Nutritionist Explores Benefits of Ripe and Unripe Bananas

Laura House wrote . . . . . . . . .

As one of the cheapest and most satiating fruits, bananas are up there with the most popular snacks you can buy.

And while their health benefits are widely known, few are aware of how the ripeness of a banana impacts on its nutritional make-up.

So to help make it clear, Australian sports dietitian Ryan Pinto recently shared a graphic about the various benefits – and why eating an over-ripe banana may not be a great idea.

‘The best way to understand how the health of a banana can change is by investigating what really happens to them internally over time,’ he wrote on his page, High Performance Nutrition AU.

Green bananas

According to Ryan, green bananas are ‘youthful, low FODMAP and full of starch’.

‘Referred to as “resistant” starch, this nutrient makes your digestive system work a little harder. It’s also the reason why green bananas seem to fill you up so quickly,’ he wrote.

However, the starch in green bananas can also ‘make you feel gassy or bloated’ and also ‘contributes to their waxy texture’.

‘If you’re looking for a banana that’s lower GI, go for a green one. Eventually, your body will break this starch down into glucose. This way, green bananas will raise blood sugar levels slowly,’ he said.

‘The trade-off here is taste. Green bananas can be bitter, as they contain less sugar in every bite.’

Yellow bananas

‘Say goodbye to starch and hello to sugar,’ Ryan said.

According to the sports dietitian, yellow bananas are ‘softer and sweeter’ because it contains more sugar. They’re also higher on the glyecmic index, meaning they’re easier to digest.

‘With less starch to break down, your digestive system will soak up the nutrients quicker,’ Ryan said.

‘Unfortunately, there is always micronutrient loss as bananas age. To make up for this, yellow bananas are more developed when it comes to antioxidants.’

Dietitian Leanne Ward, from Brisbane, usually has a boiled egg and a yellow banana as her second meal of the day.

She tends to eat around six meals a day, alongside plenty of herbal tea and water.

Spotted Bananas

Very ripe bananas often exhibit brown spots on their flesh and are much sweeter in taste, which is down to their higher sugar content.

‘Not only do brown spots show that a banana has aged, but they also indicate how much starch has been converted to sugar,’ Ryan explained.

‘Ultimately, the greater number of brown spots a banana has, the more sugar it contains.’

However, Ryan says brown spots can also be seen as ‘tiny immune system boosters’.

‘Spotted bananas are so rich in antioxidants that they have been linked to cancer prevention.

Tumor Necrosis Factor (TNF), which functions to destroy tumours, is linked to those brown dots,’ he said.

Brown Bananas

‘Do you remember all that resistant starch? Well, it’s practically all sugar now,’ Ryan said.

‘Just as the starch has broken down into sugar, chlorophyll has taken a new form as well.

This breakdown of chlorophyll is the reason why antioxidant levels increase as bananas age.

All bananas are around 100 calories, low in fat and are rich sources of potassium, vitamin B6, vitamin C and fibre.’

Source: Daily Mail


Orange Beef with French Dip


juice and zest of 2 oranges
1 tablespoon sambal or 1 minced jalapeno
1 bunch scallions, sliced thin, white and green parts separated
1 tablespoon minced ginger 2 shallots, sliced thin
1-1/2-pound hanger steak, any silverskin removed, and sliced as thin as possible
4 tablespoons grapeseed or canola oil
2 cups fresh beef stock, fresh chicken stock, or low-sodium canned broth
1 tablespoon naturally brewed soy sauce, if needed
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 soft hoagie buns
1 large tomato, or 3 roma tomatoes, sliced 1/4-inch thick
1 small head iceberg lettuce, shredded


  1. In a medium bowl, combine the orange juice, sambal, scallion whites, ginger and shallots. Add the beef, stir to coat the slices, and marinate for 15 minutes.
  2. Drain the beef, and reserve the marinade. Heat a wok over high heat. Add 2 tablespoons of the oil and swirl to coat the pan. When the oil is hot, add half the beef and stir-fry until cooked through, 4 to 5 minutes. Transfer the beef to a plate. Add the remaining two tablespoons oil to the wok, swirl, stir-fry the remaining beef, and transfer to the plate.
  3. Add the stock and reserved marinade. Add the soy sauce if the stock is unsalted or low-sodium. Add the orange zest and scallion greens, season with salt and pepper, and bring to a boil.
  4. Transfer the broth to four individual bowls.
  5. To make the hoagies, split the rolls in half.
  6. On the bottom halves place the tomato slices and top with the lettuce, then the beef. Cover with the bun tops, and serve with the broth bowls for dipping the hoagies into.

Makes 4 servings.

Source: Simply Ming One-pot Meals

In Pictures: Food of The East Coast of U.S.

Lobster Rolls in Connecticut and Maine

Philly Cheesesteak in Eastern Pennsylvania

Boston Cream Pie in Massachusetts

Clam Chowder in Several States

Stone-crab Claws in Florida

Pork Roll in New Jersey

Pastrami on Rye in New York City

Blood Pressure Control Is Key to Avoid a Second Stroke

Serena Gordon wrote . . . . . . . . .

If you’ve already had one stroke, your risk for another is much higher. But new research found that well-controlled blood pressure can reduce that risk by about 20%.

The study authors suggested maintaining a blood pressure of 130/80 mm Hg or less.

“Intensive blood pressure control of at least less than 130/80 mm Hg is recommended for secondary stroke prevention,” said Dr. Kazuo Kitagawa, the study’s lead author. Kitagawa is a professor and chair of neurology at Tokyo Women’s Medical University in Japan.

While 120/80 mm Hg or lower might be an even better target, Kitagawa noted that only about one-third of people in the current study were able to achieve a level that low, despite being on an average of almost three blood pressure-lowering drugs.

He said that patients often worry that their blood pressure might drop too low, and there are side effects that can be associated with aggressive blood pressure reduction.

The new research was published online July 29 in JAMA Neurology.

The author of an editorial accompanying the study, Dr. Craig Anderson, said lowering blood pressure “is relatively straight forward.” But to effectively control blood pressure, doctors often need to prescribe multiple medications, though not all doctors will do so, he said. Anderson is a professor of neurology at the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia.

“Perhaps doctors have a tendency to be conservative in their use of antihypertensive medications, particularly in older, frailer people, because of the genuine concern about causing side effects, such as a fall from dizziness leading to a hip fracture,” he noted.

Anderson said the most common side effects of blood pressure-lowering drugs are mild, such as dizziness, ankle swelling and fatigue. These can often be avoided by modifying the drug dosage, he said. More serious, though less common, side effects include falls, fainting and impaired kidney function. Anderson said these side effects can usually be avoided with careful monitoring of a patient.

But as this study illustrates, there are also benefits with blood pressure-lowering drugs. Anderson said while doctors don’t know exactly how lower blood pressure reduces the risk of stroke, “presumably, it reduces stress on the walls of blood vessels, which lessens the chance of thickening and blockage and rupturing of them.”

Both Kitagawa and Anderson said lifestyle changes — maintaining a healthy weight, eating healthy foods, exercising regularly, reducing stress and reducing salt intake — also play an important role in reducing the risk of a second stroke.

The current study included nearly 1,300 stroke survivors. The study volunteers were recruited from 140 hospitals in Japan. They were enrolled between 2010 and 2016.

The participants were randomly assigned to one of two groups: standard control of pressure to 140/90, or an intensive control group that aimed for 120/80 or lower.

The study was stopped early due to slow enrollment and funding issues.

The baseline blood pressure for both groups was 145/84 mm Hg. During the shortened follow-up period, the standard group’s blood pressure dropped to 133/78 and the intensive group’s was reduced to 127/77.

Ninety-one people had a second stroke. The intensive group appeared to have a lower risk of an additional stroke, but the findings weren’t statistically significant, the study authors said.

However, the researchers pooled their findings with the results of three previous studies on blood pressure reduction and secondary stroke prevention, and found a drop in risk of 22% for intensive control.

“This research reinforces the importance of good blood pressure control in people who have survived a stroke,” Anderson said.

He added that it’s important that people remember to take their blood pressure medications as prescribed. Anderson said many people forget to take them regularly, so he suggested using mobile apps on your phone if you need help remembering to take your medications.

Source: HealthDay

Middle Age Now a High-Risk Time for Bad Falls


Blame multiple prescription medications, as well as alcohol and illegal drug use, a new study suggests.

Health care providers “typically think about falls in people over age 65. But these people were primarily in their 50s and falls were an important concern,” said study author Julie Womack. She’s an associate professor at Yale University’s School of Nursing.

For the new study, the researchers analyzed data from the Veterans Aging Cohort Study, which includes patients who receive care through the U.S. Veterans Health Administration. The team identified 13,000 fall cases and compared them to patients of similar age, race, sex and HIV status, who did not suffer falls.

The use of multiple medications was a significant factor in falls among patients with and without HIV. The researchers examined HIV status because people being treated for HIV infection take several medications, often at a younger age.

Medications associated with serious falls included those commonly used to treat anxiety and insomnia (benzodiazepines, like Xanax), as well as muscle relaxants and prescription opioids (such as OxyContin).

The findings suggest that programs designed to prevent serious falls in older adults may need to be modified to address risks for middle-aged adults, according to Womack.

“Fall risk factors are highly prevalent in the baby boomer generation more generally. The next step is to look at interventions for the middle-aged,” she said in a Yale news release.

Those interventions could target drinking and illicit drug use in addition to taking multiple medications, Womack said.

“When we’re thinking about fall prevention programs, we have to think about alcohol and substance use. We need to help individuals cut back,” she suggested.

Womack noted that it’s important to reduce falls in middle-aged and older adults because falls are associated with injuries, hospitalizations and death.

The study was published recently in the Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome.

Source: HealthDay

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