Are black bananas safe to eat?

In this brief guide, we’ll address the search query: “Are black bananas safe to eat?” Also, we’ll explore how to determine when bananas are too ripe, how you can ripen bananas at home, where bananas are produced, what the nutritional content of bananas is, and what are the health benefits of eating bananas. 

Are black bananas safe to eat? 

Whether or not black bananas are safe to eat will depend on their overall state. Bananas with mild spotting on the peel, but that are otherwise unbesmirched on the inside, are safe to eat. 

Some bananas may be dark in some parts, but these parts can be excised and discarded, while the rest of the banana can be consumed. 

If however, a banana is black and the flesh is also discolored; dark, brown or has microbes such as molds or bacteria growing on it, it should be discarded. 

How do I know if bananas are overripe? 

Bananas are overripe when their flesh has transitioned from a pale-yellowish hue to a dark shade of purple that borders on black. 

Looks can be somewhat deceiving, as spotted bananas may be intact on the inside and show no signs of spoilage, whereas other bananas with intact peels may show some signs of bruising. 

Usually, bruising is a sign of poor storage and handling practices. 

However, if you encounter a hale banana that has just a speck or a small dark-colored spot, there’s no cause for alarm and you can simply scoop away the small portion before eating it. 

Overripe bananas attract fruit flies and may begin to give off strong smells of fermentation. This indicates that microbes have begun to colonize the flesh of the banana, and as a result, they are spoiled and no longer safe to consume. 

How can I ripen bananas at home? 

Bananas that are still green can be ripened at home by placing them next to other climacteric fruits such as avocados. The ethylene gas secreted by these fruits will hasten their maturity and make them ripe 

Bananas can also be wrapped in white craft paper to increase respiration, which will increment the ethylene levels and have the same effect. 

Ethylene is an organic gas that is used in the food industry and is naturally occurring in plants. It is considered an important plant hormone that triggers the maturity of many plant organs such as fruits, leaves, and flowers. 

 When fruits are picked, they continue to breathe and secrete ethylene, which helps them reach physiological maturity (ripeness) 

Where are bananas produced? 

Bananas grow in tropical countries. The continents that concentrate their growth are Asia, Latin America, and Africa. 

Bananas require copious amounts of water and balmy weather to achieve flowering, which will, in turn, generate banana berries. 

Many countries have displaced hundreds of hectares of rainforest and replaced them with banana plantations. 

Currently, India is the world’s number one exporter of bananas, followed by China, the Philippines, Brazil, and Ecuador. 

What is the nutritional content of bananas? 

On average, a 118-gram portion of banana will provide: 

  • 105 calories –of which 3.5 are sourced from fat
  • 1.3 grams of protein
  • 0.4 grams of fat –1% of the recommended daily intake (RDI)
  • 27 grams of carbohydrates – 9% of the RDI – of which 3.1 grams are dietary fiber (12% of the RDI), and 14 grams are sugars
  • 1.2 milligrams of sodium
  • 422 milligrams of potassium –12% of the RDI

Additionally, the same portion will provide 1.5% of the RDI of vitamin A, 17% of vitamin C, 0.5% of calcium, and 1.7% of iron. 

*Recommended daily intake values are calculated on a basis of 2000 calories per day. 

What are the health benefits of eating bananas? 

Eating bananas can provide many health benefits. Namely, they are rich sources of potassium, energy, and antioxidants, and can be incorporated into many diets. 

Their sugar content makes them sources of instant energy, perfect for carrying out physical activity that requires strength. 

The potassium in bananas can help maintain heart health, regular blood pressure levels, and muscle and nerve health. Maintaining healthy blood pressure levels also promotes kidney health. 

Additionally, the potassium in bananas counteracts high levels of sodium in the blood.  

The fiber content in bananas is not readily ingested by the digestive tract, making it ideal for spacing out eating throughout the day, as it promotes an extended feeling of satiety. 

Additionally, the antioxidant content in bananas can help protect cells against the damage caused by oxidative stress. Oxidative stress is associated with an early onset of diseases such as chronic inflammation, cancer, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, liver disease, and cognitive disorders. 

To summarize, bananas are a healthy food that readers can reap many benefits from. They can be incorporated into balanced diets, and eaten at any time of day. 

Conclusion

In this brief guide, we’ve addressed the search query: “Are black bananas safe to eat?” Also, we’ve explored how to determine when bananas are too ripe, how you can ripen bananas at home, where bananas are produced, what the nutritional content of bananas is, and what are the health benefits of eating bananas. 

References

https://www.fao.org/economic/est/est-commodities/oilcrops/bananas/bananafacts/en/#.YtotQHbMLIU

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/11-proven-benefits-of-bananas

https://www.nutritionix.com/food/banana

https://cooking.stackexchange.com/questions/16507/how-do-i-know-if-a-black-banana-is-too-old-to-be-eaten#:~:text=Open%20it%20up.,black%2C%20the%20banana%20is%20garbage.

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