For many years, the green banana has been credited with a series of health benefits, including that it provides the body with fiber, contributes to weight control, helps regulate cholesterol and promotes cardiovascular health, among others.
However, a new study assures that the daily consumption of this fruit could help prevent and avoid the development of certain types of cancer. Research by scientists from the Universities of Newcastle and Leeds, UK, has determined that the intake of resistant starch, in addition to providing energy, prevents various forms of this disease.
Starch is a nutrient found naturally in green bananas and according to analysis, the greener the banana, the more starch it contains.
The study, published in the journal Cancer prevention research, examined more than 900 patients with Lynch syndrome, a genetic disease that predisposes to a number of cancers. Participants received either a daily dose of powdered resistant starch (equivalent to a green banana) or a placebo. The test was carried out over a period of two years.
At the end of the treatment phase, there was no difference between those who had taken the resistant starch and those who had not. However, the researchers decided to work on the longer-term effect and designed the study to be able to follow patients, and this is precisely what allowed them to find conclusive results.
As was known, during this later period, there were only five new cases of gastrointestinal cancer among the 463 participants. who had taken the resistant starch, compared with 21 of the 455 who had taken the placebo.
Researchers have determined that resistant starch, which is one of the main components of green bananas, helps reduce the risk of cancers in people with a high genetic predisposition, especially those related to the upper gastrointestinal tract, especially those of the esophagus, stomach, bile ducts. tract, pancreas and duodenum, which are normally not easy to detect.
Professor John Mathers, an expert in human nutrition at the University of Newcastle, said resistant starch reduced a number of cancers by more than 60% and, according to known information, the protective effect lasted 10 years after stop eating green bananas. .
Information from the Tua Saúde wellness and health portal indicates that precisely this resistant starch, which is abundant in this raw fruit, increases the presence of water in the intestine, facilitating the passage of feces, which helps prevent constipation and improve digestion. On the contrary, if the fruit is eaten cooked, it helps to reduce the amount of liquid in the intestine, being a good natural remedy to fight diarrhea.
In addition, its high fiber content helps reduce the absorption of sugar at the intestinal level, regulate blood sugar and prevent insulin resistance and the development of diabetes.
It is a food recommended to help control weight thanks to the fact that it is very low in calories and due to its resistant starch it generates a feeling of satiety, significantly reducing appetite, specifies information from the Better Health portal .
It also helps regulate cholesterol and protect cardiovascular health. In the first case, because it is a low-fat food, it helps to limit bad cholesterol (LDL), while increasing HDL, called good.
As a result, it helps prevent heart problems, as it prevents the retention of LDL in the walls of blood vessels and eliminates the possibilities of inflammation that can affect the heart and, in general, the chest region.