Are you looking for a way to ease constipation? Have you tried OTC laxatives without success? Then you should consider using a natural remedy to treat this common problem. Being smart about what you eat is important when you have problems like constipation. It is the best way to gain relief and make sure that the problem does not recur.
Bananas contain many essential nutrients that give you a wide range of health benefits, apart from relieving and preventing constipation. Are you interested in knowing more? Keep reading this post.
Causes Of Constipation:
Constipation has a number of causes (1). To make sure that you prevent this problem, it is important to know them. The most common causes include the following:
- Diets that lack foods rich in fiber
- Dehydration and lack of foods that are water-rich
- Consumption of foods that do not contain fiber, which displaces plant foods that are fiber-rich
- Lack of exercise or physical activity
- Dieting and reducing the intake of calories
- Using medications that have constipation as one of the side effects
- Consumption of dairy products, which is a primary cause of constipation in a large percentage of adults and children across the world
Bananas To Relieve Constipation:
Bananas are thought to be a cause of constipation, and this is true, but only if you are not eating the fruit at the right stage. You should keep in mind that green bananas cause this problem because they still have very high starch content (2). If you are considering using this tasty fruit to gain relief from constipation, remember that you should not consume green bananas. They will only make the problem worse.
Ripe, yellow bananas are the best when you want to naturally treat constipation. However, you should keep in mind that this fruit needs to be consumed in moderation. If you consume it excessively, it is most likely to worsen the problem. Just eating ripe bananas moderately will not help you ease constipation. You need to make sure that you drink plenty of water as well.
So, what makes bananas good for treating constipation? Well, for one, it has fiber. As you know, fiber plays a very important role in your health, especially in the function of the digestive system. It stimulates proper digestion of food, and this in turn helps food pass smoothly through the large intestine and out of the body. This fruit is particularly high in insoluble fiber, which is effective in reducing constipation. As you can see, making bananas a part of your daily diet is a great way to treat this problem naturally without having to resort to laxatives, which can have many adverse effects on your body in the long run.
How Do Bananas Help With Constipation?
Bananas can provide relief from the discomfort and sometimes even the pain that comes with constipation. Here is a look at how bananas work to help with constipation:
- As mentioned already, bananas are a good source of dietary fiber (3), the insoluble fiber in particular. You get 3 grams of fiber from a medium-sized banana that is 10 percent of the recommended daily amount that your body requires to prevent constipation. While insoluble fiber is highly effective in treating constipation, you need to remember to increase your water intake while using this fruit to relieve constipation. Moderate consumption of this fruit and plenty of water is important as too much fiber can lead to a hard stool that blocks your intestines, which means that waste does not get eliminated from your body.
- The effect of bananas on the colon depends on the type of the fruit you consume. As mentioned earlier, eating green bananas will cause constipation, or worsen the condition if you already have it, because there is still a large amount of starch in them. On the other hand, ripe bananas taken with adequate water can help in making sure that stool passes properly through the intestines without any problems. Do not forget that consuming ripe bananas excessively will not help treat the problem.
- Bananas also contain potassium, which is another important nutrient that helps with constipation. It stimulates proper bowel movement and this in turn helps in ensuring that stool is easily passed, and waste materials from the foods are properly eliminated from your body.
- This amazing fruit, as mentioned earlier, contains many nutrients that are beneficial to health. An enzyme known as fructooligosaccharide is present in banana (4). It plays an important role in the prevention and treatment of constipation. It prevents bananas from fermenting once they get into your intestinal tract. It boosts digestion as well. This enzyme also acts as a mild natural laxative that helps in providing relief and preventing constipation, and increases energy levels in your body too.
- Bananas contain a large amount of pectin that is a complex carbohydrate (5). This acts as a binding agent on the stool. It draws out water molecules from the intestinal tract, and this leads to stool that is hard and difficult to pass through the intestine. However, ripe bananas produce ethylene gas, which in turn produces an enzyme called pectinase that breaks down the pectin. This helps in softening the banana and making it easier for your body to digest the fruit.
Using Bananas To Treat Constipation:
Obviously, eating bananas as they are is one of the simplest ways to gain relief from constipation. Here are a few methods to use this fruit for this problem:
- Simply peel a ripe banana and eat it.
- Eat 2 or 3 bananas at intervals of several hours every day to soothe your stomach and stimulate the bowel movement. Eat your first banana as part of your breakfast.
- Make this a part of your daily routine to effectively treat constipation.
- Peel a ripe banana.
- Cut it into slices and add it to a glass of warm milk.
- Drink the milk and eat the bananas soaked in milk, making sure that you chew properly.
Doing this every day will help in getting rid of discomfort, pain, etc. that comes with constipation and prevents this problem from recurring.
Another great way to get the goodness of bananas into your body is having a smoothie. It is delicious, healthy and will keep constipation away.
- Get a banana, peel it and cut it into slices.
- Put them into a blender and add 1 cup of milk.
- If you need a bit more sweetness, add some honey.
- Blend until smooth and enjoy!
Since bananas are super-delicious, incorporating the fruit into different recipes is not hard. Of course, there is nothing like eating it on its own or with a glass of warm milk but you can use it in many desserts, baked goods, etc. If you need to consume it every day as a natural constipation treatment, take away the monotony and get creative! This way, you make sure that you enjoy the fruit every time you eat it and never get tired of it.
Improving Your Diet As A Natural Treatment For Constipation:
A balanced diet is essential when you suffer from constipation and other digestive problems. There are many fruits, vegetables and other foods that are rich in nutrients that help with constipation such as fiber, potassium, etc. Bananas are just one of them. The fact that this fruit is rich in different nutrients makes it important to add to your diet. It is also good to know that it is not a seasonal fruit – this means you can use it throughout the year as an effective natural treatment for constipation.
According to the Chinese Dietary Principles (6), it is important to follow a diet that puts an emphasis on “neutral” foods. It is believed that this type of diet will help bring a balance between hot and cold conditions that are believed to cause constipation and diarrhea. “Neutral” foods can help you in recovering from imbalances such as excessive heat or cold conditions.
The foods recommended include the following:
- Fresh vegetables that are light cooked, and not raw.
- Whole grains, but no wheat or very little of it. Eat grains in smaller quantities than vegetables.
- 2 or 3 oz. of animal protein per day. It is best to avoid using it as a main course. It is recommended as a flavoring for meals.
- Plenty of water, particularly water that is alkaline.
Many people who have used this diet plan have found that it helped immensely in providing them with relief from constipation as well as other medical conditions.
To answer the question if bananas are good for constipation – they definitely are. All you need to do is make sure that you eat only ripe bananas and always follow up with plenty of water to help the fiber do its job in your digestive system. You will find that this fruit has a wonderful effect on your stomach and effectively keeps constipation away. So, if you suffer from constipation, forget those laxatives from the drugstore; go for something natural like bananas to relieve and prevent the condition.
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