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Good friends: bananas and your microbiome

January 8th, 2021  

Bananas: Everyone knows them and it is impossible to imagine our household assortment without them as a quick snack for in between. But what do the curved, yellow fruits have to do with our microbiome? That’s what we want to find out together with you today.

To develop optimally, bananas need a warm, humid climate and a temperature of around 27 °C. If possible, 1,500 hours of sunshine per year or more and high humidity are further requirements. The banana plant grows best in shallow, well-aerated and sandy loam soils.

Ahead a small list of how versatile bananas act on our body:

  1. They give you rash energy.
  2. They contain abundant potassium.
  3. They improve your digestion.
  4. They are a mood booster.
  5. They serve as an affordable, convenient and healthy snack.
  6. They are a good source of manganese.
  7. They help to improve kidney function.
  8. They support heart health.

Bananas are often demonized for their Sugar content demonized. However, it should be noted here that A) it depends on the ripeness of the fruit and B) as with everything, the amount also plays a role. plays a role. We will discuss the former later in our post.

As you, as a microbiome expert, already know know, dietary fibers are the best friends of an intact intestinal mucosa. On the one hand, there are water-insoluble fibers that bacteria cannot digest. digest. However, they virtually wipe through once thoroughly.

Wie du als Mikrobiom-Experte bereits weißt, sind Ballaststoffe die besten Freunde einer intakten Darmschleimhaut. Einerseits gibt es wasserunlösliche Fasern, welche die Bakterien nicht verdauen. Sie wischen aber quasi einmal gründlich durch.

The effects of inulin on our body.

Bananas contain a lot of inulin. This fiber has a particularly favorable effect on the growth of anti-inflammatory anti-inflammatory intestinal bacteria.

Dietary fiber has many benefits for our microbiome and thus also make bananas healthy. Bananas are not the most fruit richest in fiber, they still contain 3 grams of fiber per 100 grams. gram. Especially the dietary fibers pectin and resistant starch are in contained in the banana. 

Resistant starch passes through the small intestine undigested and is and is broken down (fermented) in the large intestine by your intestinal bacteria (fermented). In the process, the short-chain fatty acids already mentioned above fatty acids, more precisely propionate, acetate and butyrate. Butyrate is as the main source of energy for the cells of the colon mucosa.

Here’s a little description for you about the different types of fiber.

As a healthy snack bananas can also help with diarrhea, because the pectins they contain pectins delay the bowel movement. The best thing to do here is to process the banana into a pulp with a fork before eating. Some studies also showed that pectins can have a preventive effect against colon cancer.

Thus, bananas can improve the health of your digestive system and help, for example, reduce flatulence.

In a clinical study, a group of overweight women were to eat a banana twice a day for 60 days as a snack before meals (overweight people have less good (overweight people have fewer good intestinal bacteria, which may even may even contribute to weight gain).

During the study, intestinal bacteria levels were then measured and digestive symptoms were recorded to determine if the consumption of bananas made a difference.

Still unripe bananas with green skin. These contain the most resistant starch.

In fact, this resulted in an increase in good bacteria (bifidobacteria) and a significant reduction in flatulence. Previously, the women participating in the study suffered from bloating almost every day, but adding bananas to the diet cut the bananas to the diet, however, halved the symptoms.

“We concluded that daily consumption of bananas in healthy women with body weight problems may induce bifidogenesis can,” the study researchers commented.

To now come back to the different To come back to the different ripening states of the yellow fruit, we have briefly and the benefits of each of the three ripening stages:

Unripe bananas contain the most prebiotic carbohydrates (resistant starch), as these have the least sugar. Thus, here is also the most good food for your bacteria. In addition, resistant starch makes you starch makes you feel fuller for longer, which can help you lose weight.

Microbiome & Banana
Ripe bananas can help support digestion.

The riper a banana becomes, the more its sugar content increases. its sugar content. Ripe bananas are therefore not only a great natural source of energy source, but also easier to digest. When they are unripe, they serve they serve as prebiotics for your intestinal flora. As the fruit softens, it becomes easier to easier to digest them optimally. That’s why a ripe banana is the most most likely to relieve flatulence.

Finally, a ripe banana contains more antioxidants antioxidants than an unripe banana. Antioxidants are important to ward off free radicals. This in turn can help your body support your immune system to do its job.

When the peel of a banana turns brown, we tend to tend to throw them in the garbage can, but this is often wrong, because they still contain many vitamins and minerals. If you do not like overripe bananas still don’t taste good, use them for baking. They are a great binding and thickening agent. Furthermore, the higher sugar content provides a pleasant and healthy sweetness.

To sweeten your day a bit and support your microbiome, we have created another tasty recipe for you in the attachment. So how about some delicious banana bread for a change!

Learn here more about the composition and health of your microbiome.

Banana bread (gluten-free, vegan)

A healthy banana bread recipe that is easy to prepare. Combine it with some nut butter and a cup of coffee for a delicious breakfast in the morning.

Ingredients

  • 2 flaxseed “eggs” (mix 2 tablespoons of ground flaxseed with 5 tablespoons of water, stir everything together and let stand for 10 minutes).
  • 3 medium bananas
  • 1/3 cup almond butter (or any other nut butter) (Since I mostly bake with the American cup system for the sake of simplicity, because this saves a lot of weighing work, I have tried to convert it approximately for you with the help of a table; I hope it is correct: 1/3 cup = approx. 80g almond butter)
  • 1/3 cup (65g) coconut blossom sugar
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon bourbon vanilla
  • 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 2/3 cups (150g) oat flour
  • 1.5 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1.5 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • (Rice) chocolate lentils/nuts/raisins as desired

Preparationg

1. Preheat the oven to 180°Celsius and line a baking dish with baking paper. I used an oblong baking dish (24x11cm) from IKEA.

2. next step is to prepare the flaxseed “eggs”: mix 2 tablespoons of coarsely ground flaxseed with 5 tablespoons of water, stir everything together and leave to swell for 10 minutes.
next step is to prepare the flaxseed “eggs”: mix 2 tablespoons of coarsely ground flaxseed with 5 tablespoons of water, stir everything together and leave to swell for 10 minutes.

3. in the meantime, you can mash the ripe bananas in a large bowl.

4. then stir in the almond butter, coconut blossom sugar, coconut oil, vanilla and apple cider vinegar.
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5. in its separate bowl, mix the oat flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt.
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6. now mix the dry ingredients with the wet ingredients and mix them well.

7. now add the prepared flaxseed “eggs”
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8. also add the nuts/raisins/chocolate lentils and incorporate into the mixture.
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9. pour the batter into the baking dish and top with optional additional nuts/raisins/chocolate lentils or banana chunks.
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10. Bake for 45-50 minutes and pierce with a wooden stick on a trial basis to check that it stays clean. Halfway through baking (20-25 minutes), the banana bread should be covered with foil to keep it nice and moist.

Have fun trying it out and have a great day from your myBioma team! ??

Sources:

(1) Mitsou EK, Kougia E, Nomikos T, Yannakoulia M, Mountzouris KC, Kyriacou A. Effect of banana consumption on faecal microbiota: A randomised, controlled trial. Anaerobe. 2011 Apr 16. [Epub ahead of print]

(2) Englyst, H., Kingman, S., Hudson, G., & Cummings, J. (1996). Measurement of resistant starch in vitro and in vivo. British Journal of Nutrition, 75(5), 749-755. doi:10.1079/BJN19960178

(3) Olano-Martin, E., et al. (2003). “Pectin and pectic-oligosaccharides induce apoptosis in in vitro human colonic adenocarcinoma cells.” Anticancer Res 23(1a): 341-346.

(4) Iwasawa, H.; Yamazaki, M.; (2009). “Differences in Biological Response Modifier-like Activities According to the Strain and Maturity of Bananas.” Food Sci. Technol. Res., 15 (3), 275 – 282

(5) https://draxe.com/nutrition/banana-nutrition/

(6) https://blog.thryveinside.com/the-banana-prebiotics-hack-your-gut-health-needs/

(7) https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bananeng%C3%BCrtel

(8) https://www.gesundheitswissen.de/ernaehrung/ballaststoffe/

(9) https://www.verywellhealth.com/the-health-benefits-of-inulin-4587258

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