how you can use banana peel:
- Wash the outer layer of red banana peels well and scrape the inside.
- Lay them flat on an oven tray and set in the oven at a low temperature for 2–3 hours until the peels are completely dry. You can also dry the peels under the sun for about 5–6 hours.
- Once dry, powder the peels and store in an airtight container.
- This powder can be added to pancake mixes, oatmeal, smoothies, soups, and even muffins.
What Contributes to the Difference in Color Between Red Bananas and Yellow Bananas?
Although most ripe bananas you see usually have yellow peels, several banana cultivars also have red peels.
Upon comparing compositions in the peel and pulp of the red and yellow varieties, it was found that the red color was due to anthocyanin in the cells. Other compounds including cyanidin, peonidin, petunidin, and malvidin were also found in the red peel, possibly contributing to the color. Red bananas also contained higher carotenoids in both the peel and pulp, giving them their color.
- Red bananas will not cause weight loss but can be used as part of a weight loss diet.
- Red bananas have a lower GI than yellow bananas. Consuming low-GI foods is useful in bringing about satiety (a feeling of fullness) and preventing overeating.
- Red bananas are rich sources of fiber, which can improve the diversity of gut microorganisms. Healthy gut biodiversity is useful in preventing obesity.
- Red banana peels can be cleaned, dried, and used as part of the diet as an antioxidant-rich supplement.