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As a nutritional advisor and personal trainer, I understand the importance of fueling our bodies with foods that provide energy and support overall health.

Bananas are one such food with remarkable nutritional benefits. For many of us, it is part of our daily meal plan, either as a snack or in addition to a meal, usually breakfast.

I encourage my clients to eat bananas for their taste and energy kick and because they have numerous health benefits, such as cancer prevention. That enormous potential was confirmed by a review published in Frontiers in Oncology. (1)

But have you ever considered boiling bananas? Hold off on that grimace. Boiled bananas are surprisingly delicious and packed with nutrients.

How do they compare to raw bananas? Let’s find out!

What are Boiled Bananas?

As the name implies, boiling bananas involves simmering them in hot water until they reach a soft, tender consistency.

This method aims to soften the fruit’s texture and enhance its natural sweetness. These are the reasons why green bananas are much more suitable for boiling than yellow ones.

I’m not saying you can’t boil yellow bananas, but the chances are that they will become too mushy and sweet. In Africa and South Asia, where boiling bananas is common, almost everyone uses green bananas.

Fit Female Peeling Banana

Boiled Banana Nutritional Facts

Unlike other cooking techniques that may strip fruits and vegetables of their nutritional content, bananas’ vitamins, minerals, and fiber content do not change significantly after boiling. They retain over 90% of their nutritional value.

Actual nutritional content varies based on ripeness and size.

But let’s take one large banana, for example, around 8 inches (20cm) long and weighing between 130 and 140 grams. Raw banana of that size has about 120 kcal, which will not change significantly after boiling.

Here are theUSDA nutrition facts for one large banana:

  • Calories: 121
  • Carbohydrates: 31 grams
  • Total Sugars: 16.6 grams (glucose and fructose around 6.6 grams and just over 3 grams of sucrose)
  • Potassium: 487 mg
  • Vitamin B6: 0.499 mg

Along with 10% of the daily recommended value of potassium and almost 50% of the DV of vitamin B6, you will ingest between 10 and 20% of the daily value of vitamin C, copper, manganese, magnesium, plus phytonutrients and antioxidants.

Benefits of Boiling Bananas

Now it’s time to tell you more about the main benefits of eating boiled bananas. Honestly, some of these benefits have more to do with the green bananas you will probably use than with the boiling process. (2)

However, boiling is responsible for some of these benefits, too.

Supports Digestive Health

I always stress the significance of caring for our digestive system to my clients. We need the digestive system to absorb nutrients and eliminate waste products from the body, so if it’s not running smoothly, we can’t expect to feel our best.

The digestive tract is full of microorganisms known as gut bacteria, and they need different types of food to flourish. That’s where dietary fibres come in, and guess what? Boiled bananas contain fibers.

So, when we munch on boiled bananas, we’re not just treating ourselves to a tasty snack; we also provide our bodies with a significant dose of fibre.

In addition to promoting the growth of gut bacteria, dietary fiber helps keep everything moving smoothly, prevents uncomfortable moments of constipation, and even lowers the risks of issues like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

Good for Weight Loss

Boiled Bananas

When it comes to losing weight, finding foods that keep you full and satisfied is key, right?

Well, boiled bananas can be your ally. You remember I mentioned the high fiber content of bananas? That is why I recommend boiled bananas to clients who struggle with weight. Fibers will keep you feeling full for longer.

Boiled bananas are also packed with vitamins and minerals while being pretty low in calories — a perfect combo. Plus, they have that natural sweetness that will satisfy you without making you feel guilty.

The best part? They won’t skyrocket your blood sugar levels. Instead, boiled bananas will keep your energy stable.

We can thank green bananas’ low GI index (around 40 out of 100) for that. They have a significantly lower GI index compared to ripe, yellow ones. (3)

Contains Antioxidants

We all want to prevent chronic diseases and premature aging, no doubt about that.

Antioxidants are our allies. These are compounds that help protect our cells from oxidative stress and inflammation.

Did you know that inflammation is not only caused by viruses and bacteria? Athletes and fitness enthusiasts are exposed to high levels of oxidative stress and inflammation.

When you’re working out hard, your body produces these infamous free radicals. They are unstable molecules that can damage cells and tissues. Antioxidants neutralize these free radicals, helping your body recover.

Boiled bananas contain a variety of antioxidants, including vitamin C, vitamin A, and polyphenols, which have been shown to have anti-inflammatory and immune-boosting properties.

So, eating boiled bananas can keep your heart in tip-top shape, boost your brainpower, and even lower the risk of severe diseases like diabetes and cancer.

May Help with Sleep

I’m not saying that I would include boiled bananas among my top five best foods to have before bed, but they can certainly improve sleep.

Potassium relaxes muscles, and a study published in the Journal of Hypertension Research showed a connection between serum potassium levels and sleep homeostasis. (4)

Another sleep-promoting nutrient in boiled bananas is magnesium, which is crucial for relaxation, too. Many of my clients don’t consume enough magnesium daily, so this is a convenient way to boost magnesium intake. Tryptophan is an amino acid that plays a role in sleep-wake cycles and is also present in boiled bananas.

We should not forget the satisfaction we get when we eat something sweet before going to bed as well.

Boiled Bananas — How To

It’s very easy to boil bananas; you don’t need any culinary skills.

You can still make these even if you’re always dining out or ordering in.

Let’s start with picking out the bananas. You’ve got to decide how ripe you want them. I’d suggest trying both ripe and green ones to see which you prefer. Green ones are usually the go-to for most people, and I’m on board with that choice.

Now, onto peeling the bananas. You could leave the skin on if you want, but peeling them speeds things up, and there won’t be much of a taste difference either way.

When you peel them, cut lengthwise and avoid slicing the flesh.

It usually takes 10 to 15 minutes for bananas to go softer, but check them before taking them out of boiling water. Bananas should not be too firm nor too soft. Check them regularly because they should not fall apart.

 

When To Consume Boiled Bananas?

You can consume boiled bananas practically at any time of the day since they have numerous benefits.

However, knowing the optimal times to consume them can maximize their benefits and support your fitness goals. Three potentially good times to eat them are before and after a workout and before bed.

Pre-Workout

Some of my colleagues exaggerate the importance of the pre-workout meal. If you follow a meal plan regularly, you can crush a workout without a hefty pre-workout meal.

However, this does not mean you cannot make a difference in your performance if you eat something as nutritious as boiled bananas before hitting the gym.

Boiled bananas contain potassium and carbohydrates. Potassium helps regulate muscle contractions, so you can push harder and lift heavier.

Carbs are the preferred source of energy before a workout. Also, boiled bananas are quicker to digest than nuts, for example, and slower to digest than simple sugars. This means that you will have a perfect energy balance. And you can add maple syrup or honey for an additional energy (and taste) boost.

So, whether you’re hitting the gym or preparing for a run, boiled bananas can help.

Post-Workout

After you’ve pushed your body to its limits, it’s time to refeed. Your muscles need two things in a post-workout meal: glycogen and micronutrients.

Glycogen is your body’s fuel reserve, which gets depleted during exercise. This stored form of glucose is mainly found in your liver. Boiled bananas contain carbohydrates that help replenish your glycogen stores and give your muscles the energy they need to recover and rebuild.

Boiled bananas will also provide essential micronutrients like vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, which are highly beneficial for repairing muscle tissue and reducing inflammation post-workout.

Another benefit is that your body can have difficulty digesting a heavy meal but can effortlessly process easily digestible bananas.

So, try a boiled banana the next time you finish a workout. Of course, remember to add some proteins as well.

Late-Night Snack

I told you boiled bananas may help with sleep, so eating them as a healthy late-night snack makes sense.

Given the blend of magnesium and tryptophan, pleasant flavor, and gentle impact on digestion, boiled bananas will likely improve your night’s sleep.

Ways To Use Boiled Bananas in Recipes

Have you tried boiled bananas but are not a fan? I totally understand that because I also sometimes find them too sweet.

But that’s no reason not to consume them. There are so many ways to include them in meals.

Start your day by adding boiled bananas to your morning oatmeal. Slice up those boiled bananas and toss them into your oats, along with some nuts, seeds, and dark chocolate. It’s a simple yet delicious combo, and I bet you will like it. That’s my breakfast at least twice a week.

Or, if you need a quick snack, blend those boiled bananas into a creamy smoothie. Mix them with some Greek yogurt, almond milk, and a scoop of protein powder. Smoothie is a great way to increase your macro intake. Get creative with it and add whatever you like.

FAQs

Are there any alternative methods of preparing bananas for similar nutritional benefits?

Yes, there are numerous alternative methods to prepare bananas without them losing all these healthy features. You can bake, grill, or dehydrate bananas while retaining their minerals, vitamins, and macros.

How do the texture and taste of boiled bananas differ from raw bananas?

When you boil bananas, the biggest taste difference is sweetness. They become much sweeter (depending on the ripeness), almost caramelized. As for texture, boiled bananas are very soft.

Does boiling affect potassium levels in bananas?

Boiling does not have a significant impact on a banana’s potassium content. Potassium is pretty stable during cooking, so you still get that essential nutrient that supports muscle function, fluid balance, and heart health.

How does the boiling process impact the shelf life of bananas compared to storing them raw?

The boiling process can extend the shelf life of bananas compared to storing them raw. By cooking them, you essentially pause the ripening process, so they stay edible for a bit longer. Plus, you can store boiled bananas in the fridge for a few days or freeze them.

Wrapping Up

Simple preparation and many benefits — if you are healthy, there is no reason to avoid boiling bananas.

Boiled bananas can also add natural sweetness and moisture to recipes like banana bread or muffins. That’s the way to improve taste without using unhealthy, processed sugars.

So don’t wait any longer! Boil the bananas, and let me know in the comments section how you like them.

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