We all love to eat bananas, but are we eating them at the right time?
Eating bananas with black spots or eating them when they are yellow-green and unripe could mean a world of difference in terms of how they affect your body.
Studies have proven that the riper the banana is the better anti-cancer qualities it possesses. This shouldn’t come as a surprise given the fact that when fruit is at its peak ripe stage, it contains the highest concentration of vitamins, minerals and crucial cancer-fighting phytonutrients. When fruits are fully ripe they also contain all of the necessary enzymes for helping digestion.
Japanese researchers have proven that ripe bananas fight cancer. The dark spots on ripe yellow bananas signal that your banana contains high levels of a substance called Tumor Necrosis Factor (TNF), which destroys cancerous tumors.
By letting your bananas sit on the counter until fully ripen, they will have higher antioxidant levels, which means better immune-strengthening effects for you, and a higher white blood cell count. In fact, yellow-skinned bananas with dark spots were found to be 8 times more effective at enhancing the cancer-fighting properties of white blood cells than their green-skinned counterparts.
Dark Spots and Tumor Necrosis Factor (TNF-α)
TNF-α is a cytokine (cell-signalling protein), involved in systemic inflammation and is produced chiefly by macrophages (a type of white blood cell that digests foreign substances and dead cells). The primary role of TNF is in the regulation of immune cells, and directing cell movement toward inflammation and infection sites in the body. It helps prevent the growth and spread of tumor cells and triggers apoptosis (cell death).
Studies have found that the levels of TNF-α increased significantly with dark spots on the skin, before the entire banana peel turned brown.
The study conducted by Japanese researchers found that the activity of dark-spotted bananas was comparable to that of Lentinan, a chemical immunostimulant that is intravenously administered as an anti-cancer agent to stimulate white blood cell production. One ripe banana a day (or more!) might just keep the cancer away…
Eating ripe bananas not only improves your chance of fighting cancerous cells, but it also means better digestion, moods, stronger bones, and better blood pressure. Make sure you eat bananas at their peak ripe stage before they go fully brown. Once they get past the black speckled stage, their nutrient content decreases and they aren’t as beneficial to the body. If you can’t eat them once they get to their perfect ripeness, simply peel and stick in the freezer and use for recipes later on like banana ice-cream!
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