Bananas and constipation: do bananas make you poop
Constipation is a common health problem for all of us.
Often secretive, constipation concerns one in five people in U.S. The majority of patients are women (80%) and older adults. Psychosomatic illness for some, hereditary for others … its causes are many.
Some people claim that bananas cause constipation while others argue that they protect us against constipation. What should we believe? This article reviews the evidence.
Bananas are high in fiber:
Bananas are one of the most popular fruits in the world. Very handy for our little nibbles and incredibly healthy.
They are rich in various essential vitamins and minerals. Also, they are relatively abundant in fiber: for example, a medium sized banana contains approximately 3.1 grams of fiber.
Fibers have long been claimed to help prevent and relieve constipation.
They are thought to absorb water, so help the stool to stay soft and in the right quantity. This helps to improve bowel movements through the digestive tract.
On the other hand, the evidence that fiber is effective in relieving constipation is inconsistent and surprisingly low given the number of health professionals recommending high fiber intake for their constipated patients.
Studies have shown that soluble fiber can reduce constipation. Others suggest that reducing dietary fiber may help in some cases.
Whether increasing fiber intake helps relieve constipation seems to return to the individual level. The type of fiber you ingest can also have an impact.
Conclusion: Bananas are a relatively good source of fiber which can also help with constipation for some people. Nevertheless, the evidence concerning them is quite contradictory.
Green bananas are rich in resistant starch:
The resistant starches are carbohydrates that do not break down into sugar and are not absorbed by the small intestine. Like insoluble fiber, they move through most of the digestive tract, remaining unchanged and usually fermenting in the colon.
Resistant starch escapes the digestion of the small intestine and eventually reaches the large intestines where it feeds the bacterial flora.
Feeding this flora is a good thing. It produces short-chain fatty acids that help improve your digestive well-being and benefits the metabolism.
Before becoming ripe, a banana is almost entirely made of starch, which composes up to 70 -80% of its net weight. A significant portion of this starch is resistant starch.
By maturing, the portion of starch and resistant starch decreases and is converted into sugars.
Resistant starch functions as soluble fiber, which helps against constipation.
One study has shown that feeding constipated mice with resistant starch from bananas has accelerated their intestinal transit.
Finally, it is interesting to note that green bananas have been used to treat diarrhea in children and adults. These properties are attributed to the high content of resistant starch.
Conclusion: Resistant starch found in green bananas is similar to soluble fiber, and has been used to treat constipation. This could also help to reduce diarrhea.
We tend to believe that bananas cause constipation
Several articles on the internet proclaim that bananas cause constipation. Studies have not yet confirmed this, but some people firmly think that they are a risk factor for constipation.
In one study, German researchers investigated the perceived effects of different foods on stool consistency. They monitored three groups:
Irritable bowel syndrome: 766 patients with irritable bowel syndrome, where constipation was a major symptom.
-Constipation: 122 constipated patients.
– Control group: 200 healthy individuals served as a control group.
When the three groups were asked which foods or beverages usually cause them constipation, bananas were mentioned about 29-48% of respondents.
In fact, only chocolate and white bread were mentioned more often ( 16 ).
In conclusion: There is no substantial evidence that bananas cause constipation, although an investigation has shown that some people believe that this is the case.
Bananas improve other aspects of digestive health
Most people have a right tolerance to bananas, at least when they are consumed in moderation.
They improve digestive health and have a pre-biotic action to feed your digestive flora and its proliferation.
A study of 34 overweight women showed how banana consumption affects intestinal bacteria.
After the subjects had eaten two bananas a day for a month, the researchers observed an increase in the beneficial bacteria, called Bifidus. However, this effect was not statistically significant.
However, the group reported an improvement in some functional disorders such as bloating and abdominal pain.
In conclusion: Bananas can improve digestion. Some studies show that they can also stimulate the growth of saprophytic bacteria.
the last word on bananas and constipation
Evidence suggests that bananas tend to reduce constipation more than they cause it.
However, researchers have also found that some people think that bananas make them constipated.
If you get the impression that bananas are causing you constipation, then just consume less. If that does not work, try to eliminate them from your diet to see if it helps you.
Finally, we are all different, food that relieves constipation
You may also be interested in: “I’m constipated”: 10 foods to make you poop