Cancer is a deadly disease that has numerous subtypes. Because not all cancers are treatable, experts advise us to take preventative measures through diet and lifestyle. According to new research, eating green bananas may lower the risk of cancer. The resistant starch in them is said to be the component linked to a lower risk of cancer.
Ripe yellow bananas are generally consumed because they are sweet and fibrous. Although these are beneficial for constipation and digestive health, eating green, unripe bananas can provide some unexpected benefits, including cancer prevention. According to a study conducted by experts from Leeds University and the University of Newcastle and published in the journal ‘Cancer Prevention Research,’ eating resistant starch found in unripe bananas can lower the risk of stomach cancer.
This is a 20-year study in which researchers looked at Lynch Syndrome patients who are at a higher risk of developing rectal and intestine cancer. They were instructed to consume a dose of resistant starch, which can also be obtained from unripe green bananas. This starch can also be found in rice, peas, oats, beans, and some cereals. But bananas have the highest concentration, making them the best source of this cancer-fighting starch.
Researchers discovered that the starch reduced the risk of pancreatic, gastrointestinal, esophageal, and duodenal cancers after closely monitoring the risk and parameters. Furthermore, the effects were still visible after the patients stopped taking the starch supplement.
According to John Mathers, a study author from Newcastle University, ‘we discovered that resistant starch reduces a range of cancers by more than 60%’. The effect was most noticeable in the upper intestine. The dose used in the trial is equivalent to eating a banana every day: ‘Banana starch resists breakdown and reaches the bowel, where it can change the type of bacteria that live there before they become too ripe and soft’.
What is resistant starch?
This is a type of carbohydrate that ferments in the large intestine, allowing healthy gut bacteria to thrive. According to researchers, this starch reduces bile acids in the stomach, which are linked to an increased risk of cancer. Aside from resistant starch, aspirin has been shown to have a similar effect on a person’s health.
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