If you’ve ever let a batch of bananas go bad, you’ve probably lamented over the waste of both food and money. Those bright yellow peels covered with so many brown spots make for an unappetizing, overly sweet and squishy mess. Better to just toss them and be done with it, right? Wrong! You may think upon looking at an overripe banana that it’s past it’s prime, but that’s the very best time to eat it.

We don’t eat oranges when they are green, and we wait for avocados to be brown or even black. We do these things because we know the fruit is not yet ripe, and not only does that affect the taste, it makes the fruit much harder to eat. So why is it that we are in such a hurry to eat bananas when they aren’t ripe yet?

This practice most likely has to do with appearance and texture. Brown spots look unsightly, and when it comes to fruit, most of us have generally been taught that squishiness or the presence of spots typically indicate that the fruit is past the point of safe consumption. However, while a brown and black spotted banana may not look all that appetizing, the truth is, the ripening process activates a lot of the nutrients of the banana that aren’t ready, or at their highest levels, when it is green, or even pure yellow.

Of course, bananas are well known for their potassium. Potassium is a mineral the body needs to help protect and strengthen the heart. It works to counter sodium in that it reduces heart disease by making blood vessels more flexible. This cuts down on blood pressure, because the heart can more easily pump blood through the body. Potassium also prevents buildup in the arteries, which decreases the odds of a blockage.  What you may not know about potassium is that it is also beneficial for preventing muscle cramps. These are all good things, but bananas are beneficial for so much more than just potassium.

Consider, for example, tumor necrosis factor(TNF). This essentially does exactly what it sounds like. Essentially, it is a protein that helps to regulate the immune response, which allows it to contribute greatly to the destruction of tumors and other harmful entities in the body. Those black and brown spots you find on ripened bananas are indicators the strong presence of TNF proteins. Why not give your immune system a boost?


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