- Why Do Bananas Turn Brown?
- Cancer and ripe bananas: How bogus claims can harm your health and the people you love
- The real banana facts
- Who made the claim?
- So, what’s the harm?
- Please share with care
- Common Diseases Of Banana: What Causes Black Spots On Banana Fruit
- Normal Black Spots on a Banana
- Black Spot Disease in Bananas
- Other Diseases of Bananas Causing Black Spots
- Health Benefits of Bananas with Brown Spots
- Other Benefits of Bananas
- Ideas for Using up Brown Spotted Bananas
- An overripe banana is VERY good for health; here’s why
- Is Eating a Banana With Brown Spots Bad for You?
- Ripening Process
- Brown Spots from Ripening
- Additional Causes
- Banana Peel for Acne: a Mere Myth or the Perfect Spot Treatment?
- In What Way Does Banana Peel Affect Acne?
- How to Use Banana Peel for Acne?
- The Verdict
Why Do Bananas Turn Brown?
The life cycle of a banana is a colorful one—it starts with a deep green, changes to a delicious yellow, and ends (if it’s not eaten beforehand) at an unappetizing brown. But what causes this color change, and what makes a banana go from green all the way to the dark side? As it turns out, bananas are a little too gaseous for their own good.
Bananas, like most fruits, produce and react with an airborne hormone called ethylene that helps to signal the ripening process. A fruit that is unripened is hard, is more acidic than it is sugary, and likely has a greenish hue due to the presence of chlorophyll, a molecule found in plants that is important in photosynthesis. When a fruit comes into contact with ethylene gas, the acids in the fruit start to break down, it becomes softer, and the green chlorophyll pigments are broken up and replaced—in the case of bananas, with a yellow hue. The loss of the acidic taste and hardened interior means a sweeter, yummier, and mushier fruit—perfect for eating!
However, unlike most fruits, which generate only a tiny amount of ethylene as they ripen, bananas produce a large amount. While a banana in the beginning of the ripening process might become sweeter and turn yellow, it will eventually overripen by producing too much of its own ethylene. High amounts of ethylene cause the yellow pigments in bananas to decay into those characteristic brown spots in a process called enzymatic browning. This natural browning process is also observed when fruits become bruised. A damaged or bruised banana will produce an even higher amount of ethylene, ripening (and browning) faster than if undamaged. It seems like your grandma was right—a green banana that’s placed in a brown paper bag will ripen faster because of all the ethylene trapped inside. But if the fruit is subjected to its own gaseous prison for too long, it will ripen itself all the way to rot.
Cancer and ripe bananas: How bogus claims can harm your health and the people you love
Bananas with brown spots kill cancer! Eat them!
I read this exciting declaration on Facebook.
According to the post: “Fully ripe bananas with brown patches on their skin produce a substance called tumour necrosis factor, which can eliminate abnormal cells. The darker the patches, the higher the banana’s ability to boost your immunity and lower the risk of cancer”.
It was posted with the encouragement: “Share with the people you care about”.
I didn’t share it.
One of the banana posts from Curejoy. (Supplied: Tanya Ha)
One of the banana posts from Curejoy.
Supplied: Tanya Ha
Facebook is full of cures and killers.
Some posts are helpful, such as those warning home renovators to check for asbestos.
But there’s also a mountain of posts about a wide and weird range of things that allegedly cause cancer: hand soap, bras, dairy milk, almond milk, deodorant, mobile phones, drinking cold water after a meal, and even chemotherapy.
I went on a banana fact-checking mission to find out who made the original post and what it was based on.
The real banana facts
Let’s start with the science.
What is tumour necrosis factor?
It’s a protein that causes inflammation as part of your body’s natural defences. Macrophages, a type of white blood cell, make it when a threat is detected.
Why would a substance made by blood cells be in a banana?
Some versions of the banana meme refer to a Japanese study.
It was a mouse study, not a human trial — and the mice didn’t eat bananas. The researchers pulverised slices of very ripe banana in water, then injected the mice with a filtered extract. The immune systems of the mice produced tumour necrosis factor as part of the normal immune response to dealing with something that shouldn’t be there.
The scientists made no claim that the bananas produced the factor, or that they’d found a cancer cure. At best, the meme is gross misrepresentation of clinically insignificant research.
Who made the claim?
The banana meme was posted on the Facebook page of Ayurveda by Curejoy, self-described as “Expert advice on Cure, Fitness and Beauty.”
The page has nearly 10 million followers, and cross-promotes the magazine-style website CureJoy.com.
The website’s “about” page doesn’t name the people behind it, but it does invite advertisers. If you click on the media kit link, you’ll see this:
This is the information presented to marketers in the Curejoy media kit. (Supplied: Tanya Ha)
This is the information presented to marketers in the Curejoy media kit.
Supplied: Tanya Ha
My guess is that the website’s modus operandi is simply to attract your eyeballs with appealing content, and sell advertising to companies who want your eyeballs.
So, what’s the harm?
The trouble is, this all adds to the noise that vulnerable people with serious illnesses are dealing with. Noise that’s amplified by empowered friends. Friends who were impressed by a YouTube documentary or a miracle food book; or who have “done their own research” with the help of Doctor Google.
Cancer and “wellness” got very personal for me over the past 10 years. Three of my best friends have survived cancer. And my much loved brother-in-law Graham died from lung cancer in 2008.
Then in 2012, my adored sister found a lump in her breast.
Tanya Ha (right) helped her sister navigate through the false health claims that surround cancer. (Supplied: Tanya Ha)
Tanya Ha (right) helped her sister navigate through the false health claims that surround cancer.
Supplied: Tanya Ha
I knew what was coming. My sister was about to get a barrage of well-meaning but poorly-informed advice from friends — sometimes gentle, sometimes dogmatic, and often confusing, contradictory and distressing. My protective instinct kicked in.
It was then that I really came to appreciate the BS-detection skills you learn as a science journalist.
I went to my sister’s medical appointments, and later explained anything she hadn’t understood — like what sentinel lymph nodes are, and why they’re biopsied.
And I was her gatekeeper. With her and her husband’s blessing, we told everyone to channel communication through me. I would call them, send group text messages and post updates on Facebook after surgery and doctor’s appointments. They could pass on health information through me.
We asked our friends to give her the space and peace she needed to concentrate her physical and emotional energy on treatment, recovery and keeping her three children happy.
A few friends were insistent on recommending various treatments, or evil chemicals to avoid, so I went on many fact-checking missions, talking to doctors and scientists, researching the evidence and relaying what I found to my sister.
By and large, it worked. But one incident made me furious.
A while after surgery and radiotherapy, my sister saw a “dietitian”* for advice on what to eat to help with her recovery. She left in tears, having paid $180 to be told that she must have given herself cancer by having a diet that’s too acidic.
Cancer is a health challenge, but cancer survivorship is a mental health challenge.
How anyone can take money from a scared, trusting young woman and tell her such anxiety-inducing bollocks is beyond me! And yet they do.
It’s true that cancer cells can’t live in an overly alkaline environment, but neither can any of your cells. Stomach acid is far more acidic than most of the food it digests. And because your enzymes function in a narrow pH range, your body has complex and multiple systems to keep it from changing. Acidic diets do not cause your blood to become too acidic.
Every Facebook post promoting alkaline water makes me think of my sister. I wonder if she’s reading the same post, feeling a stab of fear, guilt, doubt or anxiety.
Listen to Tanya’s story on the ABC Science podcast Ockham’s Razor.
Some things, like bacteria and computer viruses, are dangerously shared.
Wellness warriors Jess Ainscough and Belle Gibson shared their diets and cancer cures with thousands of followers on social media as alternatives to conventional treatment.
Jess Ainscough has since died from cancer; Belle Gibson never had cancer in the first place and is facing fraud and contempt charges. They may have influenced people making life-and-death decisions about their own cancer treatment.
Humans have hearts as well as heads. The real power of Facebook lies not in facts but in feelings. The posts that make us laugh, cry, fume or feel scared are the most liked and shared.
The next time you’re called upon to “share if you care” — please, instead, share with care.
If you really do care about your friends and family, you can take five minutes to fact check first.
* Note: In Australia, anyone can legally call themselves a nutritionist or dietitian, no matter their level of training, much to the frustration of evidence-based, qualified and trained nutritionists and dietitians.
Tanya Ha is director of engagement at Science in Public, a member of the executive committee and board of Science and Technology Australia, and was once a reporter on ABC TV’s Catalyst.
Common Diseases Of Banana: What Causes Black Spots On Banana Fruit
Native to tropical Asia, the banana plant (Musa paradisiaca) is the largest herbaceous perennial plant in the world and is grown for its popular fruit. These tropical members of the family Musaceae are prone to a number of diseases, many of which result in black spots on banana fruit. What causes black spot disease in bananas and are there any methods for treating black spots on banana fruit? Read on to learn more.
Normal Black Spots on a Banana
Black spot disease in bananas is not to be confused with black spots on the fruit of a banana tree. Blackish/brown spots are common on the exterior of the banana fruit. These spots are commonly referred to as bruises. These bruises mean that the fruit is ripe and that the acid within has been converted to sugar.
In other words, the banana is at the peak of its sweetness. It’s just a preference for most people. Some people like their bananas with a little tang when the fruit is just turning from green to yellow and others prefer the sweetness that arises from black spots on banana fruit peels.
Black Spot Disease in Bananas
Now if you are growing your own bananas and see dark spots on the plant itself, it is likely that your banana plant has a fungal disease. Black Sigatoka is one such fungal disease (Mycosphaerella fijiensis) that thrives in tropical climates. This is a leaf spot disease that does indeed result in dark spots on the foliage.
These dark spots eventually enlarge and encompass an entire affected leaf. The leaf turns brown or yellow. This leaf spot disease reduces production of fruit. Remove any infected leaves and prune the plant’s foliage to allow for better air circulation and apply fungicide regularly.
Anthracnose causes brown spots on the fruit’s peel, presenting as large brownish/black areas and black lesions on green fruit. A fungus (Colletotrichum musae), Anthracnose is promoted by wet conditions and is spread via rainfall. Commercial plantations afflicted with this fungal disease, wash and dip fruit in fungicide prior to shipping.
Other Diseases of Bananas Causing Black Spots
Panama disease is another fungal disease caused by Fusarium oxysporum, a fungal pathogen that enters the banana tree through the xylem. It then spreads throughout the vascular system affecting the entire plant. The spreading spores cling to vessel walls, blocking water flow, which in turn causes the plant’s leaves to wilt and die. This disease is serious and can kill an entire plant. Its fungal pathogens can survive in soil for close to 20 years and is extremely difficult to control.
Panama disease is so serious that it almost wiped out the commercial banana industry. At the time, 50 plus years ago, the most common banana cultivated was called Gros Michel, but Fusarium wilt, or Panama disease, changed all that. The disease began in Central America and rapidly spread to most of the world’s commercial plantations which had to be burned down. Today, a different variety, the Cavendish, is again threatened with destruction due to the resurgence of a similar fusarium called Tropical Race 4.
Treating black spot of banana can be difficult. Often, once a banana plant has a disease, it can be very difficult to halt its progression. Keeping the plant pruned so it has excellent air circulation, being vigilant about pests, such as aphids, and the routine application of fungicides should all be instituted to combat diseases of banana causing black spots.
Most people enjoy having a banana for breakfast or as a convenient on-the-go snack. But did you know that there is an ideal time to eat a banana depending on its level of ripeness?
The best time to eat any fruit, including bananas, is when it is fully ripened. Bananas that are ripe have a peel that changes from green when picked to yellow with brown spots when ripe.
Bananas are super-healthy and are most nutrient-rich when brown. Bananas contain the following:
- Vitamins and minerals: bananas are high in potassium, vitamin B-6, and contain vitamin C.
- Phytonutrients: important for fighting cancer.
- Fiber: Fiber slows the rate that sugar is absorbed into the blood stream, and growing evidence shows that adequate fiber intake may benefit your digestion and reduce your risk of chronic disease.
According to a large analysis of many studies, daily consumption of 1.3 to 1.4 grams of potassium is linked to a 26% lower risk of heart disease .(1)
Ripe bananas are more easily digested because the starch has mainly turned to sugar.
Green bananas contain up to 70-80% starch, but during ripening the starch is converted into sugars and ends up at a volume of less than 1% when the banana is fully ripe. (2)
Although it is best to eat bananas after they become ripe, it is possible for them to become too ripe.
The browner a banana gets some of the micronutrients diminish. In terms of nutrient density and digestibility, the perfect time to eat a banana can be seen in the picture below.
Many of us consume bananas outside of the country we live in. This means that they are picked when they are unripe and the peel is still green.
However, over time, the amino acids start to transform into ethylene gas which causes the fruit to ripen as the acids in the fruit get broken down.
Sometimes ethylene gas is added to help the bananas ripen quicker if they are picked close to the place where they are sold. However, most growers pick their fruit while the peel is still green because the bananas are often shipped over long distances.
To expedite the ripening process, bananas can be put inside a bag so that the ethylene gas which is released will remain trapped and cause the fruit to ripen faster.
During the ripening process, three key things happen:
1. The peel turns from green to yellow to brown
Bananas start out with a green peel which gets its color from the chlorophyll in the plant, an important element of the photosynthesis process.
As the banana ripens, the green pigments get broken up and are replaced with the yellow color characteristic of a ripe banana.
2. Because bananas produce much more ethylene than other fruits, they will become over ripened and the yellow parts of the banana will decay and become brown. This process is called enzymatic browning.
2. The fruit becomes softer
The ethylene in the banana causes the fruit to go from firm and solid to soft and mushy inside.
3. The banana’s flesh becomes sweeter
A banana’s fruit will also become sweeter as it ripens, causing the banana to become up to 80% sugar.
A banana will also turn brown when it is bruised or damaged. Bananas that are dropped start to produce even more ethylene and will, therefore, become brown much faster.
Health Benefits of Bananas with Brown Spots
Although some people might be grossed out by the brown spots on a banana, there are many positive health benefits to eating bananas once the spots develop.
One study examined the effects of fruits and vegetables on priming cytokines, which are measured as a way to determine the immunological state.
Scientists found that this activity was increased in the group with bananas that were more mature or ripened (3).
Japanese researchers at Teikyo University also found that ripe bananas with brown spots on the peel have high levels of Tumor Necrosis Factor (TNF).
TNF is a cell-signaling protein that plays a role in regulating immune cells and making sure that cells travel to areas of inflammation and infection. It also helps to prevent tumor cells from growing or spreading and can destroy cancerous tumors.
Many studies have shown that TNF has anti-tumor effects and can help prevent and treat cancerous growths.
It was also noted that bananas contain dopamine and serotonin and that the dopamine content in the peel increased after the banana ripened.
This is important because dopamine is often used as a diuretic while serotonin helps with mental stabilization and helps fight against anxiety and depression.
One study even found that bananas with dark spots were almost as effective as an intravenous anti-cancer drug called Lentinan that is taken to stimulate the production of white blood cells (4).
Because of their high concentration of TNF, bananas can be effective in helping to fight cancer. But they must be ripened with a yellow peel and brown spots. Bananas with a green peel were not found to work as well as ripened ones.
Other Benefits of Bananas
Several antioxidant flavonoids are found in bananas. The most important of these is catechins, which have been linked to a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease (5).
The antioxidants in bananas also help the body to protect itself from inflammation.
One study found that bananas contained high levels of dopamine, which has anti-oxidative potency. The dopamine levels were found to range from 80-560 mg per 100g in the peel and 2.5-10 mg in the pulp (6).
Foods high in antioxidants are thought to fight against free radicals in the body, which are associated with a multitude of diseases, including cancer.
Fiber is important for digestion because it feeds the good bacteria in the gut. It can also help to prevent blood sugar from increasing after eating meals high in carbohydrates.
Bananas contain approximately 3.1 grams of fiber per medium-sized banana. As the banana ripens, the flesh turns from starch to sugar.
Ripened bananas are also relatively low on the glycemic index (GI) which measures how quickly certain foods will increase blood sugar levels.
Ripe bananas have a value of 60 and, in addition to their GI value, they also contain pectin which can help balance blood sugar levels.
Ideas for Using up Brown Spotted Bananas
If you’re waiting for your bananas to become ripe and develop brown spots, you might miss the window for eating them at their ideal time – a bunch of bananas may all become ripe at the same time, making it difficult to eat them all during their peak ripeness.
Not to mention some people don’t like the taste of overripe bananas because they can become very sweet and mushy.
Fortunately, there are many ways to use brown spotted bananas so they don’t go to waste. You can also get creative and find ways to eat them if you find ripe bananas to be too sugary or soft for your liking.
1. Freezing Bananas
One of the best ways to preserve the bananas once they ripen is to freeze them. First, let the bananas ripen on the counter or try putting them in a brown paper bag to ripen faster.
Once they develop brown spots, peel them and place them on a tray in the freezer. It will take several hours for them to become fully frozen. After they freeze, all the bananas can be combined in a plastic bag and kept for later use.
It’s important to place the bananas on a tray and freeze them individually so they do not stick together once frozen.
If you simply peel several bananas and toss them in a bag together, you will end up with a big frozen block of bananas that will be difficult to use later.
While it’s tempting to put a whole banana into the freezer, it’s important to peel them before freezing.
It’s difficult to peel a frozen banana so you would have to wait for it to fully thaw out in order to peel it and, even then, the peel may not easily come off and will likely become a sticky mess.
Frozen bananas are perfect to include in a smoothie along with other fresh or frozen fruits, green leafy vegetables and water or juice.
You could also use frozen bananas as the base for a milkshake by adding in a favorite plant-based milk for creaminess.
You can also make dairy-free ice cream (or “nice” cream) using frozen bananas as the base. Just blend the frozen bananas and add in any flavors or toppings such as nuts, cacao, peanut butter, coconut flakes, and maple syrup or other sweeteners such as agave.
2. Bake Bananas
Ripened bananas have a very high sugar content, making them perfect for baking. Add in some mashed up banana to make delicious snacks and desserts such as banana bread or muffins.
Bananas can also be baked in foil in the oven to make them even softer and gooey. If you’re camping, you could swap your oven for the hot coals of a campfire. Then top them with your favorite fruits, nuts, or some whipped topping.
Another banana-based dessert is banana pudding. Just add the mashed bananas into the cake batter or combine with leftover bread for a quick bread pudding. Cookies and energy bars can also benefit from adding banana.
3. Breakfast Ideas
Incorporate bananas into your favorite breakfast foods such as pancakes and French toast by adding mashed bananas into the batter.
Bananas can also be sliced on top as a garnish before drizzling on maple syrup or dusting with powdered sugar.
Bananas are also delicious when mixed into oatmeal or simply sliced on top of a bowl of cold cereal before adding a splash of non-dairy milk. Then sprinkle on some cinnamon and add nuts for texture for a balanced breakfast.
4. Banana Chips
Slice up your ripe bananas and place them into a dehydrator or, if you don’t own a dehydrator, put them on a baking sheet and place them in the oven.
Once dehydrated, they turn into banana chips which can be eaten as a snack or mixed in with other nuts and dried fruits to make trail mix.
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An overripe banana is VERY good for health; here’s why
Most of us tend to throw away overripe bananas, fearing they would no longer be fresh, and therefore, not fit to eat.
Although overripe bananas may not really look very appetising–the fruit turns soggy while the banana peel may turn black or brown–they are very good for our health.
Here are the benefits that you can draw from consuming an overripe banana:
1. It prevents or delays cell damage
An overripe banana is rich in antioxidants, which, according to livestrong.com, is beneficial in preventing or delaying cell damage in one’s body. This, in turn, lowers the risk of diseases. It also improves our immune system.
2. It is easier to digest
As a banana ripens, the starchy carbohydrates in them convert into free sugars, thus making these bananas easy to digest, according to dailysuperfoodlove.com. Green bananas, on the other hand, contain starches that are hard to digest.
Also Read: You can now indulge in Kerala’s famous banana chips, without the guilt
3. It can help you combat cancer
When a banana becomes too ripe, its peel turns a few shades darker. The dark spots on the peel create Tumor Necrosis Factor (TNF), a substance that can kill cancerous and abnormal cells, mentions healthy-holistic-living.com, in one of its articles.
Picture courtesy: Instagram/beckmillwood
4. It relieves you of heartbun
According to sun-gazing.com, an overripe banana works as an antacid. The smooth texture of the banana lines the stomach walls and protects it from harmful acids and irritation.
Also Read: The humble banana might actually prevent heart-attacks
5. It is good for cariovascular health
As livestrong.com mentions, bananas are rich in potassium, regardless of their ripeness. This means that eating overripe bananas can keep your cholesterol levels in check. The fiber in a banana, on the other hand, can reduce the risk of a heart disease. The iron and copper in bananas are needed for good blood count and hemoglobin levels.
So, the next time you find bananas turning brown, do not throw them away.
Much online ink has been spilled over unfounded claims about the dangers of “chemical ripening” in fruit and vegetable products.
In the case of bananas and many other fruits, ripening occurs naturally as a response to a plant hormone called ethylene that is released at specific stages of a plant’s development. For reasons ranging from transportation logistics to visual aesthetics, most commercial bananas are picked well before they are ripe and triggered to ripen in concert by being exposed to trace levels of ethylene gas in a specialized, climate-controlled ripening chamber a few days before being distributed for sale in supermarkets.
From a chemical standpoint, an ethylene-treated banana (the actual scientific term) is no different than a banana that has ripened naturally, as the same substance is triggering the ripening in both cases. From a food-safety perspective, no differences exist between ethylene-treated bananas and bananas that have ripened on their own schedule, either. In the U.S., the post-harvest ripening of organic-labeled tropical fruit with ethylene is explicitly allowed.
In fact, any banana bought at a supermarket in the United States (and much of the rest of the world) is all but certain to have been ethylene-treated, even those found in the “organic” section. We asked Maricruz Ramirez Sanchez, an expert in post-harvest technology at the University of Costa Rica’s Agronomy Research Center, what percentage of bananas sold in U.S. supermarkets would be ethylene-treated. “I would say 100%,” she told us by email.
That fact is what makes a meme purporting to offer a quick visual method to identify which of two Whole Foods bananas has been “chemically ripening” so perplexing:
Both bananas in the image are almost certain to have been ethylene-treated. Still, we asked Ramirez Sanchez if the presence of green stalks and brown spots, or any other visual clue, could reliably betray a banana’s ethylene-treatment history. She told us it would be possible to see green stems in both naturally ripened and ethylene-treated bananas, adding that “there is no visual test, and there is no chemical test, to confidently assess if a banana has been ethylene treated or naturally ripened.”
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Is Eating a Banana With Brown Spots Bad for You?
The bright yellow hue of a banana may seem ruined when it develops brown spots. Your first instinct may be to throw away any discolored bananas. However, the appearance of brown spots does not destroy this highly nutritious and portable fruit, that is readily available year round.
Unlike fruits that need to ripen on the tree or plant, growers pick bananas that are firm, green and fleshy. Once the fruit leaves the tree, amino acids inside began to change to ethylene gas. This gas eventually ripens the banana. The enzymes soften the banana, sweeten the fruit and change the color from green to yellow. Growers often ship bananas long distances, and thicker, tougher peel of green, unripened bananas often makes the journey with less damage. Some growers add ethylene gas to ripen bananas more quickly if they are close to the marketplace.
Brown Spots from Ripening
As the banana ripens, brown spots generally develop as it moves through the ripening stage. The sugar content in the banana increases from almost zero to about 80 percent as the banana ripens, according to Kathy Wollard, author of Newsday’s “How Come?” The more brown spots the banana has, the more sugar the banana contains, and the sweeter it becomes 3. Brown spots on a banana generally do not indicate disease. Bananas with spots should be safe to eat.
Although brown spots on bananas are often a result of the ripening process, you may encounter a banana that has long brown streaks and appears split. This condition, caused by too much humidity during the ripening process, may make the banana inedible. Plant pathologist Scot Nelson at the University of Hawaii says that small brown flecks on the banana’s peel may be an indication of senescent spots 2. These spots develop from already mature fruit spending time in a specialized ripening facility. Bananas with senescent spots are safe to eat. If you put your bananas in the refrigerator for longer than one day, Nelson says you may injure the bananas skin and cause dark areas to form. Of course, sometimes brown spots occur from bruising from rough handling. These bruises are harmless and don’t make the banana inedible.
The high sugar content of bananas with brown spots makes them good for use in baking. Using very ripe bananas often means you can reduce the amount of sugar in recipes for banana bread, muffins and cakes. Other options for very ripe bananas include mashing the fruit and freezing them in quart-sized bags. You can use the puree in smoothies or baked goods. If you are trying to eat a nutritionally balanced diet, one banana counts as a serving of fruit. A 7-inch 118-gram banana has about 105 calories, making it a good choice if you try to limit your snacks to the 100-calorie range.
The Wrap Up
Although brown spots on bananas are often a result of the ripening process, you may encounter a banana that has long brown streaks and appears split. However, the appearance of brown spots does not destroy this highly nutritious and portable fruit, that is readily available year round. However, the appearance of brown spots does not destroy this highly nutritious and portable fruit, that is readily available year round.
Beware of Bananas Injected with HIV Infected Blood-Fiction!
Summary of eRumor:
Bananas purchased at Walmart and other stores in the U.S. have been injected with HIV blood.
Don’t worry about reports about bananas injected with HIV.
Reports of HIV bananas that were bought at supermarkets in the U.S. began popping up on social media sites in the fall of 2015. One such report claimed that a bunch of bananas purchased in Grand Rapids, Michigan, was injected with HIV infected blood. In another post, a writer claimed that she had purchased HIV-laced bananas at a Walmart in Aberdeen, Washington:
I bought a bundle of bananas from the Walmart in Aberdeen tonight and opened it to give my 2 yr old daughter. This is what I found on the inside! I opened the rest of the bundle and they appeared to be normal bananas. I’m not saying it’s blood but what else could it be!
Turns out that red spots in bananas could be a lot of things. Things like disease, fungus and insects have all been known to cause red spots in bananas. There have been no known cases of HIV being injected into bananas, however.
That claim is similar to a rumor that went viral in early 2015 that blood oranges from Libya are being injected with HIV blood (also false).
Even if these accounts were true, it would be nearly impossible to contract HIV from eating an orange that was injected with infected blood before it was shipped over a long distance. HIV is a living virus, and it needs a human host to survive, the non-profit group Aid for AIDS reports:
“HIV is a very fragile virus outside of the body. The HIV virus needs the human body as its host. The life span of HIV outside of the body has not been determined. However, we know that HIV needs its host cell (a human), the body temperature, and the chemistry of the blood to survive. Out of the body, HIV is out of its environment. As the blood dries, the HIV will die. In areas like a syringe or on a razor in a medicine cabinet, HIV would probably live longer because of less airflow and it’s a more moist temperature controlled area.
“Just remember, outside of the body HIV can’t survive. In minutes it will die and be harmless, but Universal Precautions should always be used.”
And, when it comes to bananas, studies have shown that they have high levels of a naturally occurring chemical called lectin that can actually help prevent the transmission of HIV:
The study showed a lectin called BanLec was as potent as two HIV drugs, T-20 and maraviroc, that are currently being used to treat HIV. Lectins are sugar-binding proteins found in plants that can identify and attach to foreign invaders, and subsequently blocks HIV’s entry into the body.
Michael E. Swanson, study author and doctoral student in the graduate program in immunology at the University of Michigan Medical School said “The problem with some HIV drugs is that the virus can mutate and become resistant, but that’s much harder to do in the presence of lectins.”
So, not only does HIV not survive long enough outside the human body to transmit the virus via fruit, bananas have a natural chemical that has actually been found to prevent the transmission of HIV. That means this rumor is a hoax.
Banana Peel for Acne: a Mere Myth or the Perfect Spot Treatment?
We’ve all been there. Searching the web for hours on end, desperately hoping to find a spot treatment that’s quick, cheap and easy to make. Preferably using ingredients we already have in our kitchen. Preferably one that doesn’t result in a red, itchy nightmare.
The more exotic the suggestion, the more people seem to gravitate towards it. Our internal drive towards revolutionary treatments has no end in sight.
In the grand scheme of things, rubbing banana peel doesn’t seem all that extreme. After all, isn’t the peel just as (if not more) nutrient-dense than the fruit itself? Let’s find out.
In What Way Does Banana Peel Affect Acne?
Due to its starch content, it removes the excess oil on the skin. Also, banana peel contains iron, magnesium, and calcium. All of these combined work wonders as an anti-inflammatory powerhouse. Some even claim that it can work perfectly for reducing acne scars.
Apparently, banana peel contains lutein, an antioxidant in the vitamin A family known for its anti-inflammatory properties. Other vitamins such as B, C, and E provide the skin with some much-needed nourishment. On top of that, it also contains high levels of potassium which can reduce swelling, irritation, and redness. Not to mention, banana peels are also loaded with zinc, which is known for its acne-fighting properties.
The antioxidants found in banana peels are also known to protect the skin against damage from external factors, such as the sun and pollution. Since it’s also a rich source of fatty acids, it can also help treat some skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis.
How to Use Banana Peel for Acne?
The only thing you’ll need for this easy spot treatment is one banana peel. Make sure to wash your face beforehand. Gently rub the banana peel on your face (with the inside of it pressed against your skin) for about 10 to 15 minutes. After you’re done rubbing, let the treatment sit for about 20 minutes before rinsing your face. Apply the moisturizer you’d typically use on your face after.
Banana Peel Spot Treatment
This spot treatment can be applied once a day, either in the morning or nighttime. Don’t overdo it though, because it may cause some irritation and peeling.
Turmeric and Banana Peel Face Mask
Even though turmeric has been used for centuries for its beautifying and calming properties, its popularity seems to be continually peaking thanks to the internet. It has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial benefits, and it works wonders on your skin for acne and hyperpigmentation. Try out this mask and your skin will thank you.
Combine half a banana peel and one tablespoon of turmeric in a food processor or blender. You can also add a few drops of lemon juice if you want to spice it up ( no pun intended). After you’re done blending, apply the mixture on your face and wait for 15 to 20 minutes for it to work. Once you’re done, remove the mask gently by rinsing your face with lukewarm water.
Banana Peel and Baking Soda Face Mask
Baking soda is revolutionary in the world of skincare. There are so many people out there who swear by it. It has antimicrobial properties and it gently exfoliates the skin without irritating it. Give this face mask a try in your next pamper day routine.
Blend half a banana peel, half a tablespoon of baking soda and a few drops of any essential oil together. Apply this mixture on your face and let it sit for 5 to 10 minutes. After, wash your face thoroughly and apply your regular moisturizer.
Banana Peel and Oatmeal Natural Exfoliator
Blend one banana peel with around 100 grams of oatmeal and a pinch of sea salt. Gently massage the mixture on your face for a couple of minutes and then rinse it off with warm water. Your skin needs regular exfoliation in order to remove dead skin cells and keep it glowing, healthy and acne-free. This exfoliator is easy to make and it has all natural ingredients which your skin loves.
It’s important to remember that you shouldn’t exfoliate your skin more than 2 or 3 times a week since you risk removing the protective layer that’s necessary for keeping the skin healthy.
Overnight Remedy for Acne
We’re all in need of a spot treatment from time to time, especially before important events, when acne loves to strike most!
Wash your face like you normally would before applying the treatment. Mash half a banana peel and combine it with a teaspoon of honey or maple syrup. Apply this spot treatment directly on your pimple and leave it overnight. In the morning, remove the residue by washing your face thoroughly with a gentle cleanser.
Honey has antibacterial properties and is great for moisturizing the skin naturally, while the peel will tame and reduce the size of the pimple.
Banana Peel for Acne Scars
We’ve seen how the nutrients found in banana peels can potentially work together to heal acne, but can they really treat acne scars?
Some people claim that the antioxidants, potassium, zinc, iron and fatty acids found in the peel help reduce scars. Although this theory isn’t scientifically proven, there’s no harm in trying this method and seeing if it works for you. If you’re worried about a bad reaction, then try it out on a small patch on your face and if it doesn’t cause any bad reactions you can put it all over your face.
If you want to treat acne scars directly, simply rub a piece (or two, if the first one gets brown) of banana peel gently for about 10 minutes and leave it overnight. In the morning, wash your face as you would normally.
Banana Peel for Hyperpigmentation
As we’ve mentioned before, banana peel contains a large number of antioxidants as well as potassium, both of which help heal dark spots or hyperpigmentation. They work in conjunction with the other nutrients, leaving your skin lighter and healthier looking.
It also controls excess sebum on the skin, meaning that your skin will be less likely to break out in the future, which reduces your chances of hyperpigmentation in the long run.
Other Benefits of Banana Peel
If you think we’ve exhausted all possibilities of banana peel benefits, think again!
In the beauty community, banana peel has an endless list of benefits. It seems like people are coming up with revolutionary ways to use it on a daily basis. By doing so, they’ve concluded that it can work magic in many areas of the face, not just acne.
Banana peel can prevent signs of premature aging due to its vitamins and antioxidants. In addition, it can hydrate it and boost collagen production, resulting in more youthful skin.
It can also heal bruises, reduce the appearance of scars and marks and heal bug bites. Pretty awesome for a peel, right?
It’s known to reduce itchiness too, particularly for those who suffer from psoriasis and other similar skin-related issues.
Banana peel can also remove splinters, which is particularly useful if you have kids. Rubbing it on the affected area can help bring it to the surface of the skin due to all the enzymes that banana peel contains. After it’s on the surface, you can gently remove it with tweezers.
Often times, every natural product can be labeled as beneficial simply because it comes from nature. While this is definitely true in some cases, I believe we should be more critical when it comes to the stuff we put on our skin.
That being said, banana peel seems to be pretty harmless, but each individual will react differently to it. Unless you have a banana allergy, or you notice irritation as soon as you rub the peel on your skin, there should be no harm in trying it out. After all, there’s no other way to determine if something works for your skin, right? Each individual will react differently to it. Just make sure you use the patch test and apply it on a smaller area on your face before you use it as a treatment or a mask.
Remember to always be gentle when rubbing the peel on your skin. Wash the peel before applying it on your face, and don’t forget to eat the bananas since they are a healthy snack. If they’re slightly overripe, you can make banana bread. Be consistent with the treatment and the results will come.
The most important thing is to keep in mind that preventing pimples is a lot easier than treating them. For that reason, you should pay special attention to factors like how much you’re sleeping, how often you’re exercising, the amount of water you’re drinking, how healthy your diet is and whether your stress levels are too high.