Bananas are a fairly common part of most peoples diet and a fruit which, apart from being delicious is also a valuable source of nutrients and minerals essential for a healthy body. Bananas are a good source of minerals like potassium and manganese which are good for the heart, and vitamins b6 and vitamin C.
Apart from this they also contain a large amount of fiber which is beneficial for healthy bowel movement which helps relieve constipation. But, ironically there are quite a few claims which say the complete opposite, that bananas cause constipation. In this article we will attempt to investigate the truth behind these two different claims. So the question do bananas cause constipation or do they relieve it?
The key to this problem lies in the chemical composition of a banana. When unripe, Bananas contain a large amount of starch and very little sugar. This is when a banana has a green colour. As the banana ripens, the starch is converted into sugars which are much easier to digest than starch. So if you eat a banana which is unripe, the high quantity of starch may cause constipation. However when you eat a ripe banana, it is much easier to digest and the fibre content in it can help bowel movement and relieve constipation.
Bananas rank among high fiber foods with a single banana containing up to 10% fiber of the recommended daily intake. Fibres are essential in helping food move along the digestive tract, however this is dependent on the amount of water you drink. Drinking too little water may cause the fiber in the bananas to harden and block the intestines which results in constipation.
Another reason for drinking a lot of water is that bananas contain a chemical called pectin which is responsible for binding the bananas soft flesh together in a firm shape. This chemical can also bind the stool inside the intestines by pulling out water from it, so if there is already little water in the stool they can become quite hard and difficult to pass.
Another major factor to consider and probably the most important one is the overall diet. Eating an unbalanced diet with too many processed foods, insufficient water and a diet deficient in essential vitamins and fiber may cause constipation by itself, regardless of the state of ripeness of the bananas you eat, so it is very important to eat a healthy diet and exercise as well which helps improve bowel movement especially in small children. Bananas should also be taken in a moderate amount since too much of anything is not good for health.
Foods that have Healing elements are; Bananas-(stress & anxiety)Yogurt-(constipation/Gas),Salmon fish-(inflammation)&Honey-(indigestion).
— Dorcas Gbijah (@d_chess) August 12, 2016
To sum it up then we can say that bananas, taken at the right time provide a very good source of energy and do not cause constipation, however if eaten when unripe, with an improper accompanying diet or with an insufficient amount of water, they can cause constipation.
If you feel constipated then stop taking bananas for a little time and observe your condition, if it doesn’t improve then bananas may not be a cause and you should look at other possibilities.