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Should you eat bananas to get relief from constipation?

If you thought that bananas are an excellent home remedy for constipation, then read this!

It is a popular belief that bananas help in relieving constipation. Many people include banana in their diet in the hope that it will help to cleanse their intestines, soften the stool and help avoid bouts of constipation. But the role of banana in relieving constipation is a bit confusing. Even though the fruit is high in fibre there are studies and also expert opinions which defy the claim that bananas are a good natural remedy for constipation. Here are few other remedies for constipation that might not work.

A study published in 2014 in the journal Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology & Nutrition stated that bananas weren t a very good option to treat constipation, especially in kids. The study took into account various kinds of bananas and found that unripe bananas contained 100-250 mg tannins/100 g and have high amylase-resistant starch content which can aggravate pre-existing constipation. However, when the fruit ripens the quantities of tannins and amylase-resistant starch decrease, while soluble sugars increases. Ripe bananas contain 3 g fiber/120 g, mostly in the form of soluble fibre and fibre is known to add bulk to the stool absorb water from the intestines and help in easy passage of the stools. However, the study concluded that rather than eating bananas to beat constipation the better option would be to increase intake of fibre through food [1]. Here are few medical conditions that can lead to constipation.

In fact, another study published in the European Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology in 2005 also showed that bananas are perceived to be among foods that caused constipation instead of relieving the symptoms [2].

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In fact, we asked naturopath and sports nutritionist Dhvani Shah if bananas were a good option to relieve constipation, here is what she had to say, Other than bananas one should opt for other stool- softening foods like legumes, nuts, apples, pomegranate or prunes that promises to lubricate the gut and help to pass the bowels.

References:

[1] Bae, S. H. (2014). Diets for Constipation. Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology & Nutrition, 17(4), 203 208. http://doi.org/10.5223/pghn.2014.17.4.203

[2]1: M ller-Lissner SA, Kaatz V, Brandt W, Keller J, Layer P. The perceived effect of various foods and beverages on stool consistency. Eur J Gastroenterol Hepatol.2005 Jan;17(1):109-12. PubMed PMID: 15647650.

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