Fruits are undeniably one of nature’s most nutrient-rich foods. They contain an extensive variety of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that help good health and prevent disease. Despite the several benefits offered by fruits, they are highly perishable and don’t have a longer shelf life, which in results a lot of wasted food and money.
Since the chemical composition of fruit changes when it ripens, the overall nutritional value reduces over time. While overripe fruits do have nutrients, here are some key things to consider if you regularly eat them.
The riper the fruit the less fiber in as it can be classified as soluble fiber or insoluble fiber and consistent consumption of both greatly contributes to disease prevention. Soluble fiber dissolves in water and becomes viscous while insoluble fiber is not dis-solvable. Though particular fruits contain insoluble fiber, most are rich in soluble fiber.
Pectin is a definite type of soluble fiber housed in fruit that melodramatically decreases during the ripening process. This fiber is one that you definitely want to retain as it promotes heart health by lowering blood cholesterol levels, especially LDL (bad) cholesterol.
Overripe fruit is rich in sugar and the ripening process is considered by a lessening of starch in fruits. This is tricky because as the level of fruit starch decreases, the sugar content rises. The rise in sugar contributes to the improved colors and flavor of ripe fruits. The banana is one of the best examples.
An unripe banana consists of about 20-25 % starch but one that’s fully ripened contains a mere 1-2 %. Though the natural sugar in fruits causes lesser spikes in blood glucose and insulin when compared to processed sugars (table sugar). And other refined sweeteners (high-fructose corn syrup), problems can arise when it’s consumed in excess.