Do bananas cause constipation?

Bananas can cause constipation. Do you believe it? Bananas are recommended by many doctors to relieve constipation. Banana is a popular home remedy for constipation in all age groups including babies and toddlers.

banana constipation

Seems contradictory? Let me explain.

Bananas are the most consumed fruit in the world. They are delicious, cheap, and available in all seasons. They contain plenty of vitamins, minerals and fibre. They have many medicinal properties.

Bananas have significant amounts of soluble and insoluble fibre that can’t be digested by the digestive system. When you eat fiber-rich foods, the fibre moves to the large bowel without being digested.

Dietary fibre has the ability to absorb water. If you eat a banana and drink some water, guess what will happen.

The fibre absorbs some water and swells up in the large intestine. It makes the stool soft and bulky. The soft stool is easy to pass. The bulkiness facilitates the contraction of the large bowel. So, dual action to relieve constipation.

But, I said bananas cause constipation. How is that?

The insoluble fibre content of unripe bananas is high. You eat that and don’t drink enough water. Then the fibre will form a hard bulk in the intestine. It is difficult to pass. That is constipation.

What about a ripe banana? They contain less amount of insoluble fibre. So, less chance of making your stools hard. However, if you eat large amounts and don’t drink enough water, they can make your stools hard and bulky.

Not only bananas, any high-fibre food can cause constipation if you eat a lot and drink not enough water.

When your baby has diarrhoea, your doctor may advise you give bananas. There are many reasons for that. Firstly, bananas contain lots of potassium. Your child loses potassium through the loose stools. So, eating bananas will help replenish the lost potassium.

Secondly, Bananas help to make the stools more solid. So, your child doesn’t need to pass stool more frequently. Not only babies, adults also get benefit from this action.

Bananas have a significant number of calories. Eating them will give your child the necessary energy. In addition, banana tastes good. Your baby may not refuse to eat it even when he or she is sick.

Bottom line:

Bananas are a healthy food. They contain plenty of vitamin C, potassium, and fibre. Don’t skip eating them because of the fear of constipation. They are a good remedy for both constipation and diarrhoea.